School of Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of Michigan

Peter Sparling

Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Dance, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Emeritus


Peter Sparling is Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Dance and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Emeritus 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 directed Michigan’s own Peter Sparling Dance Company from 1993-2008 and was recognized with the 1998 Governor’s Michigan Artist Award.

Sparling serves as associate director/choreographer of  New Theater of Medicine. He is a lecturer, published poet and essayist. His dances for video have been selected for numerous international festivals, including the New York Dance on Camera Festival, American Dance Festival Dance Film & Video Festivals, Lisbon’s InShadow Festival, DANCE:FILMS Glasgow, Screen Dance International  and Ann Arbor Film Festival. His made-for-TV work, Climbing Sainte-Victoire, was broadcast on Michigan Television in 2009. His screendance, The Snowy Owl, was featured in the Court Métrage of the Cannes Film Festival 2015. The Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival screened his video, “Winterreise”, with live musical performance at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 2022. An avid painter, Sparling has presented five solo exhibits and had works featured in numerous group shows.

Peter Sparling