4/7/24 O&A NYC DANCE: I Am Julie Caprio, Always and Forever a Harkness Dancer.

By Julie Caprio

Inspired by An American Ballet Story
It is truly amazing to me how Harkness continues to be a huge part of my life. After the NYC screening of An American Ballet Story, a documentary by Leslie Streit and Robin McCain about the Harkness years, my Facebook friend Keith Lee and I began this project. Keith, an extraordinary artist who has had a beautiful career including being a soloist with American Ballet Theatre was also a Harkness Trainee.

Keith and I were there at different times. We knew of each other but never had the opportunity to work together. Last Spring 2023 we began our collaboration. Keith so graciously wanted to create a ballet based on my early career with Harkness. We began speaking every week.

Julie Caprio

I was one of the last trainees that Rebekah Harkness chose. My parents were so grateful because they had worked so hard to send me to the best schools we could find. My mother worked sometimes through the night in her parent’s dry cleaning plant and my father had several jobs including gigs as a jazz musician on weekends.

Rebekah Harkness opened up a new world to me, it was a dream. This marble mansion on 4 East 75th Street became my home. Being surrounded by renowned artists daily impacted my life like no other.

Last February 2024 my parents and I visited Charlottesville Ballet in Virginia to see the premiere of Signature Storylines (from an urban mind) a ballet by Keith Lee, depicting my early career. I cried through most of it because it really touched my soul. The dancers of the Charlottesville Ballet were technically and artistically beautiful.

It’s amazing how Harkness keeps coming back into my life and continues to inspire and guide me in ways I could have never imagined. I am Julie Caprio, always and forever a Harkness dancer.

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