Company / Producer Name:             Marrugeku

Production Title:                                  Le Dernier Appel / The Last Cry

Contact Person:                                    Robina Burton

Contact Email:                                    gm@marrugeku.com.au

Company Website:                              www.marrugeku.com.au

Show Status:                                       Ready to tour now

Genre:                                                  Dance


Le Dernier Appel / The Last Cry captures the forces of decolonisation, the collapse of old systems and the vulnerability of walking unaided.


In 2018, after 30 years of debate since signing the Matignon Agreements in 1988, New Caledonia held the first of a series of referendums on independence from France. Le Dernier Appel/The Last Cry reflects on questions arising from the years of waiting for the referendum, while equally addressing Australia’s decades of debates over recognition of First Nations Australians in the constitution and the repeated call for treaty. In rehearsal in Nouméa in 2017 we spoke of our family’s stories and our own personal experience of colonisation’s aftermaths. Behind us are histories of invasion, migration, war, displacement and also adaptation, transformation and transmission. In front, governments replicate new systems of control. While they debate the conditions for us to vote on independence or recognition: we wait … we wait in states of inertia and frustration, facing the deterioration of our communities and constant change as a way of life. As artists and citizens we meet in shared states of frustration, resigned tolerance and the fatigue of telling and retelling truth to power. We understand that colonisation has defined us. To undo the past is impossible, decolonisation is at once both a necessary goal and at the same time a false one. These states of inertia and reoccurring cycles of waiting remind us of Waiting for Godot written by Samuel Beckett in the wake of the second world war. Whilst many interpretations of race, class, religion and politics have been attached to Waiting for Godot, Beckett himself resisted defining the work, stating only that it is about symbiosis. The possibility and challenge of living together for mutual benefit. A possibility that, in the ongoing aftermaths of colonization, may only be achieved through processes of Makarrata, to use the Yolngu expression, coming together after a struggle. These questions don’t have definitive answers, but together they bring memories and experience, all this sit behind every movement in Le Dernier Appel.


Le Dernier Appel/The Last Cry is an intercultural and trans-Indigenous production, with six dancers of First Nations, immigrant and settler descent from Australia and New Caledonia. It is directed and co-choreographed by Marrugeku’s associate choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly, co-choreographed by Marrugeku’s Dalisa Pigram, with dramaturgy by Rachael Swain. Le Dernier Appel is designed by New Caledonian installation artist Nicolas Molé, and music is by Ngaiire, Nick Wales and Bree Van Reyk.


Review quotes:

“Le Dernier Appel’s passionate dance language allows each of the six performers to emerge as distinctive and fascinating. It’s a cast to savour, one that strongly embodies the work’s broad theme of oppression, defiance, resilience and action”. The Australian “Repetitive cycles of alienation, frustration, sorrow and humiliation in the face of political injustice over decades find powerful expression in Le Dernier Appel / The Last Cry”. Australian Book Review “It’s (Le Dernier Appel) a bold and breathtaking new dance work by Marrugeku. …the motion and interlocking weave and action held all the tension and danger of an MMA cage fight”. Neighbourhood