Niki Shi is an interdisciplinary performing artist who brings together traditional formats with an innovative and highly contemporary vision. Her aim is to present the body as a site of celebration, cultural connection and inspired exploration.
Niki has been a dance practitioner for most of her life. Having studied ballet from childhood, along with contemporary dance, jazz and street tap, she has continued to pursue an eclectic range of stylistic influences. Her current work draws on her ongoing studies in various world danceforms (primarily European and Middle Eastern) 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. She aims to integrate these influences thoughtfully, with awareness of their historical and contemporary context.
Much of her work extends from her interest in iconography, symbols and visual language. The female body as a positive, creative subject is a central feature of her thematic palette, establishing a bridge between her performance and graphic art practices. This is further reflected in her sometime burlesque persona, Vanity Vogue, who additionally weaves together concepts of erotica and physical comedy.
Niki graduated with a BA (Hons) in Philosophy from the University of Sydney in 2013. Modes of thinking derived from these studies underpin her approach to artmaking, as do embodied practices such as yoga. In 2017, her interest in the role of movement in health and wellbeing led her to become certified as a Pilates instructor.