Love to Death
Lemi Ponifasio is an artist from the Pacific who has revolutionized how we understand theatre and dance brings together on stage a Mapuche singer and composer and a flamenco bailaora (dancer) to talk to us about two worlds through their bodies and stories.
Run time 70 minutes
Language language no problem
Dutch opening night Sat, January 27, 2024
Love to Death
Holland Festival, the Edinburgh and Avignon festivals and venues such as the New York Lincoln Center and the Paris Théâtre de la Ville have succumbed to the talent of Lemi Ponifasio, a Samoan director, designer and choreographer who, often taking history and his own roots as his starting point, has approached the worlds of theatre and contemporary dance in a radically innovative and unconventional way. Now he is directing 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.
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.
director Lemi Ponifasio
performed by Elisa Avendaño and Natalia García-Huidobro
choreography Lemi Ponifasio and Natalia García-Huidobro
A 2020 Barcelona Grec Festival and Teatro a Mil Foundation production
light Helen Todd
music and sound Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo and Lemi Ponifasio
light realization and photography Alex Waghorn