National NAIDOC Week is upon us and we are proud to be celebrating the 2018 theme ‘Because of her, we can!’ as we acknowledge the essential role that women play as active and significant role models in the community.
We were thrilled to kick off our NAIDOC celebrations early this year with our season of Messenger at The Art House from 4-7 July. Thank you to everyone who came along to support our Developing Artists and celebrate the force of the female spirit!
As we reflect on the many women who have inspired us this week, we would like to kick things off by paying special acknowledgement to NAISDA Head of Creative Studies Frances Rings and Artistic Producer Jasmine Gulash.
As Director and Artistic Producer of Messenger respectively, these inspiring, strong and talented women have contributed greatly to not just NAISDA’s, but Australia’s, artistic and cultural landscape.
Frances Rings is a celebrated Australian dancer, award-winning choreographer and television presenter. She was born in Adelaide, South Australia and is a descendant of the Kokatha people. Frances joined Bangarra Dance Theatre in 1993 after graduating from NAISDA Dance College.
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 number of works for the company including Bush (co-choreography), Unaipon, X300, Artefact, Sheoak and 2016’s Terrain, which was received with critical acclaim.
In 2016, Frances was appointed as NAISDA Dance College’s Head of Creative Studies. She has contributed artistically to a number of NAISDA’s productions, including directing 2017’s Restoration, 2016’s From Sand to Stage, 2015’s Kamu and 2014’s Your Skin My Skin.
Jasmine Gulash was born in Murwillumbah, Northern NSW. On her mother’s side, she is a descendant of the Gubbi Gubbi people of South East Queensland. Her father came to Australia from Slovakia via Germany during WWII.
Jasmine’s association with NAISDA started in the early 80s when she was introduced to performing arts as a career choice. Jasmine graduated from the College in 1988 and danced with the Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre (AIDT). Jasmine joined Bangarra Dance Theatre when it was established in 1989 and toured with Bangarra for two years, later joining the Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre as a company member (1993-95) and then as a guest artist.
After working on a number of projects, she rejoined Bangarra as a performer and cultural coordinator for DanceClan, becoming rehearsal director in 1999. In 2000 she choreographed and performed at Uluru for ABC TV’s Today 2000 on January 1. Later that year she was appointed Assistant Artistic Director of Bangarra.
In 2009, Jasmine returned to NAISDA Dance College to take up the position of Artistic Producer.
Thank you, Fran and Jasmine, for your significant contributions to NAISDA over the years, we are proud to call you members of the NAISDA family.