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7 – 14 July 2024
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Female holds a trophy

Elma Gada Kris

Artist of the Year

Elma Kris is a proud Torres Strait Islander woman who grew up on Thursday Island.
She is a respected dancer, choreographer and teacher, who has performed on stages around the world.

Elma recently retired as Bangarra Dance Theatre’s longest serving dancer, after more than 20 years with the organisation. As a senior member of the group, she had been a mentor to younger dancers in the company and a trusted advisor in the development of new work; shaping and bringing Torres Strait Islander stories to the stage.

Her choreographic credits include Malu (Bibir dance company, 1998), Bupau Ipikazil and Bupau Mabigal for NAISDA, 1994) and Torres Strait Islander components of the Sydney Olympics Opening Ceremony (2000) and Emeret Lu (Bangarra Dance Theatre, 2007).

Elma’s knowledge of culture and the art of dance, story-telling and song have given her the reputation of an artist, respected by her peers and audience members alike. 
Since her retirement this year, Elma has returned to Thursday Island to nurture the next generation of artists and leaders in her own community.

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We acknowledge all First Peoples of the beautiful lands on which we live and celebrate their enduring knowledge and connections to Country. We honour the wisdom of and pay respect to Elders past and present.