Peter Sparling is the Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Dance and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Emeritus of Dance at University of Michigan. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and The Juilliard School, Sparling was a member of the José Limón Dance Company and principal dancer with Martha Graham Dance Company. He has performed and staged Graham’s works all over the world and on PBS’s Dance in America. He has had extensive experience as artistic director, (Peter Sparling Dance Company/Dance Gallery Foundation), choreographer, performer, teacher (UM Distinguished Faculty Award, Governor’s Michigan Artist Award), lecturer, video artist, writer (Ballet Review), collaborator, administrator (former chair, UM Dance Department) and dance/arts consultant. A videographer and teacher of screendance at UM, his videodance Babel was selected for the 2007 New York Dance on Camera Festival, the 2008 American Dance Festival Dance Film & Video Festival and has toured the world. His made-for-TV work, Climbing Sainte-Victoire, was broadcast on Michigan Television in April 2009. His video montage, Beautiful Captives: Martha Graham and the Cinematic Id, opened each performance of the Martha Graham Dance Company’s Inner Landscape program during its 2012-13 season. His video installations, Photoformance, Clonal Renderings and UNTRANSLATABLE!, appeared in galleries on UM campus. His screen dance, The Snowy Owl, was featured at the Short Film Corner of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
Sparling has presented at Society of Dance History Scholars, Southeastern College Art Conference, and co-chaired Meanings and Makings of Queer Dance at U-M in 2012. He has served as resident artist at both UM Life Sciences Institute and North Campus Research Complex. which housed his Pop-Up Projection Pavilion, a 3-screen video projection system. He is presently working on a memoir, Confessions of a Dancing Man. He will present his first solo show of paintings, “The Post_Photographic Body: See Me As I Feel”, in October, 2018. He lives in Ann Arbor with his partner, John Gutoskey, a visual artist.