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 White House Conference on Children (for President Richard Nixon) and The Kennedy Center.
Cynthia worked as a magician’s assistant for both Robert C. Pritikin of The Mansion Hotel in San Francisco and with Dan Summers at The Magic Castle in Los Angeles.
Cynthia graduated from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) receiving her BFA in dance and a Master’s Degree from San Francisco State University from the Inter-Arts Program.
Her performance career highlights include the Olympic Arts Festival with the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company in 1984 Los Angeles, The Utah Opera Company with Willem Christensen, Donald Byrd and The Group and Loretta Livingston and Dancers.
Cynthia created FOOTAGE Dance Film Festival which was the first dance film festival in the West Coast showcasing international dance films. Cynthia has taught dance and filmmaking at San Francisco State University, Cyprus College, Mills College, CalArts, Cal Berkeley Dance Department, California Film Institute, Marin Ballet, San Francisco Acting Academy, and The Book Passage. Most recently she facilitated a day-long children's dance workshop for the Stanford University S.T.E.P. graduate education department.
Cynthia has launched two dance outreach programs that are still thriving called Let’s All Dance! and Project D. is for Dance.
Her award-winning short film collection entitled: "Films That Dance" is streamed worldwide and has been purchased by many university libraries including the Museum of Modern Art Film Archives in New York.
Since the summer of 2000, Cynthia has choreographed 14 Equity productions for The Marin Shakespeare Company and a ballet for Lawrence Pech Dance Company performed at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
Cynthia is a founding partner in Xanadu Entertainment, Inc. a dance film production company currently creating dance films for PBS, commercial television, the internet, commercials, feature films, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street™ and all innovative collaborators that come their way. Xanadu produces film events for the California Film Institute and The Mill Valley Film Festival. Recently, “The Big Picture” directed by James Redford, one of their casting and producing projects, was purchased by HBO.
Cynthia served as the interim (DISC) Dance In The Schools Supervisor at San Francisco Ballet for the 2014-2015 school year. This internationally recognized outreach program brings free dance, music and performances to over 3500 2-5th grade children of the San Francisco Unified School District. Cynthia is currently a dance teaching artist with San Francisco Ballet (DISC) Dance In The Schools Program, Young Imaginations, Young Audiences teaching dance to all ages and abilities.
Cynthia is excited to see what her latest 2019 tween film entitled: Pixie & Dust will experience out in the world.