Improvisations on a Pose An evening of solo works featuring FHP Rehearsal Director Eriko Iisaku. Three sculptures by National Arts Club awardee Marc Mellon come to life through balletic interpretation, in Improvisations on a Pose. Created in 2013 and premiered with the Attacca Quartet, Francesca Harper illustrates the latent energy and inspiration of Mellon’s bronze figures thru classical and modern ballet. Performed to concerti by Beethoven, Haydn and Ravel, soloists dance amidst the musicians and sculpture, exploring physical and spatial boundaries. Improvisations on a Pose is a breath-taking infusion of ballet and visual art that challenges the way we experience form and imagination. Choreography: Francesca Harper Music:: Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, Joseph-Maurice Ravel. In a university setting, may use student instrumentalists. Original Sculptures by: Marc Mellon Run time: 30 minutes, 3 dancers Photo: Francesca Harper

Improvisations on a Pose

An evening of solo works featuring FHP Rehearsal Director Eriko Iisaku.

Three sculptures by National Arts Club awardee Marc Mellon come to life through balletic interpretation, in Improvisations on a Pose. Created in 2013 and premiered with the Attacca Quartet, Francesca Harper illustrates the latent energy and inspiration of Mellon’s bronze figures thru classical and modern ballet. Performed to concerti by Beethoven, Haydn and Ravel, soloists dance amidst the musicians and sculpture, exploring physical and spatial boundaries. Improvisations on a Pose is a breath-taking infusion of ballet and visual art that challenges the way we experience form and imagination.
Choreography: Francesca Harper
Music:: Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, Joseph-Maurice Ravel. In a university setting, may use student instrumentalists.
Original Sculptures by: Marc Mellon
Run time: 30 minutes, 3 dancers
Photo: Francesca Harper

Love Protagonists Love Protagonists is an interactive work that breaks the fourth wall and invites the audience to participate in, and even shape, the piece before them. As the audience member is invited into the artistic dialogue, Love Protagonists provides the opportunity to explore our differences and the experiences that can transcend such divisions. The foundation of the piece is rooted in creating a safe space for both artist and audience to engage in authentic and honest dialogue on race, gender, and empathy through movement and text. Beginning with a short film in which the dancers share their thoughts on gender, race, their personal narratives, and love, they then launch out into the space and into their auto-dramas - works that chronicle their lives. The audience then moves into the space and the personal narratives to see the work up close, and even to inhabit the choreography. The audience is sometimes escorted through choreographic landscapes based on race and gender; sometimes they are escorted out to watch from a distance and then escorted back in again. As the piece finishes with a dialogue on Love, the audience and the dancers share an intimate and profound connection as the work concludes. "Walking into the space with the dancers made me feel connected …not only on an artistic level, but more deeply on a human level. I was able to be a part of their story, and they were able to be a part of mine." - Sarah Katz, Student / New York City Choreography: Francesca Harper Run time: 50 minutes, 8

Love Protagonists

Love Protagonists is an interactive work that breaks the fourth wall and invites the audience to participate in, and even shape, the piece before them. As the audience member is invited into the artistic dialogue, Love Protagonists provides the opportunity to explore our differences and the experiences that can transcend such divisions. The foundation of the piece is rooted in creating a safe space for both artist and audience to engage in authentic and honest dialogue on race, gender, and empathy through movement and text.
Beginning with a short film in which the dancers share their thoughts on gender, race, their personal narratives, and love, they then launch out into the space and into their auto-dramas - works that chronicle their lives. The audience then moves into the space and the personal narratives to see the work up close, and even to inhabit the choreography. The audience is sometimes escorted through choreographic landscapes based on race and gender; sometimes they are escorted out to watch from a distance and then escorted back in again. As the piece finishes with a dialogue on Love, the audience and the dancers share an intimate and profound connection as the work concludes.
"Walking into the space with the dancers made me feel connected …not only on an artistic level, but more deeply on a human level. I was able to be a part of their story, and they were able to be a part of mine." - Sarah Katz, Student / New York City
Choreography: Francesca Harper
Run time: 50 minutes, 8

