Person

Sylvia Waters

White round pin with red text stating, "Willi Smith Day, Tues. Feb. 23, '88"

In 1976, as artistic director of the second company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, now known as Ailey II, I invited Willi to design the costumes for Dianne McIntyre’s ballet Deep South Suite, which has music by Duke Ellington.

I was praying that he had time in his very busy schedule and would say yes. He enthusiastically accepted. Dianne was honored, the dancers were excited, and needless to say I was pleased beyond belief. Willi developed such an appreciation and respect for the dancers’ passion and zeal that on more than one occasion, he came to see them dance. Just a couple of weeks before he passed, he called me to invite the dancers to his showroom to select an outfit, and he was adamant about it. That was our last conversation.

White round pin with red text stating, "Willi Smith Day, Tues. Feb. 23, '88"

Willi Smith Day Pin, 1988