Magazine article Dance Magazine

Passing the Torch

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Passing the Torch

Article excerpt

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.

To many dance artists, just saying the name Sylvia Waters means love in a big way. Both Alvin Ailey and Judith Jamison sought her out as a confidante, and like them, she has had a significant impact on countless dancers. On July 1, Troy Powell, mentored by Waters for 20-plus years, will succeed her as artistic director of Ailey II. Imprinted into her 38-year tenure is her nurturing, encouraging way of molding young dancers into well-rounded artists.

A New Yorker, Waters began studying modern dance in junior high, trained at the New Dance Group, and graduated from Juilliard. She danced with Donald McKayle's company, on a European tour of Langston Hughes' Black Nativity, and in Maurice Bejart's company Ballet of the 20th Century. …

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