Image: Zan Wimberley


Amrita Hepi

Amrita Hepi (b. 1989, Townsville of Bundjulung/Ngapuhi territories) is an award-winning artist. Her current practice is concerned with dance as social function performed within galleries, performance spaces, video art and digital technologies. She engages in forms of historical fiction and hybridity —especially those that arise under empire— to investigate the bodies relationship to personal histories and archive. Amrita is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery & Performing Lines.

In 2020 & 2018, she was the recipient of the People’s Choice Award for the Keir Choreographic Award and won FBI Radio’s BEST ARTIST. In 2020/2021 she was commissioned to make work by Kaldor public art projects, Serpentine Galleries UK, South East Dance Brighton, ACCA, Gertrude Contemporary, and AGNSW. She was a Gertrude Contemporary studio artist in residence (2020 – 2022) and is on the Board Of Directors for RISING festival and Lucy Guerin Inc. She is also a lecturer in Dance and Visual Art (sculpture/performance) at VCA. In 2019 she was a commissioned artist for The National: New Australian Art 2019 and the recipient of the Dance Web scholarship. In 2018 she was named one of Forbes Asia 30 under 30. Amrita trained at NAISDA and Alvin Ailey NYC. Since 2013 she has worked with leading Australian dance companies and choreographers such as Marrugeku, Force Majeure, WA Indigenous Dance company (Ochres) Melanie Lane, Bhenji Ra and Victoria Chiu. She has been an artist-in-residence at BANFF Centre for the Arts Canada, ACE OPEN South Australia, PACT Sydney. As artist with a broad following and reach Amrita’s work has taken various forms (film, performance, sculpture, text, lecture, participatory installation), but always begins with the body as a point of archive, memory, dance and resistance.


RINSE is a solo dance work by celebrated First Nations choreographer and dancer Amrita Hepi, asking what it is about new ‘beginnings’ that remains intoxicating; the persistent lust for the initial thrill of a romance, scene, impression, country – the opening lines of stories bigger and more complex than just a beginning, middle and end. With an intense physical choreography – and accompanying text – the work shifts from fluid, to humorous and strangely affecting.

Winning the People’s Choice Award at the Keir Choreographic Award, RINSE was developed as a full-length work for premiere at Performance Space’s Liveworks Festival at Carriageworks in 2022, and immediately programmed at Fusebox Festival, TX 2023; with further North American dates in early 2024 to be announced.

RINSE playfully posits that a colonialist society must increasingly hold the gaze of its own demise. The starting provocation for RINSE is the idea that under hegemony, power mutates with each new ‘beginning’, myth making mixed with a fraught idolisation of a singular narrative; a convenient cover-up for the colonial, environmental and gendered fuck ups that continue to occur through the guise of “new beginnings”

By recreating an entropic origin myth, RINSE travels from end to end, blending personal and political narratives in relation to dance, First Nations dialogues, art, feminism, the void, desire, popular culture and colonial history.

“whitefellas try to acknowledge things
but they do it wrong
they say
‘before we begin I’d like to pay my respects’
not understanding
that there isn’t a time before it begins
it has all already begun” (Jazz Money)

Session Times
PROFILE: Here’s What We Made
Thursday 8 June


Creator, Choreographer and Performer: Amrita Hepi
Director & Co-Writer: Mish Grigor
Sound Design and Composer: Daniel Jenatsch
Lighting Design: Matt Adey


Thom Smyth
Performing Lines