Department of Dance Office: DC-S131     Phone: 562-985-4747     Fax: 562-985-7896

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Faculty Bio Page



John Pennington
Office Phone: 562.985.4747
Office: DC-F102


John Pennington is the Artistic Director of the Pennington Dance Group and ARC Pasadena. He serves as theCo-Director of the Lewitzky Dance Gallery and serves on the Theater and Dance faculty at Pomona College and on the dance faculty at Cal-State University Long Beach.
Pennington enjoyed a 14-year career with the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company as a performer and master teacher.  He then went on to be a guest artist, independent choreographer and educator before establishing his own award-winning dance group in 2000. More recently, he was among four choreographers chosen for the first Trolley Dances in Riverside CA, and is making preparations to tour with his group in the United Kingdom during March 2013.

In the fall of 2012, the New York Times reviewed his work presented at the Ailey Citigroup Theater stating: “Wielding a voluminous silver-gray cape, Mr. Pennington made a powerful case for an antiquated style, the taut images striking both on their own and as tantalizing evidence of their influence on Graham.”  DANCE MAGAZINE also noted: “John Pennington’s powerful rendition of the German expressionist's Tänze vor Gott (Dance before God) was a welcome addition. In his commanding gestures, including sweeping a huge cape to conceal or reveal himself, and accusatory pointing at the audience, he struck me as a cross between Carabosse and Martha Graham in Lamentation.” 
Educated at Northwestern University, California Institute of the Arts (BFA), and Hollins University (MFA), Pennington’s dedication to education includes workshops and curriculum development for the Los Angeles Unified School District, Fowler Museum, MOCA and Armand Hammer Museum. He served as an Annenberg Scholar in Dance Education for Inner City Arts LA and served on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Dance Resource Center and the Artist Committee for Dancers Responding to AIDS.

Pennington is the recipient of several grants and awards from the Princess Grace Foundation, California Community Foundation, Goethe Institute, Durfee Foundation, Dance USA, Los Angeles County Arts Program and a HOTHOUSE choreographic residency.  He is honored to be the recipient of five Lester Horton Awards for achievement in dance including the award for Excellence in Teaching. He received a Backstage West Garland Award and a L.A. Weekly Theater nomination for achievement in choreography. Most recently, his oral history essay was featured in When Men Dance: Choreographing Dance Across Borders edited by Jennifer Fisher and Anthony Shay, published by Oxford University Press. 

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