––With Malen, Ricardo Curaqueo established himself as one of Chile’s most outstanding and promising choreographers and dancers, something that was confirmed after he received the award for best Chilean dance production from the Chilean Circle of Art Critics in 2017. As a dancer, he has also worked under important Chilean and foreign choreographers, including Lemi Ponifasio (Mau mapuche) and Pablo Rotemberg (La noche obstinada).
––Malen is an exploration of what it means to be a Mapuche and thinking, feeling and moving like one in the present. To do this, Curaqueo chose to fuse the pürrún (a Mapuche dance) with something contemporary, one of the things most commented on by the press. “This is one of the qualities of Curaqueo and his team: working on what it is to be Mapuche from the perspective of young artists”, wrote Marietta Santi in the La Hora newspaper.
––This piece aims to present a different image of the Mapuche people and of its women in particular, leaving behind the stereotypes that are bandied around. The piece’s choreographer explains that “it’s a contemporary interpretation of a Mapuche world view that keeps its ritualistic nature. Both the costumes and the set are a reinterpretation of what is traditional, with an emphasis on the deep black of the costumes, on the silver metallic adornments and on the subtle iconography of Mapuche textiles”, he says, all of which were created by visual artist Deysi Cruz Vásquez.
––The contemporary part of this piece is in the fact that only women appear on stage. “The daring version of the choike dance originally only performed by men has a great impact, danced as it is in the show by two women with bare chests”, said one of the reviews published after its premiere. On the stage, each performer represents a certain age of the feminine Mapuche body, from infancy to adolescence, adulthood and finally old age.