Kenny Pearl began formal training in dance in Toronto when he was eighteen, with David Earle and Patricia Beatty, and at the National Ballet School. He moved to New York City after graduating from the University of Toronto with a BA in English literature. He lived there for thirteen years, dancing with the Martha Graham Dance Company, the New York City Opera Ballet and around the world with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Kenny also performed in and wrote comedy cabaret, and was a rehearsal director for the Graham Company. He has taught in New York at the schools of the Graham and Ailey companies, and at the Juilliard School of Music.
Back in Toronto, after a season with the Stratford Theatre Festival, he was artistic director of Toronto Dance Theatre (1983 – 1987). He has taught for fifteen years at the school of Toronto Dance Theatre and has been on faculty at Ryerson University since 2002. Kenny has been a frequent guest teacher in Vancouver, Quebec City, Montreal and Mexico City. He directed Michel Lemieux’s production of Mutations, which opened the 1988 Calgary Olympics. In 1990, Kenny wrote Dance/Life, a book which offers support to emerging professional dance artists. He was a rehearsal director for Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie (2007-2012), and continues this work with Bill Coleman. Since 2009, he has organized bi-annual workshops for emerging artists – the Emerging Artist Intensives. In 2013 and 2014, he produced Ryerson’s Choreographic Works. He directed Toronto’s GMD – a professional dance class – from 2011 – 2017. During Barreworks fitness centre’s first year, Kenny helped to create the program and to train teachers, and continues as a consultant.
The Dance Gods: A New York Memoir, the story of Kenny’s 13-year dance life in New York City (written by Kenny) was published in 2015.