Francesca N. Penzani was born and raised in Bergamo, Italy where she started her theatre studies at Teatro Viaggio and Comuna Baires Milano.
She studied Dance and Choreography at London Contemporary Dance School and California Institute of the Arts where she has been working independently as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and film maker.
Since 1999, Francesca has taught Dance for the Camera and Integrated Media at California Institute of the Arts. In 2018,
Francesca started a new collaborative class called CineDance, co-taught with Mavra Peponi. It is a production-oriented course that motivates the creative collaboration between choreographers and filmmakers, exploring the shared languages of dance and film - movement, space and time - and the compositional strategies common to both. Throughout the year, Francesca also creates collaborative and interdisciplinary classes for dancers, visual artists, musicians and experimental sound artists at CalArts.
Francesca was a guest artist at Wimbledon School of the Arts (1995); National Taiwan University of the Arts, Taipei, Taiwan (2003); Academie der Bilden Kuenste , Munich, Germany (2005/2006), and taught at CSU Dominguez Hills (2000-2005).
Between 2016 and 2019, Francesca taught Dance and Camera laboratories, workshops, and residencies in Mexico City, Havana Cuba and at RIFF Dance Film Festival in Eina, Norway.
She worked in collaboration with Interactive Arstist Scott Snibbe for the projects: “Women in Science” (Mills College); “Laugh Garden” and “Get in Action” for the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry; and the permanent installation “Transit” at the LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal.
Her dance video “Colours” was screened at MADRE Museum in Naples in the festival’s Special Mention category (2008).
Her film “Stories to Tell” was a Prize Winner for Independent Production at Il Coreografo Electronico Film Festival, Napoli Danza (2011).
Her short narrative “Monique’s “ was the finalist at the Women International Film Festival in Orlando Florida and was a “Silver Winner” at the International Independent Film Awards.
Her newest dance film “Double Up” is a jazz conversation and celebration between Bass Player Nedra Wheeler and Tap Dancer Kyreeana Breelin. It has been screened at more than 30 international film festivals, it has won various awards and has received several nomination as a finalist and semi-finalist.