A question of taste: Andrea Williams

Andrea Williams is a Cork-based dancer and choreographer originally hailing from Cape Verde.

A question of taste: Andrea Williams

By Des O’Driscoll

Andrea Williams is a Cork-based dancer and choreographer originally hailing from Cape Verde.

Williams specialises in choreography for dancehall, afrobeats, Afro-Brazilian and Kuduro music.

Her dance crew, Hot Sauce, will perform with Stevie G at the Trenchtown stage at Electric Picnic on Sunday.

Best recent book you’ve read: My all time favourite is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. And I recently read Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.

Best recent film: The Greatest Showman, amazing line-up of actors and one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in a while.

Best recent gig you’ve seen: At the Indiependance Festival I saw upcoming Irish duo Xo Mo. They were on a small stage, no big production, but the way the singer put his heart on every word was just mesmerising, I had goosebumps the entire time. One of most beautiful voices I had the pleasure to listen to.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old): Bishop Briggs Church of Scars album and Janelle Monàe’s Dirty Computer.

First ever piece of music or art or film that really moved you: I’ll pick a movie that makes makes emotional all the time. It’s called Pay it Forward, directed by Mimi Leder and staring young Haley Joel Osment, Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. The main character played by Haley creates this altruism domino effect called Pay it Forward favours. It’s simply beautiful.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen: Cirque do Soleil in Milan, everything was just perfect.

Tell us about your TV viewing: I don’t watch TV that much, I would occasional watch a football match with my husband, or the news.

You’re curating your dream festival — which three artists are on the bill, living or dead?

Most difficult question ever, but my top three would be Sade, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley.

The place most of us would see your style of dance is in music videos. Give us three you rate in terms of choreography: ‘Run the World (Girls)’ by Beyoncé. I loved the way they incorporated traditional Ethiopian dance on the choreography.

‘Like Glue’ by Sean Paul — dance scenes on the basement are fireeeee!

And I could not leave out my all-time favourite dancer Michael Jackson with his ‘Blood On The Dancefloor’ dancing with the woman in red, just amazing.

Your best celebrity encounter: At Lisbon Airport, I saw my favourite writer Paulo Coelho, my reaction was just staring at him until he left, I couldn’t believe it was him.

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event?

I would definitely go to the Motown era, I think it was the most influential era in music history, especially at a time of so much social oppression. What they did will forever echo on people’s lives. You can never forget people like Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, the Jackson 5 and the birth of the legend that Michael Jackson became.

Do you have any interesting ancestors or family?

No one famous per se but my grandmother had to be the strongest person I’ve ever met, she raised me with an iron fist as she wanted me to be strong and independent. Living with her was like living with a general in an army camp.

Unsung hero — individual or group you think don’t get the praise they deserve: He is one of my best friends and a reference to the Irish cultural scene as he does so much for the community. Most of the time people don’t realise how much he gives of himself, simply for the love of music and arts in general. That would be Stevie G [Cork-based DJ and broadcaster].

You are queen for a day — what’s your first decree?

I would make it official to have a day that you could just dance your heart out without any constraints, fear, shame. Just pure enjoyment of the soul and body anytime, anywhere.

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