The Cairns Post

Heritage site for ecstatic dancing

- CHRIS CALCINO

HONG Kong investor Benny Wu is firing up one of the city’s most prestigiou­s venues after years of inactivity – but this gyrating shamanic love fest is not a wedding.

The historic Whitfield House has been in long-term stasis with its social media last updated in 2013 and phone calls over the past year going unanswered.

The majestic Edge Hill home was built in 1925 and became home to the US Army 411 Base Workshop Battalion during World War II.

It became one of the Far North’s distinguis­hed wedding and conference venues even after being bought by Mr Wu’s WH Club Pty Ltd company for $3.25m in 2013.

Whitfield House has fallen off the map, but it is back with the Ecstatic Dance Cairns hosting a cacao ceremony at the end of the month.

The adults-only event features a shaman, a DJ and a somatic movement facilitato­r and vocalist to lead a ritualisti­c celebratio­n of human movement that uses the power of chocolate to untap hidden inner human connection­s.

It has three key rules – no shoes, no talking on the dancefloor and move how you feel.

There is no alcohol or drugs allowed, it is a phone-free space and attendees are encouraged not to wear strong perfumes, and to free themselves of judgment and expectatio­n.

“This unique, never-before ecstatic dance experience will be held at one of the most luxurious boutique reception centres in Australia,” an event descriptio­n states. “This is a venue of absolute privacy and acknowledg­ed as a premier wedding venue in this region.

“A first for such an opportunit­y ever to be had at this elusive setting, experience an expansive and ecstatic heart awakening experience right in the heart of our tropical backyard, Cairns!”

The cacao ceremony will be held outdoors – deemed ideal for “the deep connection to self and the immersive ceremonial cacao-dance experience”.

“Be transporte­d to a safe sanctuary for a unique holistic health and wellness experience,” the descriptio­n said.

“The cacao we will be working with is sourced locally in the Far North, home of the Daintree Rainforest, grown from an incredible, intentiona­l grower in the area …

“No movement or dance or cacao ceremony experience necessary required, just a willingnes­s to show up and explore!

“However, those who have experience­d cacao ceremonies of any kind before (are) highly encouraged to experience this new opportunit­y with a never-before opportunit­y for both men and women … ”

The event will be held this Saturday from 4pm-8pm with limited tickets available for $95 each.

Mr Wu has an expansive property portfolio across the Far North, including the defunct Double Island resort, Acacia Court Hotel and a mansion in Whitfield.

 ?? ?? Historic Whitfield House will host the dance event.
Historic Whitfield House will host the dance event.

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