Adam Loxley CEO of Wakakirri says that he is delighted with the response to this year’s Story Dance competition. More than 35 secondary schools joined 250 primary schools to make 2015 the biggest season since it was launched in 1992 and by far the largest performing arts event for schools; Wakakirri now involves over 20,000 students in every state and territory.
A Wakakirri Story Dance is a three- to seven-minute performance by a group of students that tell a story using a combination of dancing, acting and creative movement to pre-recorded music.
“The quality of the secondary schools’ performances was amazing… stories included mental health, social media and immigration policy, some were very powerful,” Loxley said. “We have only been doing secondary schools for the last three years and we experienced something special this year, many of the stories were very moving and made people stop and think about the issues.”
He is anticipating an even bigger season next year. Entries will open this month and close in April. The emphasis will be on the Artist in Residence program which was launched on a trial basis this year and proved to be very popular. The program provides talented choreographers to visit schools for up to 12 weeks and work with the teachers and students to get their Story Dance up and running.
“Justine Clarke and James Elmer are two of the National Panel members that will be running workshops. Having this level of talent available to help next year is great for schools wanting to be in Wakakirri but don’t have the dance and drama skills on staff,” Loxley said.
“We have had a lot of interest from South Australia and Western Australia already so we’re expecting to see many new schools enter.”