AVELEY Primary School has received a state award and is being considered for a national award for their Wakakirri performance titled Yarkiny, the western swamp tortoise at the Perth Concert Hall.
Wakakirri is Australia’s largest performing arts event with more than 200 schools taking part this year with participating schools benefitting from the Wakakirri ethos of ‘great stories inspire change’ to create and perform story-dances that reflect students’ thoughts, ideas and aspirations.
The school participated in the 2023 Wakakirri Story, Drama and Dance Festival, with a an original story/dance performance, written and developed with students, and produced by performing arts specialist, Chris Spencer, and his wife Julia.
The production was about the rediscovery of the critically endangered western swamp tortoise, endemic to the Ellenbrook area, after 113 years of being thought extinct, and included significant events in the survival history of this charming reptile.
Once the story was written, the school invited the chair of the Friends of the WST, Jan Bant, to verify the accuracy of the story content who added further context around Yarkiny and the work of community members to protect this endangered reptile.
The APS Wakakirri team of committed school community members rehearsed after school weekly for months, making and refining costumes and props to support this heart-warming story.
Wakakirri ambassador Libby Hammer said the Aveley Primary School performers and team went ‘above and beyond’ with their story dance.
Their story dance contained many varied elements: the use of useful and effective video projections, the boards displaying the timeline, the excellent choice in music and of course the costumes were extra fantastic, along with many humorous moments.
Special thanks to the amazing parent helpers backstage on the day and night and for all of the helpers contributing to the costumes and props.