Cynthia Pepper was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. As a child, she toured with Virginia Tanner’s internationally recognized Children’s Dance Theatre performing throughout the United States, including The 1970 White House Conference on Children for President Richard Nixon and The Kennedy Center. She performed professionally with choreographer Willem Christensen and The Utah Opera Company, Donald Byrd and The Group, Loretta Livingston and Bella Lewitzky at the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival. Cynthia worked as a magician’s assistant with Robert C. Pritikin of The Mansion Hotel in San Francisco and Dan Summers at The Magic Castle in Los Angeles.
Cynthia was a Rotary International Exchange Student in Denmark and completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California Institute of the Arts, and a Masters Degree from San Francisco State University in the InterArts Program.
Her non-profit CPCollaborations has received grants from The Marin Community Foundation, The Marin Arts Council, The Zellerbach Family Fund, Dance Bay Area, The Hellman Family Fund, The National Endowment for the Arts, Dance Films Association, CITIBANK, Union Bank of California and most recently American Express.
Cynthia has directed fashion and hair shows for The Academy of Art, ZOZA Clothing, Trevor Sorbie and Redken International. Cynthia also directed educational videos for Japan Television and choreographed national commercials for Mars Candy, Wachovia Bank, Glaxo Smith Kline, Omnicell and Hilton Hotels.
For over 30 years, Cynthia has directed dance outreach programs and performing arts festivals throughout Marin County. To create interesting venues for her dance films, CPCC created “FOOTAGE Dance Film Festival” as the first touring dance film festival in the West Coast showcasing dance films and media from around the world. Cynthia has been a guest artist teaching at San Francisco State University, Cyprus College, Mills College, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Marin Ballet, Vector Theatre, Youth In Arts, Stanford Education Department, Marin Dance Theatre and UC Berkeley Dance Department.
In 2015 she presented for San Francisco Ballet, a day-long workshop for the elementary school teacher graduates in the S.T.E.P. program at Stanford on how to bring dance and movement into their elementary classrooms. Her award winning dance film collection called FILMS THAT DANCE™ has been distributed worldwide at numerous film and dance festivals and is found in many libraries and collections including The New York Museum of Modern Art.
Cynthia has choreographed 13 Equity shows for The Marin Shakespeare Company located at Dominican University in San Rafael including many dance sequences for “The Taming” directed by Robert Currier and written by Lauren Gunderson.
Cynthia is a founding partner in Xanadu Entertainment, Inc. a dance film production company currently creating content for feature films, commercials, industrials, television, print media, the internet and any innovative collaborations that come their way. Xanadu assisted in casting “The D Word: Understanding Dyslexia”, directed by James Redford. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was purchased by HBO.
Cynthia teaches filmmaking classes for children and adults at Book Passage in Corte Madera, San Francisco Acting Company, The African American Arts and Culture Complex and the California Film Institute. Alongside her artistic partner, Melinda Darlington-Bach, Cynthia continues to cause trouble in the film, media, television, theater, and dance worlds.
Cynthia served as the interim Dance In The Schools and Community Supervisor (DISC) for San Francisco Ballet in 2014–2015 and continues on currently as a dance teaching artist. The program serves over 39 elementary schools in the San Francisco Unified School District providing free dance and music education to over 3000 public school children.
Her short film entitled: Polka Dott is now in 38 international film festivals. Currently she is editing her first feature film entitled: Pixie & Dust.
Stay tuned for more fun…: )