Swinging into action for Bunbury Fringe

Ashwini SaseedaranSouth Western Times

After conquering the worlds of comedy, entertainment and acting, Damian Callinan ventured into the art of swing dancing – something he had on his bucket list for years.

With a busy schedule and hectic lifestyle of travelling as an artist, Callinan said it was hard committing to learn the dance style.

“I’m always away on gigs so it’s tough trying to learn something when you’re not around every Wednesday at 7.30pm,” he said.

At a club in Paris a couple of years ago, Callinan had an epiphany while watching dancers rip up the floorboards.

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“I thought to myself, if I write a show about swing dancing then I have no choice but to learn it.

“So it’s written from the perspective of someone coming in from outside the dance culture.

“It’s a really fun and silly one-man show about a guy learning swing.”

Callinan said a connection with rural Australia meant he was looking forward to bringing the Swing Man show to Bunbury.

“I really enjoy regional touring because of all the personalities, connections with random people and getting to know their stories.

“I like localising my shows and getting the audience to participate so they become stars in their own town.

“I’ve been to Bunbury lots of times so I’m excited to reconnect with everyone again.”

“I’m lucky to have these little homes away from home all over the country.”

Apart from the happy-go-lucky side of Callinan, he also likes tackling more serious issues like racism and refugees.

He recently wrote, produced and starred in his own feature film exploring the plight of refugees which he said was unquestionably the best experience of his performing career.

“Over time and the longer I do what I do, I want my work to mean something more.

“I research a lot and write about things I know and care about.

“All stories can be funny and the way I write it, it suddenly changes direction which is just what life and war is.”

Callinan will swing his way into the Bunbury Fringe Festival with his first performance of Swing Man on February 16.

For more information and tickets, visit www.bunburyfringe.com.

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