Bipotim (Before Time)

Dance Clan

  • Hammond Island, Torres Strait Islands

Bipotim (Before Time) is a work commissioned for Bangarra Dance Theatre's inaugural Dance Clan program. Choreographer Albert David, shares stories from Hammond Island in the Torres Strait Islands.



The dynamic melodies of Hammond Island throb across time and seas in a rhythmic celebration of the energy of the Torres Strait.

Sections of Bipotim (Before Time)

Roots - South to mainland Australia, north to Papua New Guinea, the Island's traders travel the waves by canoe and navigare the night by the stars.
Tide - The shifting currents of the seas form their own momentum, ebb and flow, back and forth, cresting with the rhythm of the waves. The warm waters are womb-like, mirroring the life-giving forces of women.
The Calling - The call of the Boo Shell echos across the Island: a warning of attack, or summoning the community for a meeting on land, on the harvest, on the decisions of life. The spiral of the shell wends into the spiral of the dances and represents the pathway through life.
Feasting Rhythms - The rhythms of Island life are drawn from its harmony with the natural world. As dawn breaks, the coconuts are cracked, the shells are gathered, the meat is hunted. As the sun sets the festivities begin.
Bipotim (the Club dance) - The Island warrior wields the club with grace and power. Equipped with black magic he defeats all comers - individuals, armies, the world.

Bipotim (Before Time) premiered in 1998 as part of the double bill Dance Clan, which included the works and Laka Bunkul (Evening Star) and Bipotim (Before Time).





Premiere Season | 1998