Bangarra Announces World Premiere of Frances Rings’ Yuldea in 2023

Frances Rings’ Yuldea

Bangarra Dance Theatre

Bangarra Dance Theatre announces the world premiere of Frances Rings’ latest work, Yuldea, in her inaugural season as Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director. The production will premiere at the Sydney Opera House as part of the 50th Anniversary Season, before touring across Australia from 14th June to 14th October, 2023.

Brought to life with costumes from multi-award-winning Jennifer Irwin and lighting by Karen Norris, Yuldea features original music composed by David Page Music Fellow, Leon Rodgers, a descendant of the Worimi nation in NSW. And in an exciting new creative collaboration, will feature songs from multiaward-winning duo Electric Fields.

Frances Rings’ first work as Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre is a deeply personal ceremonial affirmation of history and heritage, inspired by her family’s connection to the area. Yuldea awakens the earth and sky worlds to tell the story of the Aṉangu people of the Great Victorian Desert.

Yuldea explores the abrupt moment that traditional life collided with the industrial ambition of a growing nation in South Australia’s Yuldea (Ooldea). In Yuldea, the ancient water soak, Yuldi Kapi, connected important trading routes and dreaming stories that crossed through the site for thousands of years.

Yuldi Kapi was instrumental in the construction of the Trans-Australian railway extending across the Nullarbor, joining the east coast to the west coast. As a result of the industrial pressures placed on the permanent waterhole, in 1917, the water ran dry.

Now memories lay scattered, along with the Aṉangu people, who are displaced from their home. Remnants of colonial progress, swallowed by sand. But the Aṉangu endure, determined to keep strong the knowledge systems of land and sky, honouring the eternal bonds of kinship between people and place.

“Within my family lineage lies the stories of forefathers and mothers who lived a dynamic, sophisticated desert life, leaving their imprint scattered throughout Country like memories suspended in time. Their lives were forever changed by the impact of colonial progress.” Said Frances Rings, Bangarra Associate Artistic Director, and choreographer of Yuldea.

“The story of Yuldea asks us to look beyond the narrative of our Nations modernisation to reconcile a fraught history, and to affirm a future that no longer hides behind its truths but grows because of them”.


Sydney Opera House 14 June to 15 July

Canberra Theatre Centre 20 to 22 July

Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre 10 to 12 August

Queensland Performing Arts Centre 31 August to 9 September

Arts Centre Melbourne 28 September to 7 October

Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo 13 to 14 October


Frances is a descendant of the Wirangu and Mirning Tribes from the West Coast of South Australia. In 2002, Frances made her choreographic debut with the company with the critically acclaimed Rations bill of Walkabout. Frances has followed this by creating six works for the company; Bush (co-choreography), Unaipon, X300, Artefact, Terrain and Sheoak. Terrain is on the 2019–2021 NSW Higher School Certificate Dance Syllabus.

In 2004, Bulletin Magazine named Frances in their Smart 100, following the world premiere of her work Unaipon at The Adelaide Festival of the Arts. Frances has choreographed works for many of Australia’s leading dance companies including West Australian Ballet and Tasdance as well as continuing a successful independent career. Frances has danced in works by many of Australia’s leading Choreographers and companies including Meryl Tankard, Leigh Warren, and Legs on the Wall.

Internationally, Frances has been fortunate to establish important intercultural relationships with First Nations performing arts companies in Canada and New Zealand.

Frances directed her first end of year production for NAISDA Dance College titled your Skin, my Skin in 2014, following with Kamu (2015), From Sand to Stage (2016) and Restoration (2017). In 2016, Frances was appointed Head of Creative Studies at the College.

In 2019, Frances returned to Bangarra in the position of Associate Artistic Director, and has recently been appointed to the position of Artistic Director, commencing in January 2023.

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