Art & Soul: The Performance Arts - Movement & Dance With Ann Arbor Artist Peter Sparling

May 27, 2021

Still from 'Notations at 70' by Peter Sparling
Credit Peter Sparling

Peter Sparling has had a long career as a dancer and dance professor at the University of Michigan, and now, as he approaches his 70th birthday, he is creating moving dance videos and has taken up painting. He talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about his career and what inspires him to keep moving and creating art in many different forms.


Peter Sparling is the Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Dance and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and The Juilliard School, Sparling was a member of the José Limón Dance Company (1971-73) and principal dancer with Martha Graham Dance Company (1973-87).

Peter Sparling
Credit Peter Sparling

Peter Sparling
Credit Peter Sparling

As Martha Graham’s assistant, he coached Rudolf Nureyev and collaborated with her on many new works. He has performed and staged Graham’s works all over the world and has appeared with the company twice on PBS Dance in America. His video curtain warmers, Beautiful Captives: Martha Graham and the Cinematic IdVariations of Angels and Sacred/Profane have opened three of the company’s New York seasons.

Peter Sparling
Credit Peter Sparling

Peter Sparling
Credit Peter Sparling

He speaks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about his most recent work creating dance and movement videos and how he works to keep his body in shape as he turns 70 years old. He plans to be part of the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti artist residency program in late August and will present his paintings at 20 North Gallery, also in Ypsilanti, next fall.

  

**Special thanks to Paul Keller for providing the Art & Soul theme music.**

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu