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Bio

I'm an interdisciplinary artist working under the alias Niki Shi.

I've been practicing and performing within a variety of dance lineages for over 20 years. Having studied ballet from childhood and later diversifying into contemporary dance, jazz and street tap, I have continued to pursue an eclectic range of stylistic influences. My current work draws on my ongoing studies in world danceforms and the transcultural fusions derived from these. It is also informed by popular 20th-century theatrical formats such as the variety show and the circus. I endeavour to integrate these influences thoughtfully, with awareness of their historical and contemporary context.

Both my performance and graphic/illustrative work extend from my interest in iconography, symbols and visual language. The female body as a positive, creative subject is a central feature of my thematic palette, establishing a bridge from my performance practice to my graphic art. This theme is further reflected in my burlesque persona, Vanity Vogue, who also brings together my parallel loves of dance, dress, erotica, comedy and history.

I hold a BA with Honours in philosophy (+ minors in psychology and cultural studies) from the University of Sydney. Modes of thinking derived from these studies underpin my approach to artmaking, as do embodied philosophic practices such as yoga. Most recently, my commitment to the role of movement in healing and wellness has led me to become certified as a Pilates instructor.

I have performed as part of carnie-hop outfit Ungus Ungus Ungus since 2014, and am an affiliate of Bandhaus. I also work professionally as a writer.