Matthew Thornton grew up in Northeast Ohio, and is currently living in Richmond, Virginia. Matthew is a movement artist and has studied and continues to train across a diverse field of disciplines. Drawing from his experience with dance, physical theatre, martial arts, and mind-body work, he desires to establish a base for original and organic expression. He has choreographed concert dance, for theater productions, site-specific works, dance on camera, and continues an ongoing practice in Capoeira, Asian Internal martial arts, and Chi-Gung.
As a performer Thornton toured internationally with Pilobolus Dance Theater in concert dance, commercial work, talk shows, the 79th Academy Awards, and taught master classes in the Pilobolus Method. Thornton co-founded Agua Dulce Dance Theater with dancer and choreographer Alicia Díaz. Agua Dulce has performed and taught workshops in festivals, colleges and high schools, traveling to Mexico, Puerto Rico and across the U.S. Previous dance companies and choreographers include Steven Iannacone, Alice Farley Dance Theater, Jody Oberfelder, Freespace Dance, Contemporary Motions, Kora Radella, Maida Wither’s Dance Construction Company and Aura CuriAtlas Physical Theatre.
Matthew Thornton holds an M.F.A. in Movement Pedagogy from the Graduate Theater Program at the Virginia Commonwealth University. He taught at the University of Richmond as Assistant Professor of Dance for six years, and served as Assistant Professor of Dance at Hope College for two years, where he was Assistant Artistic Director of dANCE pROjECt founded by Steven Iannacone. At the University level Thornton has taught classes in Improvisation, Contact Improvisation, Introduction to the history, philosophy and practice of Capoeira Angola, Chi-Gung, Choreography and Dynamic Partnering Technique. He has choreographed for dance concerts and theatre productions and mentored student choreographic processes. Matthew was the Movement Arts Teacher at the Richmond Waldorf School for five years, teaching grades 1 through 8
Thornton has trained under martial arts and somatic practitioners Wayne Chandler, Michael Goldstein, Sharon Smith, and is currently a student of Roberto Sharpe in NYC and Wilson Pitts in Richmond VA, investigating the intersection between Western Boxing, Afro-Brazilian and Asian Internal Martial Arts for both practice and performance.