Love to Death (Amor a la Muerte)

By MAU Mapuche | Directed by Lemi Ponifasio

  • Spanish and Mapudungun
  • 70 minutes
  • + 15 años

Warning Involves onstage nudity

Two Chileans - a Mapuche singer and a flamenco dancer - take to the spotlight in an exploration of the history and memory of two worlds by this outstanding Maori creator.

Love to Death (Amor a la muerte) brings together two Chilean artists - singer and Mapuche composer, Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo and contemporary flamenco dancer, Natalia García-Huidobro. Their voices and bodies weave together in a ceremony reflecting their own stories: two lives that reflect both Chile’s history and the search for a future. This new creation by renowned Samoan artist Lemi Ponifasio - with MAU Mapuche, the company he formed in Chile in 2015 - touches on topics such as the reality of the Mapuche people, the relationship between people and nature, the ‘female being’ and the balance of power, as well as questioning identity and destiny. This is Ponifasio’s third time that he returns to deepend in the Mapuche culture, after creating I am Mapuche (2015) and Ceremonia Performance MAU Mapuche (2016).

Director Lemi Ponifasio | Cast Elisa Avendaño, Natalia García-Huidobro | Choreographies Lemi Ponifasio and Natalia García-Huidobro | Sound and music Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo and Lemi Ponifasio | Coproduced by the Teatro a Mil Foundation and Grec Festival.

Synopsis (English)


Art, the avant-garde and indigenous people

Internationally renowned for his work in theater and dance, this Samoan director, designer and choreographer has been a frequent visitor to Santiago a Mil (taking part in 2013, 2015 and 2016). In 1995, he founded MAU, a platform for critique and creativity for artists, students, activists, intellectuals and communities. A pioneer in developing theater and contemporary dance in the Pacific, he stands out for his radical approach to these disciplines, with productions that move between and transcend the conventional ideas of theater, dance and activism. His work has been performed at some of the world’s most important theaters and festivals, including the Theâtre de la Ville in Paris, the Holland Festival, the Lincoln Center in New York, the Festival d’Avignon and the Edinburgh International Festival.

Lemi Ponifasio

Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo, performer

Custodian of Mapuche art

This Mapuche artist hails from the Manuel Chavarría community in Lautaro in the Araucania region. She has dedicated her life to speaking and teaching Mapundungun and Mapuche medicine, as well as composing and playing traditional Mapuche music, collecting material that has become an important source for storytelling. Her work has won her invitations to fairs and events related to the Mapuche culture in different countries in America and Europe.

Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo

Natalia García-Huidobro, performer

A fusion of two cultures

A renowned Chilean flamenco dancer, she began her career in dance in Mexico in 1992, when she joined the Danza En Cruz company. Between 2007 and 2011, she was a guest performer with Arte Flamenco and with the Glimt Theater Contemporary Circus, both in Denmark and, in 2009, she performed with the French company EME Punto. In 2017, she was a soloist in the Flamenco Facsination show at the Place des Arts Theater in Montreal, Canada. As an assistant choreographer, she has worked on two productions by New Zealand choreographer Lemi Ponifasio for Santiago a Mil - I am Mapuche (2015) and Ceremonia Performance MAU mapuche (2016).

Natalia García-Huidobro

Interpretación y coreografía

“His pieces, in which light and dark fight against each other and black challenges white, engulf the audience in something ceremonial; a reflection on cosmogony”-

—Festival d’Avignon

—“The Mapuches have asked me to tell the world their story and that’s what I’ll do” – Interview with Lemi Ponifasio about Amor a la muerte in La Tercera



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