Francesca Harper’s project, Emergence and Discovery: Digital Dance Portraits, facilitates collaborative construction and the development of 10 short, personal films allowing movement, filmmaking, images, text, music, and discovery in natural and industrial habitat to be accessible and serve as inspiration. As dance artists emerge from isolation and reshape their lives, how do they preserve the moment? This existential question will be translated into art.


All festival events are free and open to the public. Performances will take place on Zoom Webinar; registration required. Separate Zoom registration required for each event in the festival. Live audience Q+A on Zoom follows each performance.


Program content for the show is available digitally. View the Virtual Program for Princeton Dance Festival Reimagined


closed captioningPre-recorded content will be closed captioned and live performances and conversations will be open captioned. Guests needing other access accommodations in order to participate in this event are invited to contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email at least 2 weeks in advance of the event date.



November 23, 2020 at 8:30 PMChoreography by Peter Chu | Register for Chu Event

December 3, 2020 at 8:00 PMLed by Francesca Harper | Register for Harper Event

December 4, 2020 at 8:00 PMLed by Rebecca Lazier + Dean Moss | Register for Lazier + Moss Event

December 5, 2020 at 8:00 PMChoreography by Merce Cunningham staged by Silas Riener + choreography by Olivier Tarpaga | Register for Riener + Tarpaga Event



The Program in Dance presents an exciting and innovative, reimagined virtual edition of the annual Princeton Dance Festival featuring six diverse, professional choreographers who have created new dances with Princeton students despite the restrictions of the COVID pandemic.

Led by Peter Chu, Francesca Harper, Rebecca Lazier, Dean Moss, Silas Riener, and Olivier Tarpaga, students explore the intersections of dance and multimedia performance, digital animation, filmmaking, site based work, and music. Each evening is a completely different and unique experience followed by a question and answer session with the choreographers.



close up of francesca with serious gaze

Photo by Nina Wurtzel

Francesca Harper joined and performed soloist roles with The Dance Theater of Harlem and later as a Principal Artist in William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt. Harper has choreographed for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Richmond Ballet, and her own company, The Francesca Harper Project, which was founded in 2005 and tours Internationally. Harper performed in four Broadway productions including The Color Purple, then toured in leading roles in Sweet Charity, Sophisticated Ladies and Lady Day at Emerson Bar and Grill. She also served as a Ballet Consultant for the Oscar-winning film, Black Swan.

Harper was Movement and Casting Director for the Bessie Award-winning piece “The Let Go” commissioned by the Park Avenue Armory and for Zendaya and Tommy Hilfiger’s Apollo Theater production for Fashion Week in 2019. Harper is currently engaged as Executive Producer with Sony Pictures on a series in development while pursuing an MFA in performance creation at Goddard.


Presented By

  • Program in Dance