Bangarra’s new Artistic Director goes back to Country with Yuldea

Frances Rings' family history is entwined in the sands of the traditional lands of the Anangu peoples in the the Great Victorian Desert.

Frances Rings, Bangarra Dance Theatre’s new Artistic Director, never doubted where her inaugural work at the helm of Australia’s preeminent First Nations creative company would take her – back to her Country, Yuldea, situated in the grand sweep of the Great Victorian Desert on the traditional lands of the Anangu peoples. ‘I wanted my tenure with the company to begin with sharing these incredible stories about this far west region of South Australia,’ Rings (of Wirangu and Mirning descent) says.

It’s where her Indigenous mother grew up, and where her German father worked on the Trans-Australian railway line connecting east coast to west via the majestic expanse of the Nullarbor. ‘In my early days, we were living out there on Country, seeing the railways, so that was my reality growing up.’

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Stephen A Russell is a Melbourne-based arts writer. His writing regularly appears in Fairfax publications, SBS online, Flicks, Time Out, The Saturday Paper, The Big Issue and Metro magazine. You can hear him on Joy FM.