On the Couch with Gusta Mara

Australian-Arts-Review-Bangarra-Dance-Theatre-Gusta-Mara-photo-by-James-GreenWho is Gusta Mara?
I’m Gusta Mara, an Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Samoan man from Far North Queensland. This is my second year dancing with Bangarra Dance Theatre.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
If I wasn’t dancing, I would be in the Defence Force. It was something I always wanted to do besides dancing, because I get to travel, be fit and learn so many amazing skills.

Who inspires you and why?
My family are my inspiration. I have so many strong family members that inspire me to be a better person, who encourage me to learn and teach more about my culture.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would love to be more involved with helping animals, whether it be helping with rescuing them or just in cleaning the environment.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Definitely Umagico, Queensland. Not only because it’s my home and I get to see family, but also because I get to have all my favourite feeds. My go-to is simurr chicken, namus, dugong and other seafood.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I would probably be very stereotypical and take them to the tourist hotspots. The Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Bondi and Luna Park, but also my favourite sunset spots like Rose Bay or Watson’s Bay.

What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading some self-help books. These help me keep motivated and inspire me to do more proactive things, as well as helping to stay out of bad habits.

What are you currently listening to?
I am the type of guy you will see who always has his earphones in wherever they go. I listen to most genres, but mostly RNB/soul and hip hop.

Happiness is?
I always grew up not wanting or needing a lot of things, so as long as I have a roof over my head and food on the table, there’s no worries.

What does the future hold for you?
I like to live in the moment, but all I can see is me in a tiny house, either in the bush or near the beach, sitting on the porch and taking in the scenery.

Gusta is a dancer with Bangarra Dance Theatre – who have recently launched their digital platform Nandhu – which takes you on a journey through some of Bangarra’s most iconic productions through interviews, articles, and behind-the-scenes video content. For more information, visit: www.bangarra.com.au for details.

Image: Gusta Mara – photo by James Green