Dance troupe Naygayiw Gigi or 'Northern Thunder' hails from Bamaga, the northernmost town in Queensland. Naygayiw Gigi is the flagship dance troupe of Bamaga in the Torres Strait. Established in March 2015, the troupe is committed to the maintenance and revitalisation of the culture of Bamaga and Seisia Saibailgal in the Northern Peninsula Area of Queensland. The troupe aims to preserve the culture's strong dancing traditions and nurture a new generation of performers and cultural practitioners by sharing dances, stories and songs with audiences throughout Australia and the world.
Traditional dance is the focal point of Naygayiw Gigi's holistic approach aimed at addressing the rapid decline of the Torres Strait and Saibailgaw culture. The continued practice of the strong dancing tradition nurtures a new generation of performers and cultural practitioners. The medium of dance encompasses all cultural elements. Children are taught dances, songs, stories, language, arts and crafts, customs and traditions, marine craft, genealogies, ecology and astronomy.
As a troupe that specialises in show dancing, we give opportunities for the experienced and talented dancers to finesse their skills to perform at an advanced level. It enables the choreographers to create and showcase their innovative choreography and dance style that Saibailgal are renowned for in Australia and beyond.
The dance performances tell traditional and contemporary stories, customs and daily life through movement, song and props. The current performance showcases celebratory ceremonies, gardening and battles with neighbouring clans and islands.
Naygayiw Gigi has performed at several major events, including a prize-winning performance at the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival. The troupe came first place at the Dance Rites Indigenous Dance Competition in Sydney, and also performed in Papua New Guinea for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Torres Strait Treaty.