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Choreographer Ryan Francois Set for Jazz at Lincoln Center Gala and FRANKIE 100 at the Apollo, 5/1 & 5/23

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Choreographer Ryan Francois Set for Jazz at Lincoln Center Gala and FRANKIE 100 at the Apollo, 5/1 & 5/23

London-based choreographer and dancer Ryan Francois will appear at two New York City events celebrating the history of swing music and dancing -- and will inspire young people in Harlem to reclaim their swing dance heritage.

Ryan Francois is widely regarded as one of the world's best dancers of Lindy Hop -- the social dance from the Swing era that is currently enjoying a huge renaissance in London and across the UK. Millions will be familiar with his choreography for Strictly Come Dancing, the UK's most popular TV show. His work on Strictly includes Denise Van Outen's Egyptian themed Charleston number, and the even more famous Charleston routine that earned Chris Hollins and Ola Jordan four 10s in the final, winning the show.

In London, Ryan teaches regularly at Studio 45 in Kentish Town on Tuesday nights, a class that is packed with Lindy Hop dancers and teachers and professionals from across London and the home counties.

1 May 2014: Ryan Francois joins Wynston Marsalis and Billy Crystal for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Annual Gala - "Love, Loss and Laughter: The Story of jazz" on 1 May 2014 at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, New York City.
Ryan will join legendary band leader Wynston Marsalis and host Billy Crystal for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Annual Gala - "Love, Loss and Laughter: The Story of Jazz." Ryan Francois, two-time winner of the U.S. Open and American Swing Dance Championships, will choreograph dances to Paul Whiteman's "Charleston," and Count Basie's "Jumpin' At The Woodside."

The gala concert, directed by Marc Bruni ("Beautiful, The Carole King Story" and "Anything Goes"), will explore the story of Jazz through song, dance, and monologue. The critically-acclaimed Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will be joined by Jonathan Batiste, Bill Cosby, Aaron Diehl, Jon Faddis, Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band, Dominick Farinacci, Taj Mahal, Pedrito Martinez, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Mark O'Connor, Dianne Reeves, Marcus Roberts, and Cécile McLorin Salvant.

This array of talent will perform some of the most meaningful compositions in Jazz, including the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Harold Arlen, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, and others; and will highlight the blues, Parisian clubs, Broadway, Latin, and modern jazz.

23 May 2014: Ryan Francois will be appearing in the Launch Show for Frankie 100, the biggest celebration of Lindy Hop dancing that the world has ever seen. Frankie 100 is a five-day celebration of dancing that will take place in New York City from 22-26 May 2014. 2000 dancers - including professionals and social dancers - from around the world will be attending.

26 May is World Lindy Hop Day, and it is also the birthday of influential swing dancer Frankie Manning. Frankie Manning was a celebrated dancer in the 1930s and 40s with Whitey's Lindyhoppers. With the revival of swing dancing in the late 1980s he returned to teaching and choreography and his credits include Malcolm X. Since the 1980s, Frankie's birthday has inspired special events across the globe in celebration of the man, the music, and the dance.

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