- Family Background:
- Deborah is a descendant of Wakaid Clan, Badu Island, the Meriam people of Murray Island in the Torres Strait, and is also proud of her Scottish heritage.
Deborah Brown was a senior dance artist and choreographer with Bangarra from 2003 – 2017. In 2023, she returns as a choreographer for Horizon.
Deborah made her choreographic and directorial debut in 2013, creating a short dance film titled dive paying homage to the Pearl Shell divers of the Torres Straits for Bangarra's season of Dance Clan 3. This led her to create I.B.I.S. as part of the lore national season in 2015. Her career highlights with Bangarra were returning to Country - including Mer Island and Yirrkala – performing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Harvey Theatre and partnering with The Australian Ballet at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
After leaving Bangarra in 2017, Deborah returned to acting as the lead Layla, in the short film Water, directed by John Harvey. In 2019 she was featured in Angelica Mesiti's Assembly 2019 as part of the 58th Venice Biennale.
With over 15 years of experience in dance theatre Deborah recently completed her Masters in Screen Directing at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS). Concurrently she has been exploring directing theatre as an assistant to some of Australia’s top directors as well as delivering choreography for various projects.
Deborah has explored independent work as a choreographer and actor. She directed and choreographed local talent in a short film, hide, in association with Campbelltown Arts Centre. She choreographed and assisted the new Australian production, Spinifex Gum, a collaboration with Felix Riebl, Ollie Mcgill of The Cat Empire and Marliya of Gondwana Choirs, including their pre-game performance at Dreamtime at the G for the Australian Football League as well as sell out seasons at Adelaide Festival 2018 and Sydney Festival 2019, with the more recent highlight performing at Garma Festival 2019. She was also assistant director and choreographer for the world premiere of The Long Forgotten Dream, directed by Neil Armfield for Sydney Theatre Company as well as The Beauty Queen of Leenane, directed by Paige Rattray and Wonnangatta directed by Jessica Arthur. She was also Associate Director to Anthea Williams on Winyanboga Yurringa and was a participant in Belvoir's 2020 Artists at Work program.
In 2023, she directed Blue by Thomas Weatherall for Belvoir Street Theatre as part of the Sydney Festival. Blue will be presented in the 2024 Adelaide Festival.