Senior Dancers Shine at Weill Center

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By Jennifer Pelly
Staff Writer
Published: Febrary 14, 2008

On Jan. 30 and 31, seniors of the Ailey/Fordham Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance program performed in the annual Senior Solo Concert at Ailey’s Joan Weill Center for Dance. The intimate theatre and bare stage served as a palette for a series of strikingly innovative and artistic performances.

Throughout each night’s one-hour show, students broke the barriers of traditional dance performance. The showcase was extremely varied, jumping from the experimental to the exotic to the traditional, and from avant-garde interpretative dances to more traditional acts reminiscent of life-size ballerina boxes. Whereas some more monochromatic, modern routines were clearly choreographed to push their limits, others were vintage in their costume and music. The fact that some dancers maximized their use of the stage space while others restrained their area (one even impressively remained seated throughout her performance, seeming to play with the music) was interesting—under both conditions, students were able to express themselves fluidly.

If there’s one thing that brought each routine together, it’s that each dance was narrative, with a distinct message. Some messages were sent directly; for example, interpretive dances set to spoken social commentaries, which compared God to pizza, and questioned viewers about their worlds before cell-phones and iPods: “While you become connected to the world, you become isolated from your neighbor.”

Much credit and praise must be given to seniors Saleem Abdullahi, Alice Chapman, Alexis Convento, Taeler Cyrus, Maresa D’ Amore-Morrison, Ezra Ezzard, Jason Fordham, Anthony Gardea, Josiah Guitian, Sabrina Jaafar, Charity de Loera, Jeremy McQueen, Abigail Ouziel, Jessica Remmes, Carolina Santos Read, Vanessa Salgado and Sadie Wilhelmi for their
exceptional performances.