This is part of Afridiziak Theatre News’ series of interviews with Artistic Directors.
12 exceptional young dancers in works by William Forsythe, Alvin Ailey, Robert Battle and the company’s new artistic director Francesca Harper
The company’s new artistic director Francesca Harper has put together an exhilarating repertoire featuring four works: excerpts from her own Freedom Series and William Forsythe’s Enemy in the Figure along with The Hunt, choreographed by Robert Battle, artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Revelations¸ Alvin Ailey’s 1960 masterwork and a signature piece of all the Ailey companies.
Francesca Harper created her futuristic work Freedom Series on the company in 2021. Inspired by her Ailey homecoming, she has created a landscape of memories, a hybrid world where the past strives to influence the future. Developed in collaboration with the Ailey 2 dancers, Harper’s work examines identity and community. This excerpt is danced to a montage of acoustic and electronic sounds. Freedom Series’ unexpected twists and turns bring tender moments to its intrinsic ferocity.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey 2 have built powerful legacies which have impacted generations. New Ailey 2 artistic director Francesca Harper embodies this heritage. She took her first dance steps at The Ailey School, the official school of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where her mother Denise Jefferson was director from 1984-2010. Harper aims to bring fresh perspectives to Ailey’s legacy while nurturing new creative voices and propelling the company forward.