Master Class with Francesca Harper


Tuesday, October 24, 2017, 7:30pm to 9:30pm


Harvard Dance Center, 66 Garden St., Cambridge, MA

Presented ByHarvard Dance Center Master Class Series  

Creative Thinking & Performance Technique with Francesca Harper
Francesca Harper
Internationally acclaimed performer and choreographer Francesca Harper, artistic director of the Francesca Harper Project, will lead a master class workshop on developing movement improvisation skills. Harper has conducted improvisation workshops internationally and focuses on heightening the dialogue between structure and freedom.

Harper was a Principal Dancer with the Frankfurt Ballet under the direction of William Forsythe for almost a decade and found Forsythe technologies opened her mind and ultimately changed the trajectory of her artistic experience. In this class she will introduce Forsythe improvisation technologies and lead into a structured improvisation, afterwhich, the students will work on creating constructions and exercises in collaboration with Harper and receive artistic feedback on their performance qualities, and artistic choices.

This master class is designed to help the artist develop confidence and intellectual skills in making choices in the moment, leaving the student with a sense of artistic ownership and a deeper understanding of themselves as a performer and a human being.

This is an intermediate level class for dancers age 18 and over. 

Participation is free, but due to limited class capacity, online registration is required for both participants and observers. First-come, first-served, with priority given to Harvard University Undergraduate Students. 

Eventbrite - Francesca Harper Master Class

About Francesca Harper

Francesca Harper danced with Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) and as Principal Dancer in Ballett Frankfurt.  She was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and has performed at the White House.  Her broadway credits include: Fosse, The Producers, All Shook Up, The Frogs, The Color Purple and leading roles in Sweet Charity and Sophisticated Ladies. Harper was a ballet consultant for Black Swan, and has appeared on Boardwalk Empire, David Letterman, and Oprah Winfrey, and can currently be seen featured in Punchdrunk's Sleep No More in New York City as an actor and singer. She also appeared in the title role of Amanda in the CA Lyons Project at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta.  She has performed in several original productions of Anna Deavere Smith's and had an original work produced by Anna Deavere Smith at Harvard University, 50 Minutes with Harriet and Phillis, a collaboration with Pulitzer Prize winning writer Margo Jefferson, and DJ Spooky.  Harper has choreographed on Ailey, Ailey II, Hubbard St II, and The Dance Theatre of Harlem, Bale da Cidade in São Paulo, Brazil, and many other companies.  Harper's writing has been featured in the New York Times, and most recently she was a contributing writer for the book, A Life in Dance.

Harper's latest piece, System, created for DTH, hailed '...revolutionary,' by the Chicago Tribune, had its New York debut on April 21st, 2017 at New York's City Center. In 2017, she was appointed as a Resident Fellow at NYU’s Ballet Center, has received a Choreographic Fellowship from Urban Bush Women supported by the Mellon Foundation, and recently presented her latest full evening creation, '(y)ourstory' at MaSS MoCA in response to Nick Cave's installation UNTIL. with her Company The Francesca Harper Project. 

The Francesca Harper Project, founded in 2005, tours internationally and has performed at The Holland Dance Festival, Venice Biennale, The Joyce Theater, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and many other venues.  She is currently a Professor at New York University, was an Associate Professor at Barnard College, and has been an Artist-in-Residence at both Princeton and Harvard University. Harper has received a Living History Award for Black History Month and the Louis Vuitton Innovation and Technology Award for her choreography for Fashion Week.  She was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnae Award from The Nightingale Bamford School in 2017.

Harper has received awards for her original short dance film Swan Lake...Another Point of View, which won best film at the International Black Film Festival in Berlin, and for her film M(y)ourstory, which had its world premiere at The Triskelion Dance Film Festival in September 2017.  Visit for more on Francesca Harper. 

Accessibility: Persons of all abilities are encouraged to participate in all Harvard Dance Center programs. The Harvard Dance Center is wheelchair accessible. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact 617-495-8683 in advance of your participation or visit. 

Photo: Sofie Rose Seymour '16 and Francesca Harper at Harvard Dance Center. Credit: Devin Dobbins.