By Niki Lanter
Jackson debuts excerpts from her original ballet, Vanity Lane, at Harvard's ARTS FIRST Festival this month
On April 29th, Harvard Extension School student La'Toya Princess Jackson will take center stage at ARTS FIRST Festival for DanceFest to debut excerpts from Vanity Lane, an original ballet created and written by Jackson. Harvard's annual ARTS FIRST festival is a showcase of student and faculty creativity produced by the Office for the Arts.
Songwriter, dancer, and performing artist La'Toya Princess Jackson will present excerpts from the original libretto, Vanity Lane, with original choreography and music. In collaboration with Boston musicians Jared Hettrick and Gordon Williams, Vanity Lane includes original music inspired by ElectrKPrincess' "Vanity Lane" recording written and recorded by Jackson. Atlanta producer Gerald Coby provides additional music production along with EDM DJ and Houston producer Kool Kat. Teaming up with Boston choreographer Erin McNulty and emerging Harvard College choreographer Margaret Canady, Jackson will debut original choreography to present excerpts of the ballet.
Vanity Lane is a study in opposites: cutting edge electronic music with retro 80s influence, classical ballet blended with contemporary choreography, and a study of modern media images told in a timeless fairy tale format. The result is a stunning visual and auditory production that follows ElectrKPrincess on a journey of self-awareness and acceptance. The morality tale urges young people to look behind the mask of superficial beauty to find the true beauty within. It rejects unhealthy media images and encourages self-awareness, enlightenment, and individuality.
As a graduate student in the ALM, dramatic arts program at the Extension School, Jackson's focus includes an interdisciplinary study of music, dance, and performance. She dances in the Harvard Dance Project in which this semester she is collaborating as an associate member in the choreographic process for the spring show. She will also perform in the Department of Music's final presentation performance during ARTS FIRST festival with Silk Road Ensemble's Shane Shanahan.
Jackson is a member in the Harvard-Radcliffe Modern Dance Company. She works for the Boston Ballet as a teaching artist, and she is a company dancer for the Roxbury Center for Performing Arts. She is also ballet mistress for Stajez Cultural Arts Center, and she developed ballet programming in the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta and Boston. Jackson serves on the executive board of the Harvard Graduate Council as Vice Chair for Communications.
For the complete Harvard ARTS FIRST performances schedule, visit the Office for the Arts at Harvard, or access this online festival guide. For more information about Vanity Lane, visit http://vanitylane.biz. To keep up with La'Toya Princess Jackson's performances, visit this page.