ABOUT – Biddigal – Indigenous Performing Arts

Biddigal Indigenous Performing Arts was created to encourage and give opportunity to the Indigenous Australian youth (based in Cairns) to create, choreograph and perform their Australian Indigenous heritage through theatre based performances.

Biddigal, through Aboriginal Centre of Performing Arts (ACPA) delivers Certificate II in Performing Arts. Certificate II in Performing Arts introduces our young Performing Artists to an arts-based Vocational (VET) curriculum, and begins the start of their intellectually and physically challenging two-year journey into the performing arts industry.

This two-year certificate program allows our young performing artists a unique opportunity to advance their craft while obtaining live performance skills. Students enhance their performance ability in music, acting, dance, Indigenous cultural performance protocols or any other performance-related area. An introduction to dance, vocal, audition, stage presence and production techniques are provided in professional settings. Performing artists will also engage with their culture by exploring more of their personal heritage and learn about shared history. Their certificate will be credited toward their QCE.

Original choreography is entirely based on true stories which capture Australian Indigenous history. Biddigal performers feel honoured by presenting Indigenous elders’ story via theatrical performances.

All performers aged between 11-25 years learn with a fierce passion to choreograph and perform at a high standard, fit for theatrical performances. Under the Artistic Direction of Pauline Lampton, who has 20 years of experience with contemporary Indigenous dance, Biddigal is fast becoming a performance group that is simply breathtaking.

Places are limited. For further information, please call 07-40478700 during business hours or email pauline@nctc.org.au

Since forming officially in March 2013, Biddigal has been invited to perform around Far North Queensland as a highlight for each event.

Cairns Festival 2015

Indigenous Performing Arts

Sharing stories of love, hardship, loss and friendship, families will come together, unite and ultimately shape their future legacy in Biddigal Dreaming.

Making a triumphant return for a second season as part of the Cairns Festival program, Biddigal Dreaming is a powerful and moving example of the legacy we leave and how that shapes our families’ future.

Pauline Lampton, artistic director of Biddigal Performing Arts, said audiences who loved last year’s sell out performances, would fall in love all over again as the dancers aged 13 to 55 brought the stories of their elders, some as old as 130 years, to life.

“The audience will be asked to join us on a very personal journey as we capture the very tapestry of Australia’s Indigenous heritage and history by sitting with elders from the nations of Yidinji, Wiradjuri, Bundjalung, Warlawarra, Giddamay and descendants from the Tafea Province (Tanna Island, Vanuatu) who are now Australian South Sea Island descendants.”

Ms Lampton said while the show was returning for an encore season, the performance had been taken to another level as the 18 dancers who are part of the show, matured as a group and continued their ongoing professional development.

“We have taken Biddigal Dreaming to another level. We have employed a Sydney-based lighting designer to create the mood and feeling, while choreographically it has also stepped up another level. This year, we have tweaked some of the dances and added in more complex choreography.”

Making the most of the talented group of performers, Ms Lampton said Biddigal Dreaming wasn’t all dance based, with poetry, dialogue and music also shaping the work.

“As we are an all-encompassing performing arts organisation, we are not just centred on dance. We have children who are also really good at acting, singing, and playing instruments.

“Each person has their own unique style and are quite versatile, which helps when we are looking for a particular character to play.

“In respect to Biddigal Dreaming we are truly truly honoured to be bearers of such intimate and personal stories, which reflect our elders’ storyline and cultural identity,” she added


Cairns Festival 2014 – Biddigal performs 2 Sell Out Shows

 Indigenous Performing Arts
The traditional story of cheeky tree kangaroos hiding a watering hole and the brave kingfisher’s journey to find it will be brought to life in dance at the premiere of Biddigal Dreaming during Cairns Festival.

Crafted by Biddigal Performing Arts, Biddigal Dreaming has been created and choreographed, and will be performed by, Cairns Indigenous youth aged 11 to 24.

The plot comes directly from a traditional story from the Giddamay people, as told and retold by their elders over the centuries.

Biddigal Performing Arts artistic director Pauline Lampton says, “Biddigal Performing Arts was established to encourage and give young Indigenous people  the chance to learn and share their heritage and culture with the world.

“It has been a real privilege to sit with the Giddamay elders, listen to their dreaming  and then transform this small part of their heritage into dance.

“The story has added meaning for us as the waterhole in the story is called Biddigal. The performance therefore is not only about the peril of greed but the creation story of our name.”

The troupe performed short components of the dance during CIAF to great acclaim, but 4 September will be the official debut of the full Biddigal Dreaming performance.

Chairman of Council’s Community Services Committee Cr Max O’Halloran says, “Cairns Festival is all about celebrating our way of life. Indigenous culture, and first people, are an important part of the diverse mix that makes up our  region so it’s fantastic that we can share Indigenous heritage as part of Festival.”