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 where 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). He was the recipient of the Matthew Alan Plaskett Scholarship, Patricia Sparrow Memorial Fund Scholarship, and Tonia Shimin Award for Excellence and Promise in the field of dance.

After receiving his B.F.A, Cheng continued his professional studies 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, Amy Seiwert, and Alex Ketley among others.

His most recent training has spanned New York, Chicago, and Montréal with Sidra Bell Dance NY, Visceral Dance Chicago, and Springboard Danse Montréal, where he performed works by Nick Pupillo, Mónica Cervantes, Stijn Celis, Sharon Eyal, Caili Quan (BalletX), and konverjdans.

Peter is a visiting artist at the University of California Santa Barbara, and has taught master classes at Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Brockus Project Studios, Santa Barbara Dance Arts, and SALT Contemporary Dance. 

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.