Sydney Dance Company star dancer Jason Wilcock has danced all over the world. He was a principal with the Hong Kong ballet for four years, performed on cruise ships in the Caribbean and danced at Tokyo Disneyland before joining the Sydney Dance Company and touring to cities from Brighton in England to Ballarat in Victoria.
But 28-year-old Wilcock, who opens this week in the new show Grand at the Opera House, admits he harbours an ambition to one day tread the boards and dance before his hometown crowd in Wollongong.
I really want to perform in Wollongong one day, Wilcock said in a break in rehearsals at the SDC’s wharf studio.
That is where I started and where my family still are. While they come up to see every show I do in Sydney, it would be great to do it at home.
The Sydney Dance Company has not been to Wollongong for five years, so hopefully it is time for another visit -“ I am certainly ready for it, he laughs.
While he waits for the day to head south to the steel city, Wilcock is enjoying his premier place with the country’s leading dance organisation.
Not only is he the show’s poster boy, featured in a spectacular upside down pose, but he has also been chosen to recreate one of choreographer Graeme Murphy’s personal dance triumphs to the Gershwin number Shall We Dance.
Grand celebrates the relationship between dance and piano, showcasing the versatility of the musical instrument ranging from grand classic to honky-tonk tunes to Gershwin classics. Pianist Scott Davie performs on the Steinway grand piano on stage as the dancers of the company perform around him.
While Wilcock is featured throughout the 80-minute show, he says he is most excited by the Shall We Dance segment, which was inspired by Murphy’s own experiences as a child in dance eisteddfods.
It’s the Gene Kelly-Fred Astaire soft-shoe style, which really is my style and I find it easy to fall into.
The Opera House stage and the world tours of the Sydney Dance Company are a long way from Jason’s former days as a dancer at parties like Frisky and Sleaze Ball. But he believes those experiences have helped bring his career to where it is today.
They were always great fun, but it was always a gig to me. I would never stay and dance the night away at the parties.
Grand is on at Sydney Opera House from 2 to 18 June. Bookings: 9250 7777.