Winter Dance was an all-encompassing dance haven
The inaugural Winter Dance kicked off at Sydney’s UNSW Roundhouse on Saturday night. The two-stage house music extravaganza provided a diverse platform for both local and international DJs to be part of a dance party like no other.
Put on by Astral People, Winter Dance is a spin-off to the highly successful Summer Dance series which has seen the agency tour DJ’s such as Brame & Hamo, CC Disco! and Floating Points where they play sets to the backdrop of Sydney’s summer sunset. WD however, was an entirely separate experience. Totally indoors, WD was an all-encompassing house haven where the two stages provided two completely unique dance music hubs.
The music kicked off upstairs on the second stage. Despite it being the smaller of the two stages, the atmosphere created was equally as strong. Timid lighting and the low stage in this intimate setting allowed for a traditional club experience. Roland Tings returned from hiatus to perform one of the best sets of the day. Big slamming kick drums, layered with spacious melodies were key features of the deep house filled hour and a half of tracks which he provided.
Then came Pender Street Steppers. The Vancouver based duo provided for the biggest grooves of the night. Feathery soft percussion, soulful chords and melting bass lines welcomed the crowd to the higher tempo, more aggressive later parts of the evening.
The main stage, while not as intimate, created a perfect big rave atmosphere. A massive dance floor, knocking speakers, and chaotic lighting combined to create an epic unity of music and dance.
Renowned Sydney selector Lex Deluxe opened the stage. Her set consisted of a perfect combination of disco, soul and breakbeat inspired house. Lex’s knack for track selection together with her infectious stage presence drew the entering patrons straight onto the dance floor.
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Detroit house pioneer, Omar S. stole the show and closed the night in perfect fashion. Being one of the most diverse, and widely talented DJs touring the globe, the dance maestro provided a spectrum of tracks to keep the crowd moving late into the evening. The set opened with strong house tunes that included major chord synthesisers and sharp percussion, forming an undeniable joy and unity amongst the fans. The set then transitioned from anthemic house to grandiose techno and acid. Despite the genre and mood changing throughout the two hour journey, the rawness and authenticity of Omar’s set remained consistent and the crowd reciprocated that energy.
Winter Dance was an exceptional extension of the already established Summer Dance series. A completely unique experience for parties in Sydney, Astral People should be proud in their ability to draw crowds to progressive dance music within the current context of Sydney’s nightlife.
Photo by Jordan Munns
Words by PARRY TRITSINIOTIS