Alvin Ailey Dance Legacy Residency is a Revelation for SSU Dance Students

Highlights from the Alvin Ailey Dance Residency at Sonoma State. Produced by SSU Dance Student, Jacob Marks.

The Alvin Ailey Dance Legacy Residency came to SSU this semester to bring the iconic works of the modern dance master to area dancers.

In addition to dance classes, Ailey II Artistic Director Sylvia Waters gave two public lectures exploring the history and legacy of Alvin Ailey, someone Waters knew and worked with, and the modern dance company that developed from and has become known as a national treasure.

She shared her personal experience with Ailey in a way that enlightened the audience to the man behind the dance company.

Waters also taught excerpts from "Revelations," an iconic Alvin Ailey repertory to SSU dance students during the residency. Students, as well as Associate Professor of Dance, Kristen Daley were eager to learn the piece, and listen to Waters' instructions.

In addition, Ana Marie Forsythe, a leading expert on the Horton Dance Technique, taught Horton classes to SSU and invited dance students from Santa Rosa Junior College and the Santa Rosa High School ArtQuest dance program.

The residency brought a direct experience of Ailey to the students, one of America's foremost dance artists whose company is devoted to promoting the uniqueness of the African American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of American modern dance.

Emeritus Dance Professor Nancy Lyons worked diligently to bring the project to the campus with the assistance of Joan Weill, chairman of the Board of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation. Weill, with her husband Sandy, was instrumental in providing funding for the final phase of Weill Hall at the Green Music Center at SSU.

For more information about the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, visit

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