Creative Crush: Amrita Hepi
September 5th 2018
Motorbikes, snowfields and giant inflatables, Amrita Hepi has danced with them all.
Amrita Hepi is one of Australia’s most celebrated First Nations dance makers hailing from Bundjulung (Aus) and Ngapuhi (NZ) territories. Her dances abstractly probe ideas of authenticity, culture and tradition, communicating with the audience in embodied ways without a word ever needing to be spoken.
Through her works she urges the viewer to partake in the act of decolonising their imagination. That is, asking them to rethink how they imagine society, culture and politics in the future, and what prejudices cause them to imagine it this way. To fan girl for a moment over something Bell Hook’s wrote: “if the mind was to be a site of resistance, only the imagination could make it so. To imagine, then was to begin the process of transforming reality.” Amrita Hepi’s dance-making does just this, it transforms our reality for a moment and long into the future.
We chatted to Amrita about her (very busy) schedule and what she’s got coming up!
Amrita, how are you! Where are you today?
I’m good! I’m in the library but I wish I was here:
Tell us a bit about your practice?
I’m an artist who primarily works with dance and choreography. Here are some photos of me making work past and present.
What have you been working on recently?
I’ve recently been working with Marrugeku working on Le dernier Appel which translates as The Last Cry or ‘the last call’ in French. It’s a dance theatre work about the impossibilities, possibilities and tensions of decolonisation with 3 New Caledonian dancers and 3 Australian dancers. Marrugeku have been one of my favourite dance companies since I was 17. So working with them is a dream come true!
I’m also making a new performance work for The national 2019 commissioned by AGNSW and another new video work commissioned by Cement Fondu and The Lock Up for a festival in 2019.
I’m also about to head over to Washington DC to do a series of talks/exchanges through DFAT at the Smithsonian Museum and also Kluge Ruhe in Virginia. I’m also trying to get better at skipping and learning how to crack a whip!
Have you got any projects coming up?
I’m touring to Noumea and through France and Belgium with Le dernier Appel at the end of this year. I’m and am also working on the two new works mentioned above for premier in Jan and March.
Where can we check that out!?
Art Gallery of NSW and Cement fondu in paddington NSW, and Centre Tibajou in Noumea.
What music gets your creative juices flowing in the studio?
Blood Orange’s new album <3 <3 <3