Theik Smith Photography

Theik Smith Photography

Originally from Fremont, CA, Peter Cheng graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a B.F.A. in Dance and a minor in Education and Applied Psychology. During his time he trained under the direction of Christopher Pilafian (Jennifer Muller/The Works), Nancy Colahan (Lar Lubovitch Dance Company), and Tonia Shimin (Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble).

While at UCSB, Cheng performed in over twenty works including eight faculty-choreographed works, receiving the Matthew Alan Plaskett Scholarship, Patricia Sparrow Memorial Fund Scholarship, and Tonia Shimin Award for Excellence and Promise in the field of dance.

Peter continued his professional training in San Francisco, CA with Alonzo King LINES Ballet, ODC/Dance, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Post:Ballet, Liss Fain Dance, and has worked with choreographers KT Nelson, Brenda Way, Doug Letheren, Robert Dekkers, Lenora Lee, Amy Seiwert, Nancy Karp, and Alex Ketley.

In 2017, Cheng continued his creative practice in New York, Chicago, and Montréal with Sidra Bell Dance NY, Visceral Dance Chicago, and Springboard Danse Montréal. He has performed works by Nick Pupillo, Mónica Cervantes, Stijn Celis, Sharon Eyal, Caili Quan (BalletX), and konverjdans. 

Peter & Co. was launched in 2014 as a platform for Mr. Cheng’s choreographic work after a six year hiatus from dance to recuperate and realign from end stage kidney failure.

Artist Statement

As a dance maker the body to me is a vessel, a vehicle, and a catalyst for our histories, lineage, and a precursor to the future. The dancer’s ability to express beyond the planes of normalcy provides a peek into a state of constant conflict with the known and unknown. In a sense, uncovering the deepest subconsciousness of our thoughts manifested into physical being. I am most interested in divulging the creative confines of the human experience, coupled with unexpected ranges of a highly process-based improvisational score — movement-based or otherwise. 

In my work, I meld contemporary forms with the classical structures of the ballet line while also diving into the intent of movement as a partnership with time, and our ability to work against it. I find fascination with singular or multiple bodies in space and how lighting can create a container to house the anatomical. I luxuriate in the sensibilities of musicality, rhythm, and pulse.

I am ultimately interested in investigating the body and dancer as a vehicle for translating and transposing the past, the present, and the future.