Core Faculty and Master Teachers
Denise Vail, Senior Artistic Associate: joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 1985, attaining the rank of principal dancer. Roles performed include the Pioneer Woman in Appalachian Spring, Woman in White in Diversion of Angels, Chorus Leader in Night Journey, Chorus in Cave of the Heart, the Attendant in Hérodiade, Leader in the 1980s reconstruction of “Steps in the Street”, and Night Chant, a ballet created for Ms. Vale by Martha Graham in 1989. Graham solos performed include Lamentation, Frontier, Satyric Festival Song, and Serenata Morisca.
Miki Orihara, Principal: joined the Company in 1987. She has performed with various other prominent companies and choreographers including the Broadway production of The King and I, Elisa Monte, Dance Troup (Japan), Twyla Tharp, and Robert Wilson. Ms. Orihara was a special guest artist for Japan’s New National Theater. As an independent artist, she premiered her works in New York and Tokyo. Her teaching credentials include numerous workshops in Japan, Art International in Moscow, Peridance, the Ailey School, New York University, Florida State University, and New National Theater Ballet School; she also works as an assistant for Yuriko. In addition, Ms. Orihara performs with PierGroupDance and Lotuslotus.
Peter Sparling, Master Teacher: Peter Sparling is Thurnau Professor of Dance at University of Michigan. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and The Juilliard School, Sparling was a member of the José Limón Dance Company (1971-73) and principal dancer with Martha Graham Dance Company (1973-87). He has had extensive experience as artistic director, (Peter Sparling Dance Company), choreographer, performer, teacher (U-M Distinguished Faculty Award and 1998 Governor’s Michigan Artist Award), lecturer, video artist (NY Dance on Camera Festival), writer (Ballet Review, Choreographic Practices, Michigan Quarterly Review), collaborator, administrator (former chair, U-M Dance Department) and arts consultant. He has presented at Society of Dance History Scholars and European Association for Dance History.