Elma Kris

With Bangarra Since:
Family Background:
Elma was raised on Thursday Island (Waiben) in the Torres Strait. Her clan is from the North Western and Central Islands of the Torres Strait.

Elma has had a rich and rewarding career as a dancer, choreographer, actor and teacher. She studied at NAISDA and joined Bangarra in 1999.


Her many choreographic credits include Bupau Ipikazil and Bupau Mabigal (NAISDA, 1994) Malu (Bibir dance company, 1998), the Torres Strait Island element of the Sydney Olympics Opening Ceremony (2000), Emeret Lu (Bangarra, True Stories, 2007) and About (Bangarra, Belong, 2011). Elma’s film credits include Oscar and Lucinda, Reef Dreaming, Farscape and Spear.

In 2007 Elma won a Deadly Award for Dancer of the Year and in 2008 performed the title role in Mathinna. In 2015 she was one of five artists who took part in Unsettled, an exhibition at the National Museum of Australia. In 2016 Elma played the title role of Nyapanyapa Yunupingu in Stephen Page's Nyapanyapa, part of Bangarra's triple bill OUR land people stories. 

  • 2007 - Deadly Award for Dancer of the Year
  • 2016 - Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance By A Female Dance, lore 

"Being a part of Bangarra gives me the chance to be a role model for future leaders and to nurture our culture. I never thought dance would take me this far." - Elma Kris

“Elma Kris is completely transfixing... Kris is an utterly remarkable performer… she is grace and power personified”

The West Australian