With the opening of Yuldea, it is abundantly clear that Bangarra Dance Theatre has entered a new era under Artistic Director Frances Rings. Yuldea looks very different to the work we have come to know and love from her longstanding predecessor Stephen Page.

Yuldea is the first full-length work Rings has created for Bangarra since taking on the role of AD in January this year. A former dancer with the company, and then choreographer, she was appointed as Associate Artistic Director in 2019. She knows Bangarra inside out, but retains her own distinctive voice.


Lillian Banks and Kallum Goolagong in Yuldea, Bangarra Dance Theatre, 2023. Photo © Kate Longley

Yuldea is both deeply personal and deeply political. It tells the story of Rings’ mother’s people, the Aṉangu, who come from the semi-arid desert region of South Australia, on the edge of the Great Victorian Desert, and how their traditional life was upended by white settler expansion.

For thousands of years, Yuldea (or Ooldea) was the site of a permanent clay pan waterhole called Yooldil Kapi, which connected trading routes...