Ngioka Bunda-Heath wants to pave the way for a more equal contemporary dance sector and to be a part of new, entertaining, and educative art that opposes typical norms and is influenced by First Nations culture.
Tell us about yourself and your creative practice
I am a proud Wakka Wakka, Ngugi from Queensland (matrilineal), and Biripi from New South Wales (patrilineal) women who has been living, working, and creating here in Naarm for the past 11 years. I am a dancer, choreographer, and storyteller who wants to pave the way for a more equal contemporary dance sector and to be a part of new, entertaining, and educative art that opposes typical norms and is influenced by my First Nation culture.
What do you love about your work?
I love dancing and all types of dance. Telling stories and communicating emotions just through movement is really cool.
How has Creative Victoria supported your work?
Creative Vic has supported my last two works, Birrpai and Bridge. This support and financial backing allowed me to create and dream big, premiering my works at Melbourne festivals in 2021 and 2022. This led to my work Birrpai being awarded the Dance Best Duo/Ensemble at the Green Room Awards in 2022 by my peers.
What are you currently working on?
I am always working and dreaming. I am currently dancing and rehearsing in creative development with Lucy Guerin Inc for her new work New Retro for the Frame Festival - a new biennial dance festival in 2023.
What has been your proudest achievement?
So far my proudest achievement has been sharing the stage with my mother in my first work Blood Quantum in 2019 and sharing the stage with my father in my second work Birrpai in 2021 - not many people/artists can say that!
What advice would you give to emerging creatives in your field?
Never give up, because not every NO is a NO forever- most times it's just a no, for right now! Keep dancing.
In three words, describe Victoria’s creative community
Deadly - Bold - Fun
Ngioka Bunda-Heath received a Creators Fund grant in 2021 to develop her work, Bridge, presented in collaboration with Theodore Cassady, Josh Twee, and Tammy Bouman.