How Are You Today – Amrita Hepi

Amrita Hepi

How Are You Today – Episode 17

Instagram handle @amrita_moves
twitter @amritahepi
marrugenku dance company:
Kaldor Projects
Cement Fondu


Kiera Brew Kurec 0:04
Hi, and welcome to Pro Prac. I’m Kiera Brew Kurec.

Nick Breedon 0:07
And I’m Nick Breedon. You’re listening to How Are You Today? a spin off series where we call an artist and check in with how Coronavirus is affecting them, and ask them to share their worries and their hopes for the future.

Kiera Brew Kurec 0:23

Nick Breedon 0:23

Amrita Hepi 0:24

Kiera Brew Kurec 0:25
I’m Kiera.

Nick Breedon 0:26
I’m Nick.

Amrita Hepi 0:27
Hi, Kiera and Nick, I’m Amrita.

Kiera Brew Kurec 0:33
Thanks so much for speaking with us today. And we’re gonna just launch right in and ask you, how are you today?

Amrita Hepi 0:41
Today? I’m good. I’m a little bit sweaty, just went for a run, which is nice. Yeah, I feel ready to go into another day of isolation. (Laughter)

Nick Breedon 1:00
Can you tell us how the pandemic has affected you?

Amrita Hepi 1:05
Not at all, not just joking! (Laughter). The pandemic is affected me in a few different ways, I guess. Well, number one, I was meant to be touring. And I was meant to be on an island in Greece right now. So that was affected. I was meant to be touring Le Dernier Appel with Marrugeku through Europe, and then was potentially going to be teaching in Austria. And so it’s affected that work. It’s affected like a macro level, and then Turing, like obviously, broader. But it’s also affected my ability to kind of be with other people in a studio. And that’s been really awful, you know, I think I never realized how much I love. Like, I’m always like, resisting class. But then, as soon as I’m there, especially in Melbourne, like going to Lucy Guerin you know, three times a week to go and take class and it’s dancing is such a social thing I’ve realized. And as much as I have an art practice that sometimes is solo and you know, hanging out in the studio by myself, I really thrive on being around other people and, and seeing them and have having them see me too, so you exist in, in the real world in some way. Or that’s my verification of it. So yeah, it’s created this like a, like a deeper sense of mourning. For that, and then like a, like some kind of collective mourning as well. But I mean, I’m a much better cook. My house has never been so clean. Yeah. (Laughter).

Kiera Brew Kurec 3:15
Would you be able to share with us any projects that you’re working on? At the moment, if you are working on any?

Amrita Hepi 3:21
I feel like a few artists that have been talking to I feel like they were like, Oh, fuck, what do I do at the start of the pandemic? And and now they’ve kind of now they’re, like, bombarded with work. So, yeah, I feel like, Ah, yeah, they’re like, Oh, God, I committed to doing six podcasts and also, some kind of online thing that I have no fucking idea of how to do. Not I no (Laughter). I am currently working on a few projects which is a huge privilege. I recently have been commissioned by ACCA alongside some other wonderful artists, for their online Commission’s to collaborate with another artist called Samuel Lieblich, who’s a neuroscientist, and also like a doctor, a psychiatrist. To make a Socratic questioning chatbot which means so it tries to uncover the truth of the question: how does it feel?, and it uses choreographic prompts, and there’ll be an ACCA’s website. It doesn’t sound nearly as exciting when I try to say it out loud or when I write it down. (Laughter) And then another textbot that looks that love and doom and is kind of a second character study of my own neuroses. I also was really fortunate to be asked to contribute an instructional piece to the Kaldor public art projects. project with them Hans Ulrich Obrist, and the Serpentine UK galleries for Do It, which is a collective kind of instructional manuals to make artworks or various things in your home. And then a new project called to Soothsayer Serenades, which is through Cement Fondu It’s like a playlist and a provocation that’s released every Wednesday, it’s just before 4pm you listen to the playlist, and you take the provocation as however you would like. And that it’s just the concentrated 25 minutes of being together and moving in some capacity and listening. And it’s the promise without any kind of digital interface and no, online Instagram, no zoom, no anything, just the promise of being together without the evidence of having to document it online.

Kiera Brew Kurec 6:06
I love that!

Nick Breedon 6:07
That sounds like a lot.

Amrita Hepi 6:08
Yeah, yeah, just a few things (Laughter)

Nick Breedon 6:13
Do you mind sharing with us how your routine at home has changed since locked down. And now that we’re back in lockdown Again?.

Amrita Hepi 6:21
I feel like because I’m not, I’m not having to physically necessarily be in the studio with other people that changed things. I was also meant to move into Gertrude Contemporary, as one of the studio artists. And to do that my plan was I recently moved from Sydney, to Melbourne. And I was like, right, I’m 30 years old it’s time to get your license and Amrita, you looser (Laughter) and buy a car. So I was like really committed, I’ve moved to Kensington, really committed to getting my license. And then I would I was like, because it’s too far, it’s too bloody far to go from Kensington to Preston every day on a bike like, I don’t know, maybe I’m just lazy but and then you know, you stay in the studio odd hours. And it’s time to get a car anyway. So I couldn’t I can’t get my license, I can’t do my test, I can’t do any of the driving lessons, I now have to wait another four months until I can get my license, which is really impeded me getting into the studio, public transport I don’t feel I really an option. My bike got stolen yesterday.

