THE annual Wakakirri performance season began last week with 235 schools and hundreds of primary and secondary students taking to the stage at professional theatres across Australia to perform their original “story dances” in dance and drama.
On hand for the three nights of the ACT finals were show host and Wakakirri alumnus Jarrod Bradbury and Wakakirri’s national panel representative, Queanbeyan-raised actor Mike Smith, part of the team search for the “story of the year”.
The six finalists have been selected to go on to perform at the ACT Region awards night in September. The regional winner will be nominated for the coveted national story of the year award.
Torrens Primary School won the “best raising awareness story” award for “Seeking Freedom”, showing how, driven from their homeland by circumstances that no human should have to endure, many asylum seekers reach Australian shores after suffering tremendous physical and emotional hardship.
Rosary Primary School won the “best adapted story” award for “Diamond in the Rough”, a re-telling of the classic tale of Aladdin, while Charnwood-Dunlop School won the “best anti-bullying story” award for their performance encouraging students to “#choosekindness”.
“Best inspirational story award” went to St Anthony’s Parish Primary School for “Giraffes Can’t Dance”. In it, Gerald the Giraffe attends the jungle dance but the animals start laughing at him because he can’t dance. He is comforted by a cricket, who tells him to “dance to his own music”.
“Best original story” award went to St Francis of Assisi Primary School for “Look inside Yourself”, in which Little Fly is feeling sad, confused and alone. She makes a wish and her fairy godparents hear her wish and take her on a journey to discover who she wants to be.
“Best blockbuster story” award went to St Gregory’s Primary School for their spectacular “When Worlds Collide”, where a bedtime ritual comes alive and spirals into a state of unfamiliarity as three storybook characters fly into the wrong world.
The ACT Region Awards Night for the 2018 Wakakirri Story Dance Challenge will be held at the Canberra Theatre on Monday, September 3. Bookings from August 30 to canberrathetercentre.com.au or 6275 2700.
Wakakirri’s Story of the Year Award for the Primary and Secondary categories will be announced on Waka TV on October 17.