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Annual Ailey/Fordham Benefit Brings Grace and Elegance to Lincoln Center


Between the signature choreography of Alvin Ailey himself and a student-inspired experimental work, the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program dancers held their audience rapt on March 6 at their annual benefit performance for the Denise Jefferson Memorial Scholarship fund. For nearly 90 minutes, the students honored the modern dance tradition through numbers drawing from ballet to modern jazz to hip-hop, their movements deftly articulated and dramatically expressive, their costumes alternately sleek, flowing, and funky.

It is no wonder that Fordham’s President Joseph M. McShane, S.J., has described the dancers as “highly employable” – recently 81 percent of the graduating class got professional contracts.

More than 100 student-dancers are enrolled in the program, which allows students to earn a liberal arts undergraduate degree while also earning a BFA degree through study with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Ailey Fordham BFA Students in Alvin Ailey’s Isba. Photo by Madeline Campisano

Ailey Fordham BFA students in Jessica Lang’s La Belle Danse. Photo by Madeline Capisano

Ailey Fordham BFA students in Taryn Kaschock Russell’s Pulse suspended Photo by Madeline Campisano

Ailey Fordham BFA Student Gage Self in Choice Culled. Photo by Madeline Campisano

Ailey Fordham BFA Student in Alvin Ailey’s Hidden Rites Photo by Madeline Campisano


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