Sparling, Peter D.

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Peter Sparling Papers

The materials in Deep Blue form a part of the larger collection of archival materials for Peter Sparling at the Bentley Historical Library. See the Peter Sparling online finding aid for a complete listing of materials.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Peter Sparling is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Dance at the University of Michigan School of Music and renowned performer, choreographer, and artistic director who has danced with both Martha Graham and Jose Limon. Materials in this online repository consist of video recordings of Sparling and others performing various works.

PLEASE NOTE: Access to some recordings is restricted to the Bentley Historical Library (with Allegorica also available in the Duderstadt Center, Hatcher Graduate Library, and Shapiro Undergraduate Library on the U-M campus).

Peter Sparling is Professor of Dance at the University of Michigan School of Music. Well known as both performer and choreographer, he has danced with Martha Graham and Jose Limon. Sparling got his first dance training while on a scholarship for violin performance at Interlochen Arts Academy. He added dance to his major and graduated in 1969, and then attended The Juilliard School, receiving his B.F.A. in 1973. While still at Juilliard, Sparling began touring with the Jose Limon Dance Company, traveling to Europe, Russia and Asia. He co-founded Dance Mobile with Janet Eilber, Ange Wolf and Diana Hart, all of whom he met at Interlochen. In 1974, he married another dancer he had met while at Interlochen, Shelley Washington. They divorced after three years.

In 1973, after the death of Jose Limon, Sparling was invited to join the Martha Graham Dance Company. Graham dramatically influenced Sparling's performance and his choreography, and he created and performed his own works during the six years he was with the Graham Company. When he left the company in 1979, he formed Peter Sparling Presents Solo Flight, and then the Peter Sparling Dance Company, as vehicles for his choreography. He continued to dance occasionally with the Graham Company until 1987. In 1984, after several teaching residencies in such institutions as Barnard College in New York, Florida State University, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre in Taiwan and the Laban Centre for Movement Studies in London, Sparling was hired as Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan Dance Department. He was chair of the Department from 1988 through 1995. In 1984, he co-founded Ann Arbor Dance Works, the University of Michigan's resident dance company. In 1993, Peter founded the Peter Sparling Dance Co. a non-profit organization.

Please note:

Copyright has not been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

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