MarrugekuLe Dernier Appel / The Last Cry
Marrugeku is dedicated to Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians working together to develop new dance languages that are restless, transformative and unwavering. Marrugeku builds bridges and breaks down walls between urban and remote dance communities, between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and between local and global situations.
Marrugeku is led by co-artistic directors: choreographer/dancer Dalisa Pigram and director/dramaturg Rachael Swain. Working together for 23 years, they co-conceive and facilitate Marrugeku’s productions and research laboratories, introducing audiences to the unique and potent structures of Indigenous knowledge systems and the compelling experience of intercultural performance. Marrugeku’s performers come from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, collaborating to co-create each production. Marrugeku’s patron is Yawuru law man and national reconciliation advocate Patrick Dodson.
Working from their bicoastal operations in the remote town of Broome Western Australia and the urban Centre of Carriageworks, Sydney, Marrugeku harnesses the dynamic of performance exchange drawn from remote, urban, intercultural and trans-Indigenous approaches to expand the possibilities of contemporary dance. Their productions tour throughout urban and remote Australia, to other Indigenous contexts internationally and throughout the world.
A Yawuru/Bardi woman born and raised in Broome, Dalisa is a founding member of Marrugeku (1994) and Co-Artistic Director since 2009. A co-devising performer on all Marrugeku’s productions, touring extensively overseas and throughout Australia with Mimi, Crying Baby, Burning Daylight (assistant choreographer/cultural liaison) and Buru (conceived, choreographed and co-directed), Dalisa’s first solo work Gudirr Gudirr premiered in 2013 and has since played across Australia, Europe, the UK and Canada and at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Nouméa. Gudirr Gudirr has earned Dalisa and Marrugeku collectively an Australian Dance Award (Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance 2014), a Green Room Award (Best Female Performer 2014) and was nominated for a 2014 Helpmann Award. Dalisa co-choreographed Cut the Sky (2015) and Le Dernier Appel (2018) with Serge Aimé Coulibaly. Dalisa has co-curated (with Rachael Swain) Marrugeku’s four International Indigenous Choreographic Labs, Burrbgaja Yalirra mentorship program and the Listening to Country dramaturgy research laboratory.
Rachael Swain is a director and dramaturg of intercultural dance theatre and a dance researcher. She is founding member and co-artistic director of Marrugeku, together with Dalisa Pigram. She has directed Marrugeku’s productions Mimi, Crying Baby, Burning Daylight, Cut the Sky, the forthcoming Jurrungu Ngan-ga and co-directed Buru with Dalisa Pigram. She was dramaturg for Dalisa Pigram’s award winning solo Gudirr Gudirr, the triple bill Burrbgaja Yalirra and Le Dernier Appel. Rachael was previously Co-artistic director of Stalker Theatre where she directed Blood Vessel, Incognita (with Koen Augustijnen), Sugar and Shanghai Lady Killer. Rachael trained at the European Dance Development Centre in Arnhem, the Netherlands and The Amsterdam School for Advanced Theater and Dance Research (DAS ARTS). Her PhD from Melbourne University titled Ways of Listening explored new Intercultural-Indigenous dramaturgies. Her first publication Dance and Contested Land – new intercultural dramaturgies, to be published by Palgrave in 2019. Rachel has co-curated and facilitated (with Dalisa Pigram) Marrugeku’s four International Indigenous Choreographic Labs, Burrbgaja Yalirra mentorship program and the Listening to Country dramaturgy research laboratory.