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Francesca Harper

Francesca Harper

Artistic Consultant

Francesca is an artistic consultant for ATNYC. She is an internationally acclaimed multi-faceted artist. After being named Presidential Scholar in the Arts and performing at the White House, Francesca joined the Dance Theater of Harlem’s Junior Company that same summer and then joined the main Company the following year. Francesca performed soloist roles with DTH, such as the Hostess in Bronislova Nijinska’s Les Biches and a soloist in Swan Lake. After Dance Theater of Harlem, she fell in love with the choreography of William Forsythe. She joined his company Ballet Frankfurt, immediately performed leading roles and was promoted to Principal soon after. While a member of Ballet Frankfurt, Francesca was chosen to perform with designers Issey Miyake, and Gianni Versace, as well as perform in a film, Dancing Pleats, a 30- year retrospective of Issey Myake’s design work in Japan. She performed Miyake’s and Versace’s fashion shows in Paris and Milan as well. She was also spotted singing on the Frankfurt stage and subsequently invited to record her first single, “Slow Groove,” which was produced on a compilation album and distributed in the U.K. and throughout Europe. She selfproduced her own album, Modo Fusion, currently available on iTunes. While still member of Ballet Frankfurt, she first tested the waters choreographically by creating her first full evening of work, Dark Violet Light Stone, commissioned by The Holland Dance Festival. Her artistic hunger led her back to New York City for Broadway productions including Fosse, The Producers, All Shook Up, The Frogs, and the Tony nominated treasure The Color Purple. As a member of The Color Purple, she understudied the roles of Shug Avery and Squeak, and she booked her first Principal Broadway Roles as Helene in Sweet Charity and as Judith in Sophisticated Ladies. She also created her first play that appeared at the Cherry Lane Theater in New York, 50 minutes with Harriet and Phillis, produced by Anna Deavere Smith. She created in with her aunt, Pulitzer Prize Winning writer Margo Jefferson and Paul Miller a.k.a DJ Spooky. Most recently she was invited to develop a new character for Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, where she acts and sings at The McKittrick Hotel. Francesca was also newly appointed Artistic Director of the Movement Invention Project® (MIP®) of NYC, where she continues to encourage young artists to explore beyond their extremities and enhance their creativity. Harper has choreographed works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Tanz Graz, Hubbard Street II, Dallas Black Dance Theater, and her own company, The Francesca Harper Project, which was founded in 2005. Her TV appearances include Boardwalk Empire, David Letterman, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Harper also served as ballet consultant for the feature film, Black Swan, by Darren Aronofsky, and starring Natalie Portman. Her Grants include a Fellowship at The Ballet Center for the Arts in 2017, a Capacity Building Grant from Pentacle Arts in 2017 and 2018, and a Grant from Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Center founded by the Mellon Foundation and the Jerome Foundation in 2017 and 2018. Francesca Harper is committed to works rooted artistic expression, empowerment, and social awareness. She is grateful for the daily opportunity to do what she loves and is passionate about inspiring others to live their dreams.