Moses Pendleton (Doctor of Arts)

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Moses Pendleton received an honorary degree from Dartmouth in a virtual ceremony held in May.

Photo of Moses Pendleton
Moses Pendleton (Photo courtesy of Moses Pendleton) 

MOSES PENDLETON, as a path-breaking choreographer, dancer, and artistic director, you’ve made magic through movement that has captivated audiences and imaginations worldwide.

Raised on a dairy farm in northern Vermont, you’ve said your showmanship in the ring at the Caledonia County Fair was a preface to your performing art.

Always athletically inclined, you arrived on the Dartmouth campus in 1967, eager to train under the legendary Al Merrill on the Nordic skiing team. When a tragic skiing accident your freshman year extinguished that dream, it ignited another. You turned your attention to dance. With tremendous physical strength and artistic imagination, you collaborated with your classmates at the behest of Alison Becker Chase to stretch the boundaries of the human form and, in 1971, Pilobolus Dance Theater was born.

In the decade that followed, you earned international critical acclaim for the startling originality and stunning beauty you brought to the world stage.

In 1980, you founded the revolutionary modern dance company MOMIX. As its visionary artistic director, you drew inspiration from the natural world to create entirely new ones in dances that seemingly defied the limits of the human body. Deploying light, imagery, props and sound to astonishing effect, your transformative choreography not only transfixed audiences of all ages, but translated across all mediums.

From the Hopkins Center to Broadway to the Olympic Games, your work, both individually and in partnership with others, has proven transcendent, maintaining relevance and reverence for the last five decades.

For your extraordinary artistry and inventiveness, for your pioneering spirit, and for your lifetime contributions to modern and contemporary dance, Dartmouth is proud to award you the honorary degree of Doctor of Arts.

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