image of Peter Sparining

Biographies: Peter Sparling

As artistic director of Peter Sparling Dance Company in Ann Arbor, MI
for over a decade, Peter is presently creating a program of dance works to the music of Charles Ives for an Ives Festival in collaboration with Phoenix Ensemble. His company will premiere a work for six men to a set of Schubert songs in March, and his videodance, Babel, is being submitted to Dance on Camera festivals around the world. As Professor of Dance at University of Michigan, he teaches modern technique, dance composition, and videodance, lectures on dance, culture and theory and creates work for the University Dance Company.

A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and the Juilliard School, he danced with the Jose Limon Dance Company from 1971-73. From 1973-87, he was a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company; since then he has returned often to perform, coach and teach. As a regisseur of the Martha Graham Trust, he has staged Graham’s works on his own company and on companies all over the world.

Sparling presented his own company and solo performance, Solo Flight, for five successive seasons at New York’s Riverside Dance Festival. He has held residencies at the American Dance Festival, at numerous American universities and in London, Australia, Portugal and Taiwan. He is a recipient of the 1998 Governor’s Michigan Artist Award and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and Arts Foundation of Michigan. Active in the Institute for the Humanities and in interdisciplinary studies at U/M, he has worked extensively with composers, actors, visual artists and scientists to create collaborative performance works. He has written texts for performance and has had his poetry and articles published in the Michigan Quarterly Review and Choreography and Dance. He recently choreographed and directed Gluck’s opera, “Orfeo and Euridice”, for University Musical Society’s 2001-2002 season. His newest work, “Bodytalk: A Vaudeville for Dancing Man at Middle Age”, premiered at the 2002 Ann Arbor Summer Festival, featuring original text and video as well as a host of distinguished collaborators.