Chair and Associate Professor, Dance
Interim Department Chair, Theatre
“Today, I still shape my body of work around contours of power and privilege, though I look for more opportunities to bring light and air into the substance of my dances.”
Peter Carpenter is an arts educator, performing artist, and administrator who finds opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange and political engagement across lines of artistry and scholarship. He received a BS in Theatre from Northwestern University (1992), an MFA in Dance (2003), and a Ph.D. in Culture and Performance from University of California Los Angeles (2013). As an educator, he regularly teaches a combination of choreography and dance studies courses and encourages his students to find connections between their own appetite for movement and the socio-political forces that shape their lives.
Active as a choreographer since 1992, Carpenter has honed a distinctive approach to blending complex dance vocabularies with politically charged text and meta-theatrical conventions. Carpenter’s investigation of the intersections between the dancing body and AIDS has shaped much of his previous work, which can be seen in numerous repertory productions and evening-length dances including Hello Blonde Doctor (1997), Pop Sadness (2002), Bareback Into the Sunset (2003) and My Fellow Americans (2010). The latter two of these works received considerable critical notice and subsequent restaging in full and excerpted forms both regionally and nationally.