I was drawn to dance first as an aspiring choreographer, filling pages with drawings of bodies and imagining movement to Bartok’s 4th String Quartet while a violinist at an arts school in northern Michigan. I was hooked for life with my first trio, made in 1969; 40 years and 140 dances later, I’m still reveling in the process of directing bodies in space, creating movement on my own body that I transpose onto other bodies, and exploring the physics of what gives a dance its own life, and what “moves” an audience to sit on the edge of their seats and to be engaged emotionally, intellectually and musically. I had good mentors—José Limon, Martha Graham, Anna Sokolow—and learned much as their apprentice. Whether working with children, university students, my own company members or a professional ballet company, I find the process thoroughly obsessive and engaging. I continue to dance and perform myself, but choreographing for others is every bit as satisfying.

I thrive (and rely) upon the inspiration and skills of other artists, scientists and thinkers when seeking text, visual backdrops, costumes, musical scores or conceptual materials for my work. Interdisciplinary collaborations range in scale from solo improvisations with a musician made for the screen to full-evening spectacles with large casts of dancers, actors and musicians, and new sound scores, sets, and video projections.

Loading data, please wait...Loading content

Peter Sparling - Choreographer