Artist in Residence
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’s main and second company, Cincinnati Ballet, Whim W’Him, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, BalletX, Sacramento Ballet, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Diablo Ballet and Dayton Ballet, 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. In 2020, Saunders created a range of new dance films with Whim W’Him, BalletX, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Dance Collective, Grand Rapids Ballet, Ballet Idaho and ArtEmotion. She is looking forward to upcoming residencies with USC Kaufman School of Dance, Point Park University and Western Michigan University, as well as collaborations with Art Emotion/Ballet West, Nashville Ballet, Diablo Ballet, Eugene Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, Dance Aspen and Ballet Idaho. Saunders is also currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The University of Utah School of Dance.