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


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

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.

Most recently, Francesca was appointed as an Adjunct Professor at New York University, a teacher for The Ailey School and the Fordham BFA Program, and a teacher and choreographer Tony Award Director Susan Batson at the Susan Batson Studio. Francesca also enjoyed working as a ballet consultant for the feature film, "BLACK SWAN," by Darren Aronofsky, starring Natalie Portman, who went on to win an Oscar.

Ginger Thatcher has choreographed over 30 works for theater, television, film and concert dance. Most recently, she choreographed the film Far From Heaven, and Maury Yeston's new musical Hans Christian Anderson for Maine State Music Theater.

Other NY credits include: Syncopation at Stamford Theater Works, Big at Gateway Playhouse, Lucky Chance at Jean Cocteau Rep., The Winter's Tale and Othello for the NYC Shakespeare Project, Barrio Babies at Amas Theater Group and As The World Turns. Regional credits include: The Robber Bridegroom at Cleveland Opera, Eugene Onegin and The Bartered Bride at Glimmerglass Opera.

She has created works for: Oregon Ballet Theater, Louisville Ballet, Sarasota Ballet (Triple Circle Choreographer Award), Minnesota Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, and Fugate/Bahiri Ballet NY at The Joyce Theater in NYC. She has self produced her own evening of work at Lincoln Center and was the founding director of the New Steps Choreography Project in Cleveland, OH, for which she received an Achievement in the Arts Nomination.

Broadway credits as Associate Choreographer, Assistant Choreographer and Resident Choreographer include: The Red Shoes, Carousel, Big, Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Oklahoma, A Year with Frog and Toad. Other credits: PBS Dance in America-Othello, American Ballet Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Red Shoes, ABT, National Ballet of Canada, A Brahams Symphony, ABT, and Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame, Berlin, all with Lar Lubovitch.

Angelica Stiskin, a native of northern New Jersey, is widely recognized for her versatility as a performer and teacher. Her experience in the industry encompasses all forms of dance, and her well-rounded knowledge is in high demand. Her knowledge spans both worlds of commercial and concert dance offering a wide array of expertise. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance at Marymount Manhattan College under the direction of Katie Langan, performing works by Shen Wei, Robert Battle and Lar Lubovitch to name a few. Professional stage credits include performing as a guest artist in ASH Contemporary Dance Company, and Adrienne Canterna's American Dance Artists, dancing alongside Travis Wall and Rasta Thomas. Most recently, Angelica performed a self-choreographed solo at Baryshnikov Arts Center's Jerome Robbins Theater as an advocate for solo artistry in concert dance.