Nick Breedon 7:36
Oh no!

Amrita Hepi 7:36
I know! II really have to try to set up a routine. And I’m really like longing to be in a studio and have an kind of have like a some kind of shared sense of camaraderie, even if we’re not really allowed to talk to each other that much or see each other. So I’ve just had to like be Yeah, it’s like, no real routine, but it’s very much guided by talking to lovely people like yourself and being in meetings and then try to like, do my work at home and then try to get outside at least two times a day. And that’s like the routine. Yeah, yeah, I think and it’s kind of my flatmate as well. I moved in with one other person, which I’m really grateful for. And she seems super understanding and lovely. And she gives me lots of space so it’s good. Again, to say guided by my interactions with other people, which I guess is not, yeah, which is not that different from before.

I’m wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing with us if there’s anything that you’re currently worried about?

Hmm, yeah. Like, when… will this be over!? Will it ever end? Yeah, I’m worried. I guess I’m, I’m worried and I’m also at the same time enthused so I’m worried about how, how and when will we meet in a live capacity in regards to dance and art and being together? I’m worried that when the world starts back up, again, we’re going to be on double speed, you know, in order to like, try and compensate for what was like, lost or, or stagnant, which actually, isn’t that, you know, how lives aren’t paused right now, they’re continuing and I just, I worry that like, there’s gonna be some kind of push for a further optimization in the future that people like will be able to kind of Like, what do I say, like a justify, in some reason that we should have to go at another speed because, I mean, you would notice, I think it’s like artists that maybe it’s kind of the world underneath a group of different forces – capitalism -, that that really propel us to work at alarming speed. So, you know, maybe it’s good, I didn’t get my licence and then I’m allowed to be lazy at home for a little bit, I really need to focus on that. So that’s my worry is the rhythm becomes unbearable yet again. And, …… to the people are paranoid about touch and being around other people and think we’re already paranoid enough. And maybe I’m just thinking about myself, but there is a Yeah, I love, I hate people and I love people and I still want to be around them.

Nick Breedon 11:01
On the flip side of that question, what do you kind of hopeful for as we move forward?

Amrita Hepi 11:07
Getting my license? (Laughter)

Nick Breedon 11:10
I can’t wait for your first interactions with VicRoads.

Amrita Hepi 11:16
Yeah, totally. What am I, what am I hopeful for?, I am hopeful for a renewed appreciation for a renewed appreciation for being around each other as dancers on my interests, like immediate level, a renewed appreciation for being in a theatre. And, yeah, and a renewed appreciation for being able to see other bodies and be around other bodies. And that’s like, something not to take for granted. Also, I’m, I’m hopeful for a measured pace. And yeah, gosh, it has been, you know, kind of dark times. So I’m hopeful for a mode of production that considerate and some kind of even keel. I feel like with all of this introspection that we’ve had recently people are, like, glued in for some kind of change, and for some kind of happening, but that they want to like, Yeah, kind of take from from this, from this time. So I hope that’ll continue. And I’m hopeful for that.

Kiera Brew Kurec 12:41
Before we warp up, Do you have a public Instagram or website that people can follow your work on?

Amrita Hepi 12:47
Yeah my website, aptly named. It’s, all one word and my Instagram is @amrita_moves and I’m @amritahepi Twitter as well.

Kiera Brew Kurec 13:07
If anyone wants to join in Soothsayer Serenades?

Amrita Hepi 13:14
Through my Instagram. I know it feels like a like a double kind of like, get online get offline. Quick now 4pm! (Laughter). You can follow me and the playlist will be released. We have a super special guest, who curating the playlist this week. So join along tomorrow. I’ll release the playlist at 3pm for a 4pm start.

Kiera Brew Kurec 13:44
Cool! Thank you so much for taking the time this morning to talk to us. We really appreciate it.

Amrita Hepi 13:53
Thank you for having me, Nick and Kiera, and Pro Prac. Hopefully see you in the real world.

Nick Breedon 14:00
Yeah totally!

Kiera Brew Kurec 14:03
Yeah. Thanks again.

Nick Breedon 14:11
We respectfully acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we have recorded and pay respect to elders past, present and emerging and the elders of the land on which this podcast reaches you. today. We extend that respect to all First Nations people listening and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded.

Kiera Brew Kurec 14:27
How are you today has been generously supported by the city of Melbourne’s quick response grants. Follow us at @propracpodcast on Instagram or email us at If you haven’t already, please subscribe on whatever you listen to podcast on. Please stay in touch. We’d

Nick Breedon 14:43
love to hear what you’re up to as well.

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Pro Prac acknowledges City of Melbourne’s generous contribution to How Are You Today? through their Quick Response grants program