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Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary Program Launches Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration, Set for Fashion Week 2013

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World-renowned ballet educational institution, The Joffrey Ballet School, is excited to have their Jazz and Contemporary program participate in a cross-disciplinary initiative collaborating with Parsons School of Design, Louis Vuitton, the New School's Jazz and Contemporary Music Department, and famed New York choreographers Francesca Harper, Ginger Thatcher, Angelica Stiskin, Ephrat "Bounce" Asherie, Tiffany Rea-Fisher and Joyce King.

Five teams consisting of artists from each discipline will be tasked to develop a live performance consisting of original music score, choreography and conceptual wearables constructed from donated Louis Vuitton items working with the theme of Reconstruction. Each of the teams and will have their own choreographer, Parsons design students, composer and musicians, who will be deconstructing, then reconstructing famed Louis Vuitton designs that the dancers will wear. Joffrey faculty will provide mentorship and support to the choreographers during the process.

In celebration of this rich collaboration, the dancers will unveil their live public performance during Fashion Week in February 2013. The teams will be evaluated by a cross-disciplinary panel of professionals providing critical feedback. They will select the deserving team that will be honored with award items from Louis Vuitton and a trip to Paris, France.

The Joffrey Ballet School fuses multiple styles of balletic training to create a curriculum that is uniquely Joffrey. In more than fifty years, the Joffrey Ballet School has remained on the forefront of American dance education. Graduates of the school have gone on to dance for major classical ballet companies, as well as for numerous contemporary companies, both in the United States and abroad. The Joffrey Ballet School is the only ballet school in New York City that offers a well-rounded dance curriculum that includes serious training in both classical ballet (technique, pointe, variations, adagio, men's classes) and contemporary ballet (technique, improvisation, partnering), as well as modern, character, choreography, dance history, music, pilates and yoga. To learn more visit www.joffreyballetschool.com.

Choreographer Bios

Francesca Harper, a statuesque beauty who is a dancer-actor-singer- recording artist-choreographer-director has graced the stage appearing with Dance Theater of Harlem, Frankfurt Ballet, as well as Fosse, The Producers and The Frogs. Ms. Harper approaches ballet technique with keen sensibility to the magic of performance beyond technical steps. After performing with the Dance Theater of Harlem, she danced as a principal in William Forsythe's Ballet Frankfurt from 1994-1999. Since returning to the States in 2000, Harper has performed in several Broadway productions including Fosse, The Producers, The Frogs, and The Color Purple. She played the role of Helene opposite Molly Ringwald in a national tour of Sweet Charity, and the role of Judith originated by Judith Jamison in a revival of Sophisticated Ladies. Harper's choreographic career began while still in Germany, where she choreographed a full evening work for the Holland Dance Festival. She has since choreographed works for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Tanz Graz, and her own company The Francesca Harper Project, which has become the platform for her own artistic vision: classical dance forms deconstructed and fused with cutting-edge text, music, film and video. She premiered her critically-acclaimed one-woman show The Fragile Stone Theory at the 2002 Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. Francesca's latest commissioned work, Documotion: ONE - Rave, was requested to be performed at the 50th Anniversary of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center at World Famous Apollo Theater by Judith Jamison. The Francesca Harper Project season highlights include performances at Harlem Stage, Bloomberg Culture Series, Central Park Summerstage and Venice Biennale.

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