Sylvia Waters

Biography

Sylvia Waters was personally selected by Alvin Ailey in 1974 as Artistic Director of Ailey II and led the company for 38 years.  A graduate of The Juilliard School, Ms. Waters earned a B.S. in Dance prior to moving to Paris, where she appeared regularly on television.  She has also performed in Brussels and at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City.  In 1968, Ms. Waters joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and toured with the Company until assuming leadership of Ailey II.  In 1997, she received an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York at Oswego, and she has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts.  Ms. Waters is a recipient of the Legacy Award as part of the 20th Annual IABD Festival, Syracuse University’s Women of Distinction Award, a Dance Magazine Award, and a “Bessie” Award.  Currently, Ms. Waters leads The Ailey Legacy Residency, a lecture, technique and repertory program for college-level students that looks definitively into the history and creative heritage of Alvin Ailey.
 

News & Press

At the opening night of Ailey II's New York season in April, the last under Sylvia Waters' direction, the house was full of tears, cheers, and - before any dancing had even occured - a standing ovation.
Sylvia Waters, the former dancer who has led the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's second company, Ailey II, for nearly 40 years, will step down as artistic director in June 2012, the company will announce Thursday.
another changing of the guard is taking place at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Sylvia Waters, the longtime artistic director of Ailey II, will retire on June 30, the company plans to announce Thursday.
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