An innovative collaboration between some of Sydney’s leading designers, prop-makers, sound artists, choreographers and dancers, Wanna Dance is made for the public to experience joy in a public space in a city they love. The installation engages people throughout the afternoon and winter evenings of Sydney Solstice with a vibrant, unexpected moment to interact in a playful way.
“Wanna Dance is a project that gives people that capacity to have fun in our city centre again,” says City People’s Creative Producer of Wanna Dance, Michael Cohen. “It allows us to own our streets and connect with each other safely and freely. And it supports the life and business of the city at the same time.”
“With so much uncertainty about the safety of social connection still very present all around the world and right on our doorsteps, Wanna Dance is an arts installation and activation for our time.”
Protruding from the rear of a heritage building on Parker Lane on the corner of Hay Street in Haymarket are three exhaust vents unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Sensor activated lights and sound from these brightly coloured vents beckon you closer. You step under a vent, the lights swirl to action, the music swells and the floor is yours. Wanna Dance? Turn it up. Get Down. Bring it on!
“Wanna Dance activates the public domain with dance, music and light in an era of Covid when dancing was, for a long time, banned in public,” said Chris Fox, Wanna Dance Designer.
“A service laneway in Haymarket is transformed with a series of hybrid objects, the whimsical re-invention of three industrial vents into performative dance hoods. This project is a playful opportunity for people to dance in public again.”
With music curated by one of Sydney’s best music programmers Tyson Koh (Loose Joints, FBi Radio), the soundtrack commences each day with a meditation before roaming through various genres of dance music from around the world into the night, encouraging workout sessions, ballroom step-throughs, nightclub fantasies or whatever the listener desires.
“There’s something for everyone including 70s disco, recent chart-toppers, Thai Hip-Hop, 90s House, C-Pop, K-Pop, African Amapiano, Arabic pop and 80s classics,” said Tyson Koh, Music Curator. “The music is as diverse as Sydney and hopefully rekindles the excitement of coming into the city and being in a crowd.”
Wanna Dance also features six nights of dance performances curated by dance artist Emma Saunders programmed nightly over two weekends from 11 – 19 June with some of Sydney’s most exciting new dance artists.
Dance styles include C-Pop, K-Pop, Hip Hop and Contemporary will be performed by renowned Sydney dance crews including Feras Shaheen and Friends, Yee-Li Tee and The Westies Crew, C+ Dance Studio and We Are Here dance company.
“My hope with Wanna Dance is that we shift the way we experience ourselves, each other and the world we live in a little differently, just for a moment,” said Emma Saunders, Dance Curator.
“And that we remember how important the Arts are within our society, to celebrate all the really great work being made right here in Australia by our next generation of emerging artists. We must keep ensuring there is art and magic happening in our outdoor spaces that are free, accessible, surprising and fun in a post Covid era!”
Wanna Dance is open to the public for Sydney Solstice until 26 June from 3.00pm – midnight daily with their installation located on Parker Lane at the corner of Hay Street, Haymarket.
Image: Wanna Dance for Sydney Solstice – photo by Anna Kucera