 
The Look of Feeling Inspired to raise awareness for women's health and empowerment, in The Look of Feeling Francesca Harper examines the life of her mother Denise Jefferson, who fearlessly directed The Alvin Ailey School for over 25 years. Jefferson nurtured the institution and its artists to international acclaim. From Monticello to Manhattan, Harper recreates her mother's miraculous journey through choreography, song, and visual projection. The Look of Feeling celebrates Jefferson, a pioneer of American dance who courageously fulfilled her dreams, and illuminates Harper, a bold choreographer in discovery of her own legacy. Run time: 90 Minutes, Solo Work Music: Piano, Violin, Cello or recorded music. In a university setting, may use student instrumentalists. Photo: Milan Goldbach

The Look of Feeling

Inspired to raise awareness for women's health and empowerment, in The Look of Feeling Francesca Harper examines the life of her mother Denise Jefferson, who fearlessly directed The Alvin Ailey School for over 25 years. Jefferson nurtured the institution and its artists to international acclaim. From Monticello to Manhattan, Harper recreates her mother's miraculous journey through choreography, song, and visual projection. The Look of Feeling celebrates Jefferson, a pioneer of American dance who courageously fulfilled her dreams, and illuminates Harper, a bold choreographer in discovery of her own legacy.
Run time: 90 Minutes, Solo Work
Music: Piano, Violin, Cello or recorded music. In a university setting, may use student instrumentalists.
Photo: Milan Goldbach

“Mystory: An Unapologetic Body” In development by Francesca as her response to (y)ourstory. "I started working on the stories of the dancers in (y)ourstory, I realized they were giving me their lives and they had to be managed with real care." (FHP interview with Zita Allen.)  From this came the realization that her own story needed to be told, to enrich her life, her work, and to understand the roots of her identity. Growing up in the Ailey school, being counseled by Alvin Ailey himself, influenced by her mother Denise Jefferson, being a Principal in Ballet Frankfurt, performing on Broadway, forming her own dance company, receiving choreographic commissions and performing around the world, a life whose professional experience has been that of an African American woman in the predominantly white world of ballet and Broadway, all these influences come together in the creation of Mystory. Mystory will live along side solo works from her fellow FHP members, celebrating the power in diversity that lives in our global community and the lives of those in our own community.    

“Mystory: An Unapologetic Body”

In development by Francesca as her response to (y)ourstory. "I started working on the stories of the dancers in (y)ourstory, I realized they were giving me their lives and they had to be managed with real care." (FHP interview with Zita Allen.)  From this came the realization that her own story needed to be told, to enrich her life, her work, and to understand the roots of her identity.

Growing up in the Ailey school, being counseled by Alvin Ailey himself, influenced by her mother Denise Jefferson, being a Principal in Ballet Frankfurt, performing on Broadway, forming her own dance company, receiving choreographic commissions and performing around the world, a life whose professional experience has been that of an African American woman in the predominantly white world of ballet and Broadway, all these influences come together in the creation of Mystory.

Mystory will live along side solo works from her fellow FHP members, celebrating the power in diversity that lives in our global community and the lives of those in our own community.    

(y)ourstory

(y)ourstory is immersive work: it immerses the performers, the audience, and the lives of the community.

(y)ourstory was conceived as a response to, and in support of, the spontaneous outpouring of community activism in Union Square New York after Inauguration Day 2017. 

As the community ralllied and placed their personal affirmations on post-it notes in the Square, so too does the (y)ourstory audience as they enter the theater. Their stories are combined with the performer's stories creating 'your' and 'our' story, hence (y)ourstory. It provides the opportunity to explore our differences and the experiences that transcend them. The artists' ability to connect to their own story, one another and the audience in the midst of an interactive performance make this work authentic, honest, and exciting for all involved.

In development, (y)ourstory will be available for touring during 2018.