Frances Rings new leader for Bangarra

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Stephen Page and Frances Rings; photo Daniel Boud.
Stephen Page and Frances Rings; photo Daniel Boud.

Seldom have the words "end of an era" been so aptly chosen when Bangarra Dance Theatre announced this week that Stephen Page will step down as Bangarra Artistic Director in early 2023. 

Page’s resignation marks the end of an incredible 32-year tenure as Bangarra’s Artistic Director. Over this time, he has developed an unique body of works that have become milestones in Australian performing arts history, while firmly establishing Bangarra as a critical part of the Australian cultural ecosystem and one of our most lauded dance institutions.

Stepping into his giant footsteps will be Kokatha woman, Frances Rings. She has a long association with Bangarra, originally as a dancer when she joined in 2002, then as Resident Choreographer and most recently as Associate Artistic Director. 

"I didn’t arrive here without the mentorship and guidance from our current Artistic Director, Stephen Page," she said in the company's press release. "Stephen is an icon of our industry, a cultural leader and esteemed visionary. He is our national treasure. What I inherit is due to his incredible hard work, sacrifice and indominable belief in the power of our artform and its ability to create lasting change. His profound impact on our industry is a lasting legacy that will resonate for generations to come”.

For his part, Page is "delighted to now entrust the future of Bangarra to this deeply committed and community-connected cultural leader not only because of her sensational artistry but because her lived experience is that Bangarra is so much more than an arts organisation," he says. "Ceremonially I pass her this precious coolamon filled with all our truly unique First Nations dancers and administrators as well as our many valuable non-Indigenous supporters."

In 2022, audiences will have the special opportunity to experience Page’s largest major stage work as Bangarra’s Artistic Director, with the world premiere of Wudjang: Not the Past, as well as one of Rings’ most lauded works, Terrain, as the company embarks on a special 10th anniversary tour of the landmark production.

A new era begins for this precious Australian company.


See more here.

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