Peter Carpenter has been active as a choreographer since 1992 and during that time he has honed a distinctive approach to blending complex dance vocabularies with politically charged text and meta-theatrical conventions. He has received robust support for the creation of new works in the form of commissions by Lucky Plush Productions (Chicago), The Dance Distribution Project (Memphis), The Ashland Art Museum (Chapel Hill, NC), Robin Lakes/ROUGHDANCE (Chicago), Project|Motion (Memphis), and SPDW Dance Theatre (Chicago). Grants to create new work include the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Grant, Chicago Artists Assistance Program Grant and DCASE Individual Artist Grant. Honors include a Joseph Jefferson Citation, a Ruth Page Award, and two nominations for the Alpert Award in Dance. His work as a choreographer for theatre include engagements with Steppenwolf Arts Exchange, The Goodman, Strawdog, National Pastime, Roadworks, 29th Street Repertory, and Street Signs. He regularly teaches as a guest artist in college dance and theatre programs including DuPaul University, Ferris State University, Georgetown, Illinois Wesleyan College, Northwestern, the Ohio State University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Alaska—Anchorage and Fairbanks, University of California—Los Angeles, University of Colorado—Boulder, University of Iowa, University of Memphis, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, and University of Southern Mississippi.
As an educator, Peter finds opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange across lines of artistry and scholarship. He was previously on the faculty of Columbia College Chicago as a faculty in the Dance Department. During his time at Columbia, he served as President of the Faculty Senate (2013-15) Chair of Dance (2015-18) and Interim Chair of Theatre (2016-19).
He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre from Northwestern University (1992), and a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance (2003) and Ph.D. in Culture and Performance from University of California Los Angeles (2013).