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An Interview with Francesca Harper, Dancer and Choreographer

by Robert Abrams
October 21, 2007
New York, NY
Robert Abrams: When did you start dancing?
Francesca Harper: When I was 2.

RA: Who has inspired you as a dancer?
FH: Denise Jefferson, Judith Jamison, Donna Wood, Merrill Ashley, Suzanne Farrell, Maria Calagari, Coleen Neary.

RA: Pick one of the people who have inspired you as a dancer and elaborate on why and how they have inspired you.
FH: William Forsythe has inspired me as an artist because he forced me to think beyond my limitations and embrace all that I wasn't familiar with as an artist and a person. He is the person who developed my talent for improvisation which changed my perspective on life.

RA: What styles of dance are you drawn to and why?
FH: Ballet. My mother was discouraged at a very early age, she was told it would be easier to pursue Modern dance because she was African American.

RA: What projects or shows are you involved in at present?
FH: I am in the Color Purple, and getting ready to bring my company to the Holland Dance Festival in November.

RA: How can we get more people interested in supporting dance?
FH: Keep striving to make dance more accessible. Honestly, I am happy that the show "So you think you can Dance," has introduced Contemporary dance to mainstream audiences. Dance can be exclusive at times. We need to share dance stemming from an artistic voice to the world.

RA: What do you plan on doing when or if you stop dancing? (i.e. the "Chorus Line" question)
FH: I want to go into Acting, Film Editing, and running my own company..

RA: What is one of your favorite charities and why?
FH: Career Transition for Dancers. Career Transition for Dancers have given me grant money and counseling that has been invaluable to my life. They have also helped many other dancers transitioning into new careers and in times of need.

RA: If you were asked to put together your perfect program for an evening of dance, what dances and dance companies would be on the program?
FH: The Forsythe Company, The Francesca Harper Project, Ron Brown's Evidence, Complexionsdance, Chunky Move, New York City Ballet.

RA: Which specific dance works would you pick for your perfect program. How do those works fit together?
I would choose, Glow from Chunky Move, Limbs Theorem from William Forsythe and Errand into the Maze by Martha Graham. It would be the perfect blend of technology, ferocity of spirit and the movement of Contemporary ballet which I love with a passion.

RA: What would be one of your dream projects as a dancer or choreographer?
FH: The one I am creating right now for the Holland Dance Festival with a larger budget.

For more information about Francesca Harper, check out her website : www.francescaharper.com and her MySpace Page: www.Myspace.com/harperlounge.
There will be a Studio Showing and Fall Fundraiser on Oct. 29th at 8pm at The
Ailey Citigroup Theater at the Joan Weill center for Dance.
Francesca will be performing at the Korzo Theater in Den Haag Nov. 9th and 10th.
There will be a performance at Makor on Jan. 22nd - 7:30pm.
Go see The Color Purple at the Broadway Theater in NYC.
The Francesca Harper Project

The Francesca Harper Project

Photo © & courtesy of George Larkin


Francesca Harper

Francesca Harper

Photo © & courtesy of Leslie Hassler


Francesca Harper

Francesca Harper

Photo © & courtesy of Richard Ruiz


Francesca Harper

Francesca Harper

Photo © & courtesy of Richard Ruiz

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