DARCH students will perform at the Wakakirri national story and dance festival next week.
Dance students from Ashdale Secondary College will do their August 8 performance, called ‘The Killing Fields’, at the Regal Theatre.
Teacher Sherree Gull said it was the first time the competition was open to secondary students.
“I get a wave of nostalgia remembering my times of performing on this very stage at their age and am thrilled to offer this opportunity to my students,” she said.
“The students are extremely excited to be one of the first secondary schools in WA to take part in this event.
“This year the signature item for Wakakirri is a ‘gift’ as it is their 25-year anniversary.”
Ms Gull said she was surprised to hear about the 1970s genocide in Cambodia when she visited the country last year.
She said she told students about how more than three million people died there over three years from executions, disease, exhaustion and starvation, as well as how people were trying to rebuild the country.
“The Khmer Rouge marched into Phnom Penh and the city was evacuated,” she said.
“Anyone in opposition, all intellectuals, educated people and their extended families were murdered, together with people of religious backgrounds.
“All political and civil rights were abolished. It was possible for people to be shot simply for knowing a foreign language, wearing glasses, laughing or crying.
“One Khmer slogan ran ‘To spare you is no profit, to destroy you is no loss’.
“We decided that we believed that every life is valuable and that life itself is the gift we will be presenting to Wakakirri.”
Ms Gull has also worked with dance extension students from the Ashdale cluster schools – Ashdale, Landsdale, Madeley and Carnaby Rise primary schools – on their story-dance item, which they will perform in Subiaco on August 9.
“This is a great opportunity for the Year 6 students from the cluster primary schools as it gives them a great introduction to performance and assistance into the transition into the college for Year 7,” she said.
“The look on their faces when they enter the Regal and on the stage for their performance makes everything worth it.
“This will be the cluster’s fourth year performing in the event and they are excited for their story-dance item- ‘Paying it Forward’.
“We decided to tell this story because we thought it was important for people to remember that a good deed never goes unpunished – the reward is the difference you have made to someone else’s life.
“We believe that we can change the world, one good deed at a time.”
Tickets can be booked through Ticketek.