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LESLIE ANDREA WILLIAMS

Dancer/Performer/Artist

 

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BIO

Leslie Andrea Williams is a creative who loves art, fashion and music. She dances, sings, writes songs, acts, makes dance films, does art/movement direction, choreographs, and sketches. 


Leslie was born in Newport News, Virginia and was raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. Leslie studied at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City, and graduated with a BFA in Dance. While at Juilliard, in her senior year, she had the honor of dancing the leading role of "She of the Ground" in the revival of Martha Graham’s Dark Meadow. Also in her senior year, she performed "The Trumpet Solo" from Bob Fosse's Dancin, staged by Deb McWaters. Her performance in Dark Meadow earned her an invitation to join the Martha Graham Dance Company—not even two months after graduating from Juilliard. She has now excelled in the company and is a leading dancer performing Principal roles around the world— in places such as Italy, France, Germany, China, Taiwan, Russia, and Cuba. She is the first black woman to ever perform the iconic role of the lead in Martha Graham’s Chronicle. Her performance earned her a mention in The New York Time's “ Best Dance of 2019” list. She has also been named in Dance Magazine as a dancer “On the Rise” and in Teen Vogue as a “Rising star Personifying Black Excellence” Ms. Williams' work has been described in reviews as “hypnotic,” “larger than life,” and she is someone who “effortlessly controls the gaze of the audience.” Leslie has also been profiled and featured in Marie Claire Taiwan and Psychology Today. 

Leslie has danced in multiple music videos for music star/singer/songwriter/producer Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange) featuring artists such as Carly Rae Jepsen and Ava Rain. Leslie has also created movement and starred in music videos for artists Zenizen, Braxton Cook, and Glassio. Leslie has danced/modeled in NYFW shows for brands Wiederhoeft and Desigual. Her work with Wiederhoeft has been seen in Vogue and Paper magazine, just to name a few, and a piece she was modeling in the brand's lookbook was selected by Lady Gaga to be worn in one of her music videos. Leslie also serves as movement director for fashion brand Saint Sintra. 

Leslie works with world-renowned artist and film director Rashid Johnson on his exhibition The Hikers, and has performed for his exhibition openings in Aspen, Colorado and New York City. 

Leslie is a model and ambassador for the dance wear brand Capezio. She has also starred in the Dior Perfume campaign #DiorLoveChain.

Leslie intends to spend a lifetime performing on and off the stage in an array of creative outlets. 

She currently lives in Brooklyn in New York City. She loves painters René Magritte and Gustav Klimt. Her favorite band is Radiohead and her favorite classical composer is Bach. She is currently reading “The Importance of Being in Iceland: Travel Essays in Art” by Eileen Myles and her favorite TV show is “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Her favorite food is Korean BBQ. When she is not working, Leslie gets acupuncture or massage therapy in Chinatown, works with her personal trainer, goes dancing in Brooklyn, spends time journaling at her favorite coffee shop in the West Village, goes to see films at indie cinemas, or reads about fashion. In late 2018, she received credits for a fashion history course at Parsons the New School.

 
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"She has nerves of steel. She has absolutely no compunction about standing on one leg for five minutes or taking on a speaking role."

—Janet Eilber, Artistic Director, Martha Graham Dance Company

 

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