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GREAT STORIES INSPIRE CHANGE

Wakakirri is a nationwide initiative for Australian schools that provides a platform for students to express their thoughts, ideas, and aspirations through the art of storytelling and dance. Inspired by the belief that great stories can inspire change, Wakakirri is designed to promote student engagement and well-being in schools through the creation and performance of captivating Story-Dances.

Held in term 3, this grand celebration showcases the Story-Dances from schools all across the country. With prestigious theatres in major cities and carefully selected regional areas serving as our venues, we ensure that no school is left behind. Even those in remote and regional areas can participate through our innovative Wakakirri Video platform.

At the end of the season, we recognise and honour outstanding schools for their remarkable efforts in promoting positive social change through their Story-Dances.

KEEN TO FIND OUT MORE?

Whether you're curious about the festival, our mission, or how your school can get involved, we're here to help.

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WHAT IS A STORY-DANCE?

A Wakakirri Story-Dance is a 3-7 minute performance where a group of students theatrically tells a story using a combination of dance, creative movement, acting, and pre-recorded music. Schools can unleash their creativity by incorporating any combination of dance styles, creative movement, acting, music, props, costumes, sets, and film projections. The possibilities are endless!

  1. Story-Dances can be performed live or submitted via video.

  2. A Story-Dance should be a 3-7 minute performance theatrically telling a story using dance, acting, creative movement, sets, props, costumes, projections, pre-recorded music, and special effects for video entries.

  3. Schools have the freedom to choose any story that is engaging, easy to follow, appropriate, and relevant to the performers. The story should primarily be conveyed through Story-Dancing, which combines dance, creative movement, and acting.

  4. The soundtrack should enhance the story but not solely rely on it for narrative purposes.
    Sets, props, costumes, projections, live singing, and special effects can be incorporated to enhance the storytelling, while considering sustainability and minimising the environmental footprint. We offer special awards to schools excelling in this area.

  5. Schools can choose to incorporate the annual festival motif into their story for an extra challenge, although it’s not compulsory.

WHAT STORY CAN WE TELL?

At Wakakirri, schools have the freedom to choose any story they wish to tell, guided by our ethos of “great stories inspire change” and the annual festival motif (in 2024, the motif is “BELONGING”). Popular themes include environmental issues, social topics, cultural heritage, health, history, and reconciliation narratives. Each year, hundreds of primary schools across Australia create and perform Story-Dances that reflect their students’ thoughts, ideas, and aspirations.

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WHICH SCHOOLS CAN PARTICIPATE

Every primary, secondary and independent dance/performing arts school are welcome to participate, and group sizes for live events can range from 20 to 120 students. There are no minimum or maximum group size restrictions for video submissions.

Schools have the option to create their own Story-Dance using our online resources, or they can book an Wakakirri Artist in Residence Program, where a Wakakirri specialist facilitator guides the process. Typically, rehearsals span 12 weeks starting in term 2.

Students of all experience levels can participate, with a focus on creative movement and drama rather than technical dance. Our emphasis is on creative storytelling and sustainability, promoting inclusive and imaginative performances without the need for expensive and extravagant productions.

WHEN AND WHERE DOES THE WAKAKIRRI NATIONAL STORY-DANCE FESTIVAL TAKE PLACE? 

Every primary, secondary and independent dance/performing arts school are welcome to participate, and group sizes for live events can range from 20 to 120 students. There are no minimum or maximum group size restrictions for video submissions.

Schools have the option to create their own Story-Dance using our online resources, or they can book an Wakakirri Artist in Residence Program, where a Wakakirri specialist facilitator guides the process. Typically, rehearsals span 12 weeks starting in term 2.

Students of all experience levels can participate, with a focus on creative movement and drama rather than technical dance. Our emphasis is on creative storytelling and sustainability, promoting inclusive and imaginative performances without the need for expensive and extravagant productions.

