Contemporary ballet dancer and choreographer Penelope Freeh creates works that explore the ballet idiom even as they diverge from it. Based in Saint Paul, MN, she is a McKnight Fellow for Choreographers and SAGE awardee for Outstanding Performer. Her work is in the repertoires of James Sewell Ballet, Minnesota Ballet and Gem City Ballet among others. She receives commissions and residencies from performing arts high schools, universities and regional companies; she works with chamber-sized opera and musical theater groups; she self-produces and seeks presenters for her personal works.
Penelope danced for James Sewell Ballet for seventeen years, serving as Artistic Associate from 2007 – 11. She teaches at the University of MN, Zenon Dance School and TU Dance. Please see Calendar for class listings.
Available for Commissions, Residencies, Teaching and Touring
Complete Works, CV and References available upon request
To Kill a Mockingbird – Guthrie Theater, September 15 – October 18, 2015
I am an extra in this production, directed by John Miller-Stephany.
New Dance Works by Penelope Freeh, November 6 & 7, 2015. Four Seasons Dance Studio: 1637 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55403. Featuring performers: Penelope Freeh (dancer/choreographer), Jocelyn Hagen (composer/singer), Alejandra Iannone (dancer), Brittany Keefe (dancer), Nic Lincoln (dancer), Sally Rousse (dancer), Tim Takach (singer), Erin Thompson (dancer). Show times TBA.
Test Pilot is an intimate dance opera by choreographer Penelope Freeh and composer Jocelyn Hagen. It is about the Wright brothers and their sister Katharine who was involved in their flight experiments. The creators’ personal family legends and aviation heroics are also woven into the oblique narrative. It premiered September 12 & 13, 2014 as part of The O’Shaughnessy Women of Substance Series in St. Paul.
A soprano plays Katharine, giving voice to this historically under-recognized woman; two unvoiced male dancers portray the brothers; two female dancers represent the airplane; five male singers are the witnesses from the “first flight” of 1903. There is a string quartet and video art. A collage of texts from letters, poetry, personal accounts and public records comprise the libretto.
The creators are currently seeking funding to tour Test Pilot.