Director, Choreographer and Performer (Australia)
Frances is a director, choreographer and performer who has worked all over the world. Her training combines western dance and theatre with contemporary Japanese approaches including butoh dance and Suzuki’s actor-training. She is Senior Lecturer at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in Perth where she runs the Bachelor of Performing Arts course.
Her recent work includes Exquisite, a movement-based performance work created with Chinese dancer, Min Zhu and dancer-actor Brian Lucas. The work evolved from a close collaborative team of creatives including designer Rachel Konyi, dramaturge Kathryn Kelly and composer Mace Francis. In 2016 she directed The Astronaut at The Blue Room Theatre and created a site-specific work for a winery commissioned by Remnant.
From 1996 – 2011, she was based in the UK and Europe where she toured with Tadashi Endo’s Butoh Mamu Dance Theatre and established her own company, Fran Barbe Dance Theatre. She was a research fellow, then lecturer, at University of Kent in the UK where she completed her PhD “The Difference Butoh Makes”. She was artistic director of two international butoh festivals in London in 2005 and 2009. She ran Theatre Training Initiative in London from 2000 until 2010.
She runs a study tour for WAAPA students each year allowing a small group of selected students to visit ITI for 10 weeks of training and is cultivating a research hub at WAAPA, Edith Cowan University, around performer training and intercultural practice.