Love to Death

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Love to Death

Lemi Ponifasio

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Love to Death
Lemi Ponifasio

Love to Death by Lemi Ponifasio is an unique performance that centers around the narrative of the Chilean Mapuche people. In Ponifasio's latest creation, he brings together the traditional Mapuche singer and composer Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo and the contemporary flamenco dancer Natalia García-Huidobro on stage. Love to Death is an exceptionally impressive production in which Ponifasio explores themes ranging from nature, female identity, and power.

Run time 70 minutes
Genre dance
Language Spanish and Mapuche

Dutch opening night Sat, January 27, 2024

Please note the performance involves onstage nudity and loud sound

Love to Death


Lemi Ponifasio is an extraordinary artist from the Pacific Islands who has revolutionized the way we understand theater and dance. His creations defy conventional ideas, employing a radical approach that combines theater, dance, art, and activism. His collaborations with indigenous communities have consistently pushed boundaries and opened new perspectives. The Holland Festival, the Edinburgh and Avignon festivals, and venues such as the New York Lincoln Center and the Paris Théâtre de la Ville have all succumbed to the talent of Lemi Ponifasio, and now it is ITA's turn.

Ponifasio is now directing Love to Death one of his latest creations with the Chilean platform for critical reflection, MAU Mapuche, through which he touches on issues ranging from the Mapuche people to nature, female identity and power. Its central characters are two women who bring to the stage their talent and bodies, tools they use for speaking to us about the communities they come from and, at the same time, about the history and future of Chile.
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One of these artists is Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo, a woman from the Mapuche community from Chile's La Araucanía region. She has spent her entire life immersed in her people’s culture, studying and practicing the Mapuche language, traditional Mapuche medicine and composing and performing, as she does in this show, traditional music from her community. She uses the Mapuche language in her performances, as well as traditional tools that speak to us of her people’s rich culture. Sharing the stage with her is Natalia García-Huidobro, a Chilean artist who has developed a very personal line of contemporary flamenco creations in collaboration with artists from different disciplines, including outstanding visual and musical artists. She has been leading the La Típica company since 2000 and the productions she has directed include El arrebato, Our prayer and A ras de tierra. Together the two artists offer a reflection on State power and the repression suffered by the Mapuche people, which contains ritual elements highly characteristic of Lemi Ponifasio offerings. The show or performance was created between New Zealand, where the director works, and Chile, where it premiered in January 2020.

For the English translation of the speech from the performance, please click here.

CREDITS


director Lemi Ponifasio
performance Elisa Avendaño and Natalia García-Huidobro
choreography Lemi Ponifasio and Natalia García-Huidobro
light Helen Todd
music and sound Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo and Lemi Ponifasio

A 2020 Barcelona Grec Festival and Teatro a Mil Foundation production.

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light operator and photography Alex Waghorn
sound operator Jean Paul Mengin
technical director Martin Montaner
production Manager Fernanda Pardo
supported by Ammodo


This performance is supported by

Lemi Ponifasio


Lemi Ponifasio is a theatre director, choreographer and artist. He is known for his radical approach to the theatre and collaboration with communities.

While firmly established in the frontier of the international avant-garde, Ponifasio grounds his work within the cosmovision of diverse indigenous and Oceanic cultures and communities exploring complex forms of knowledge such as oratory, navigation, architecture, dance, performance, music, ceremony, philosophies, and genealogies as a driving force in emphasising local-oriented arts, indigenous cultural recovery, language, thought and narratives that have been silenced or excluded.

Ponifasio established MAU in 1995, as the philosophical foundation and direction of his work, the name of his work, and the people and communities he works with. MAU is the Samoan word that means the declaration to the truth of a matter as an effort to transform.

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MAU seeks to transform the theatre’s power source, challenge the authority of theatre, and re-examine and question our current concept of what is human. MAU organizes the creation of new art, workshops, symposia, and community meetings; activities to build new systems of knowledge and new cultures to confront the cultural and ecological crisis of our time.

Lemi’s collaborators are people from all walks of life, working and performing in factories, remote villages, opera houses, schools, marae, castles, galleries, and stadiums. His projects have included fully staged operas, theatre, dance, exhibitions, community forums and festivals in more than 40 countries.

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