Francesca Harper creative director of Ailey II

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Robert Battle, creative director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, has introduced that internationally famend performer, choreographer, director and multi-disciplinary artist Francesca Harper has been appointed Inventive Director of Ailey II, the Ailey group’s acclaimed firm of younger dancers. Harper will assume her duties on September 7, and can instantly start making ready for Ailey II’s return to the stage. 

Ailey II’s 2021-2022 season will kick off in December, with participation in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s annual season at New York Metropolis Middle, through which Ailey II will carry out in Alvin Ailey’s basic Memoria, and can proceed with the corporate’s personal 2022 New York Metropolis season March 23-April 3 at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, in addition to a U.S. tour.

Francesca Harper. Photo by Nina Wurtzel.
Francesca Harper. Picture by Nina Wurtzel.

Chosen by a rigorous worldwide search guided by Arts Consulting Group, Harper was chosen for the place by Robert Battle and Bennett Rink, government director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Basis. Harper has choreographed works for each of the Ailey skilled firms and Dance Theatre of Harlem, Hubbard Road 2 and La Bale Da Cidade, amongst others, in addition to works commissioned by The Metropolitan Museum of Artwork, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and her personal The Francesca Harper Undertaking; has been a principal dancer with Ballett Frankfurt and a featured performer in Broadway exhibits; has served as a advisor for main movie and stage productions; and has in depth instructing expertise, with posts at Juilliard, New York College, Barnard and The Ailey College’s joint BFA program with Fordham College. She is the daughter of the late Denise Jefferson, who directed The Ailey College from 1984 to 2010.

Battle stated, “We’re thrilled, and deeply proud, to be appointing the multi-talented Francesca Harper to guide Ailey II. After coaching at The Ailey College as a younger dancer, she launched into an awfully profitable skilled profession in dance, whereas repeatedly returning to show and choreograph. She knew Mr. Ailey and drew inspiration as a dancer from Ms. Jamison. She is charismatic, caring and completely good. Her imaginative and prescient for Ailey II won’t solely deliver contemporary views to Mr. Ailey’s legacy but in addition deliver new voices to the stage and propel the Firm ahead. She is the right selection to guide Ailey II.”

Rink stated, “Ailey II is in regards to the subsequent technology of dancers, and all through this search course of, it turned obvious to us that the Firm’s future can be brightest with Francesca Harper’s extraordinary expertise and flexibility. She is a sought-after chief within the discipline, and we couldn’t be extra happy that she has chosen to commit herself to Ailey II.”

Harper stated, “My mom, Denise Jefferson, was all the time my inspiration and mentor for instructing and giving again to the group. By means of her work at The Ailey College, she modified the panorama for younger aspiring dance artists, together with me, and was an unfailing instance of braveness and compassion. I really feel I grew up at The Ailey College, and now, having carried out and choreographed all over the world, it’s profoundly shifting to me to return residence, accepting the nice privilege of main Ailey II.”

As Ailey II’s Inventive Director, Harper will curate and oversee all facets of the Firm’s creative and academic initiatives whereas honoring the traditions, legacy and inventive spirit of Ailey. As an skilled performer and a mentor who has taught and choreographed over the previous three a long time at The Ailey College, the place she was herself a pupil, she has the perfect outlook to guide younger dancers throughout Ailey II’s bridge from the classroom to the stage, sharing the broad spectrum of what it means to be an expert. Reporting to Ailey’s Inventive Director and Govt Director, she’s going to collaborate with artists and directors throughout the group.

Harper and the Ailey group are proud to call Lakey Evans-Peña as rehearsal director of the Firm. A former member of Ailey II herself, Evans-Peña has been serving as a instructor and advisor for The Ailey College and can proceed in that position whereas taking on her new duties with Ailey II.

Famend for merging the spirit and power of the nation’s greatest younger dance expertise with the eagerness and inventive imaginative and prescient of right this moment’s most excellent rising choreographers, Ailey II was based in 1974 because the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble. Since then, Ailey II has flourished into one of the crucial well-liked fashionable dance firms, combining a rigorous touring schedule with in depth group outreach packages.


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