Wednesday 17 January 2018

My cultural life: Alan Kenefick

Alan Kenefick
Alan Kenefick
Dali
Kanye West
Michael Jackson

World champion Irish dancer Alan Kenefick is founder, choreographer, and lead dancer with groundbreaking Irish dance troupe ProdiJIG. Since winning Sky's Got To Dance in 2012, his dynamic blend of urban and contemporary style has seen him become one of the most highly respected dancers in the world. Previously a lead dancer with Riverdance, Alan has performed all over the world. Alan lives in Dublin, with girlfriend and ProdiJIG co-star, Nawal ElBadri.

Artist: Salvador Dali

My favourite artwork is The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali. This piece (below) instantly stuck out in my mind, the idea of the clock melting, of time melting away. I'm very aware of the limited time we have on this earth. With my choreography, the show and just with my life, time is fleeting and you have to use the time you have to the best of your ability but then also sometimes you also have to let things play out. It's sometimes a terrifying thought but it's a beautiful image.

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Dali

Director: Quentin Tarantino

I love all of Tarantino's films. There's a lot of blood and guts in his work but I love people who are fearless about their art. Quentin Tarantino has an amazing way of telling a classic story and then using a twist of modern music to bring into this era. I always appreciate someone who can create something that lasts forever but that is still representative of the time when it's created.

Singer: Kanye West

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Kanye West
 

I know Kanye West (below) may appear to come across as arrogant, but I think sometimes you need that confidence if you want to make great art. He's not afraid. He doesn't care what people think and he's willing to break all the barriers. You can't second guess yourself. Again, being rap, it can sometimes be looked down upon - I think that's why I connect with him because Irish dancing can sometimes be put in a box as well. You get the sense that you know who he is through his music. I relate to that. Sometimes I think it's easier to get to know me through my dancing. It allows me to say things I might not be able to say as a person.

Show: In the Heights

I think composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (creator of Hamilton) is a genius. I saw his show In the Heights on Broadway and it was one of the most powerful things I have ever seen. I just couldn't believe how uber modern it was, and so of this world and of this time. What he's done, breaking down those barriers and creating more of an acceptance of rap as a part of theatre, is very inspirational to me. It's similar to what I try to do, in a way, using contemporary Irish dancing, tap and hip hop to tell my modern Irish story. I feel a connection with that.

Book: Michael Jackson

I'm obsessed with Michael Jackson (below): he's just so iconic - his style of clothing, dance... Elements of my own choreography would be a nod to him. He's someone I admire for what he's done for pop culture so when I read his autobiography, it was heartbreaking to see everything that he'd gone through. He was more than just an artist, he was someone who really cared about the world and he put that into his music.

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Michael Jackson

ProdiJIG: The Revolution returns to Cork Opera House from June 14-25 in association with Cork Midsummer Festival. For tickets, visit www.corkoperahouse.ie

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