- Family Background:
- Frances is a descendant of the Kokatha Tribe from the West Coast of South Australia.
In 2002, Frances made her main stage choreographic debut for Bangarra to outstanding critical acclaim with the Rations bill of Walkabout. Frances has followed this by creating a further six works for the company: Bush (2003, co-choreographed with Stephen Page), Unaipon (2004), X300 (2007), Artefact (2010), Terrain (2012) and Sheoak (2015). Terrain was remounted for Bangarra’s Parramatta season and regional tour of Western Australia and South Australia in 2016, and their regional tour of Victoria and Tasmania in 2017. Unaipon was remounted as part of Bangarra’s 30th anniversary program, 30 years of sixty five thousand, in 2019.
Terrain is currently part of 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 also 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 both Kahawi Dance Theatre in Six Nations, Turtle Island (Canada) and Atamira Dance Company in Auckland, Aotearoa (New Zealand), where she was invited as guest collaborator and performer for their production MITIMITI choreographed by Jack Gray in 2015, and choreographed a new work as part of their 2018 triple-bill, Kotahi.
Frances was appointed Head of Creative Studies at NAISDA Dance College from 2016-2019, and directed five end-of-year productions between 2014-2018: Your Skin, My Skin (2014), Kamu (2015), From Sand to Stage (2016) Restoration (2017), and Storyplace (2018).
In 2019, Fran was appointed Associate Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre.
Her awards include: 2003 Helpmann Award for Best Ballet or Dance Work for Walkabout, 2003 Deadly Award for Female Dancer of the Year, 2004 Ausdance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography for Unaipon, 2010 Helpmann Award for Best Regional Touring Production for True Stories, 2011 Green Room Award for Artefact, 2013 Helpmann Award for Best Ballet or Dance Work for Terrain, 2016 Helpmann Awards for Best Ballet or Dance Work and Best Choreography in a Dance or Physical Theatre Work for Sheoak, 2017 Helpmann Award for Best Regional Touring Show for Terrain.