Inside Page Baner

Australia's largest school performing arts festival showcased in Logan

Published: 27 July 2018

Australia's largest school performing arts festival showcased in Logan

The City of Logan will roll out the welcome mat for hundreds of primary and secondary school students across Australia for the country’s largest performing arts festival for schools.

Established in 1992, the Wakakirri Story Dance Challenge hosts shows around Australia where schools perform to a live audience of family, friends, industry professionals and other school communities.

More than one million people watch Wakakirri performances every year and Logan schools will be amidst the action.

Logan City Council City Lifestyle and Community Committee Chairperson, Councillor Steve Swenson, said next week it would be the City of Logan’s turn as it hosts five days of Wakakirri performances.

“We are excited to have been chosen to host the Queensland heats of Wakakirri and excited to see that there are five Logan schools among the 22 schools taking part from July 31 to August 3,” Cr Swenson said.

“We look forward to seeing all the schools bring their story dances to life.”

A Wakakirri story dance is a three to seven minute story performed on stage using a blend of creative movement, dance and acting.

Story themes explored by schools include bullying, health, history, culture, reconciliation and the environment. Adaptations of books and films are also popular.

The dance stories will be performed in front of the official Wakakirri National Panel who are searching for the ‘Story of the Year’ and filmed for Waka TV.

This year’s panel of industry experts includes actor Michala Banas (Upper Middle Bogan, Nowhere Boys and McLeod’s Daughters), stage and screen star Joshua Horner (Dancing With The Stars) and actor, writer and singer Alex Papps (Play School and Home and Away).

Other panel members include Justine Clarke, Jason Coleman and Todd McKenney.

Michala Banas said that she was excited to be part of the story dance journey.

“Performing is an incredible expression of creativity. It can be joyful, terrifying, exciting, fun, nerve-wracking, overwhelming, freeing, thrilling, and everything in between,” she said.

“I’m thrilled to be part of Wakakirri, and am so looking forward to hearing all [the students’] stories,” said Ms Banas.

Joshua Horner is equally delighted to be part of Wakakirri after eight years creating with the biggest storytelling company in the world, Disneyland.

“I am so excited [to be] taking the journey and participating in Wakakirri for 2018,” he said

“As a performer and creative consultant, I know first-hand how electrifying performing and creating a story for stage is

Participants spend their show day rehearsing and meeting other schools between July 31 and August 3. On the evening of August 4 and 5 they will walk the red carpet with the Wakakirri Panel and special guests before performing on stage.

The Logan City Council Area Schools taking part in Wakakirri are:

* Springwood Central State School – July 31 - Fly With Me – A retell of the story Peter Pan with an alternative ending. Three children fly to Neverland with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. They join the Lost Kids on an adventure! Along the way, they meet Captain Hook. Through trying new things the Lost Kids and the Pirates come together.

* Kimberley Park State School, Shailer Park – August 1 - Pigs Might Fly - The animals on Farmer VILE's farm are all caged. They never leave their pens. The farmer's granddaughter helps her to understand how she is treating the animals and she needs to make a change.

* Kingston State Primary School – August 2 - Fanua O Avanoa - Our students have incredible stories of immigration. Our story is a collaboration of stories told about students own experiences of moving from Samoa to Australia. Our schools large Pacific Island community really enjoyed sharing their culture and stories with their peers throughout this process.

* St Francis College, Crestmead – August 3 - Simplicity and Harmony - This is a story of how our school came to be such a unique and multicultural community. The performance follows a group of children from around the world who leave their homes as a result of war and natural disaster in search of a new life. They are united and are welcomed into our school community.

* Marsden State School – August 3 - This Is Africa - What happens when you fall down? You pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start over. Though a little help from your friends makes it easier.