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 (NEA), Dance Films Association, CITIBANK, Union Bank of California and most recently American Express.
Cynthia has directed runway 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 industrials and commercials for Mars Candy, Wachovia Bank, Glaxo Smith Kline, Omnicell, Levi’s and Hilton Hotels.
For over 25 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 film festival in the West Coast featuring 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, Arts Educators Alliance of the Bay Area, Stanford Education Department, Marin Dance Theatre and UC Berkeley Dance Department.
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 film collections including The New York Museum of Modern Art (MOCA).
Cynthia has taught dance and choreographed 14 award-winning Equity shows for The Marin Shakespeare Company located at Dominican University in San Rafael. Cynthia enjoyed creating dance sequences for “The Taming” directed by Robert Currier 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 many 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 make magic 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 continued on as a dance teaching artist for 5 years. The program offers elementary schools in the San Francisco Unified School District free dance education to over 3500 public school children. 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 more dance and movement into elementary classrooms.
Cynthia has been a teaching artist for Youth In Arts, Young Imaginations, Young Audiences Northern CA, San Francisco Ballet (DISC) Dance in Schools and Communities, RuthMankinArts, Xanadu Entertainment, and several arts presenting organizations working with every age and ability in movement choreography and cultural world dance forms.
Cynthia’s award-winning short film entitled: Polka Dott traveled to 45 international film festivals including Albania, Croatia and Iceland. Her most recent project is the 29-minute film entitled: Pixie & Dust, completed in January 2019. Cynthia is using Pixie & Dust as a springboard for her new Creative Minds Unleashed workshops and events.
Stay tuned for more experiences.