Penny Saunders, originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, graduated from the Harid Conservatory in 1995 and began her professional career with The American Repertory Ballet under the direction of Septime Webre. She went on to dance with Ballet Arizona, MOMIX Dance Theater, Cedar Lake Ensemble, and in 2004 she joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.
In 2011, Saunders won the International Commissioning Project which launched her choreographic career, creating pieces for Hubbard Street, Cincinnati Ballet, Whim W’Him, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, BalletX, Sacramento Ballet, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Diablo Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Eugene Ballet, ArtEmotion/Ballet West and Seattle Dance Collective among others. Saunders is honored to be the Resident Choreographer at The Grand Rapids Ballet, to have received support from The New York City Ballet Choreographic Commissions Initiative, to have participated in The Guggenheim Works & Process, and The National Choreographers Initiative, and to be the recipient of the 2016 Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship.
She is currently Artist in Residence at USC Kaufman School of Dance as well as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The University of Utah School of Dance. This year Saunders is looking forward to upcoming collaborations with The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, The Rosin Box Project, Sacramento Ballet, Dance Aspen, Diablo Ballet, New Century Dance Project, National Choreography Intensive and Oklahoma University.
Photo by Todd Rosenberg