about the artists
Internationally renowned for his work in theater and dance, Samoan director, designer, and choreographer Lemi Ponifasio has been a frequent visitor to Santiago a Mil International Theater Festival in Chile (2013, 2015, and 2016). In 1995, he founded MAU, a platform for critique and creativity for artists, students, activists, intellectuals, and communities. “Mau” is the Samoan word that means “the declaration to the truth of a matter as an effort to transform.” In 2013, Ponifasio founded MAU Mapuche in Chile to share and create work with Indigenous Mapuche artists 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.
Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo
Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo is a Mapuche artist who 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 America and Europe. Curaqueo is the 2022 recipient of the Premio Nacional de Música 2022, given by the Ministerio de las Culturas, las Artes y el Patrimonio.
A renowned Chilean flamenco dancer, Natalia García-Huidobro 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 Fascination 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).
cast & creative team
Conceived and Directed by Lemi Ponifasio
Performances by Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo, Natalia García-Huidobro