Register

REGISTRATIONS CLOSE END OF TERM 1

SHOW DATES & VENUES

ACT: Performance Shows - Canberra Theatre 29 - 31 July Awards Show - Canberra Theatre 9 September

NSW Sydney: Performance Shows - NIDA  5 - 7 August & Riverside Theatres 19 - 23 August  Awards Shows - NIDA 16 - 19 September

NSW Wollongong: Performance Show only - WIN Entertainment Centre 13 August

QLD Brisbane: Performance Shows - Logan Entertainment Centre 7 - 9, 15 - 16 August.  Awards Shows - Logan Entertainment Centre 5 - 6 September

QLD Sunshine Coast: Performance Show only - The Events Centre 2 August

SA: Performance Shows - Norwood Concert Hall 5 - 9, 12 - 13 August.  Awards Show - Norwood Concert Hall 4 - 5 September

VIC: Performance Shows - Clocktower Centre 31 July - 2 August |  Frankston Arts Centre 20 - 23 August

Awards Shows:  Clocktower Centre 12 - 13 September | Frankston Arts Centre 9 September

*Secondary and Dance school Awards night will be held at Clocktower Centre.

   

WA: Performance Shows - Perth Concert Hall 12 - 13 August  Awards Show - Perth Concert Hall 2 September

COSTS AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Participation fees for Wakakirri Live are $39 (incl GST) per student which includes pre season workshops, certificates and a streamable copy of your school’s performance. Parents and friends are invited to watch students perform with tickets prices starting at $36. Other costs to consider include props, costumes and transport to the theatre. The fee for Wakakirri Video is $200 (incl GST) per entry. This includes screening, certificates and feedback.

The Wakakirri Inspiration Fund was established to encourage and assist disadvantaged schools to participate in Wakakirri. The fund is filled each year by public donations and grants. Schools can apply for funding each year which can be spent on subsidising Wakakirri student participation fees for the Live event or the Wakakirri entry fee for the Video event.  Applications close 15th March 2024.  Apply here

HELP CREATING YOUR PERFORMANCE

To assist schools along the way, Wakakirri provides an array of resources, including video tutorials, Zoom masterclasses, and our “secrets to success” guide. We want to ensure that every school feels supported and empowered throughout their Wakakirri journey.

We understand that schools may need assistance, especially if they are under-resourced or their teachers have limited time. That’s why we offer the Wakakirri Artist in Residence program as a solution. Wakakirri can provide a qualified expert Facilitator that will come to your school and help create a story-dance performance for everyone involved!  

 

If your school is considering engaging in our Artists in Residence program, we invite you to explore our dedicated Artists in Residence page. There, you will find detailed information about the different programs and their associated costs.

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FESTIVAL AWARDS AND THEME

Wakakirri has chosen BELONGING as the motif for 2024.  Belonging is an essential human need, as it fulfills our desire for social interaction, support, and understanding. It provides us with a sense of identity and purpose, and helps us feel secure and grounded in the world. When we feel a sense of belonging, we are more likely to feel confident, empowered, and engaged in our personal and professional lives.

 

Wakakirri celebrates schools that embody the Wakakirri ethos through our ambassadors’ assessments and awards. Outstanding schools that raise awareness, promote community building, and excel in the performing arts are acknowledged with State and National Awards and showcased via our website, local and national media.

INFORMATION SESSIONS

  • Online Zoom
    Join us for a 30-minute Zoom session to discover the wonders of Wakakirri! Meet our team, learn about Wakakirri, and get answers to your burning questions. Don't miss this chance to explore the benefits for your school!
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KEEN TO FIND OUT MORE?

BOOK A CALL TO CHAT WITH US!

We'd love to chat with you and answer any questions you might have about Wakakirri. Whether you're curious about the festival, our mission, or how your school can get involved, we're here to help.

 

Book a time with our friendly team, and let's have a chat. We can't wait to share the magic of Story-Dance with you!