Three months ago in London, dancer Dean Walsh was presented with an option. He could either come home and go through a mid-life crisis sitting on his sofa, or he could hit the London club scene with abandon.
He chose the second option. After prematurely ending his dance contract with the DV8 Physical Theatre troupe, Walsh embarked on a six-week adventure on London’s club and party circuit.
When he finally emerged from the heady haze, Walsh, the star of such previous hits as Club Bent, Flesh: Memo and Stretching It Wider, returned home to Sydney. He has spent the past four weeks working on his latest project which is his reaction to his time in London.
Walsh’s Grounded On Air is one half of a new show being staged by the One Extra Dance Company at the Performance Space in Redfern from 29 June. He shares the bill with Narelle Benjamin, whose Out Of Water is the first half of the new show.
This show is about a certain amount of sexual freedom, Walsh says, speaking in his inner-city rehearsal studio. I had a mid-life crisis and thought I could sit around, but instead I let it rip, he laughs.
I hung out in London and I had a really good time. I was initially down and feeling I could not stay, but one day I was in this internet caf?nd this sexy black guy asked what was I up to. It was the start of me having a really good time.
For the next period, Walsh partied hard through London. After a particularly big night at Attitude nightclub he realised he had had enough.
In the back of a taxi after leaving the club, he was struck by the idea to make his next dance work based on his clubbing experiences.
I had a lot of pleasure and a great time and met some amazing people, but there is an avoidance factor and I had to look at that. There is this issue of excess and denial, and I asked myself was I just taking pleasure at this moment at the expense of leaving a major nine-month touring project in London. And I realised I was.
So the show is like a night at a dance party and I see it through three episodes. You start off cruisy, and then you go through to 3am and everything has kicked in, and then it’s later and you get home and wonder what it was all about. It shows us up for how fucked-up we can be.
Walsh’s Grounded On Air features a range of dance party music, including a special remix of a Kylie Minogue track. He has also added Buddhist chants in among the beats.
I really don’t have more of a favourite time than when I am moving in a dance club. Some of my most memorable times have been on dancefloors with good old Kyles.
Out Of Water and Grounded On Air are at the Performance Space, 199 Cleveland Street, Redfern, from 29 June to 10 July. Bookings: 9698 7235.