A NATURAL storyteller, Ghenoa Gela is equally adept at theatre, dance and comedy.
Koedal (Crocodile) and Waumer (Frigate Bird) Ghenoa Gela is a Torres Strait Islander woman from Rockhampton.
The Sydney-based independent performing artist works across dance, circus, television and stage.
Gela said no one discipline came more naturally to her than any other.
"It's just how I tell yarns," she said.
As a recipient of the renowned Keir Choreographic Award and the Deadly Funny Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award, Gela has a natural affinity with comedy going back generations.
"I reckon, in general, black fellas are pretty funny!" Gela said.
"At Dad's 70th a couple of years ago, I noticed Dad's brother and the rest of the family were all really funny.
"I think I might come from a line of comedians; it's in my blood."
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Gela's powerful solo production, My Urrwai, is coming to the Butter Factory Theatre in Wodonga from August 29-30.
My Urrwai is a deeply personal story, inviting audiences to delve into Torres Strait Islander culture through a mainlander lens.
In Torres Strait Islander communities, dances are passed down through family, according to strict tradition.
"As soon as I could sit up, I learnt traditional Torres Strait Islander dance," Gela said.
"It's been the foundation of my life and my practice; I'm quite a physical responder."
In My Urrwai, Gela unfolds the layers of her story through movement, comedy, storytelling and dance.
Having grown up at Rockhampton, Gela said her family came from the Torres Strait.
"It talks about displacement," she said.
"This country is literally full of displaced people excluding the First Nations mob.
"I hope the show will start a conversation; I want to be able to get people thinking."
HotHouse Theatre artistic director Karla Conway said Gela was immensely skilled.
"Building empathy and connection with the audience, she enables you to truly feel what life is like standing in her shoes," she said.
"It is a funny and touching story that brings everyone together with generosity and respect."
Since its premiere at Sydney Festival in 2018, My Urrwai has toured across the country, activating communities to open conversations about belonging.