Amor a la muerte (Love to Death)

Lemi Ponifasio
Past event


Amor a la muerte (Love to Death) is a traditional yet radical work conceived and directed by internationally renowned Samoan artist Lemi Ponifasio, a champion of both the avant-garde and Indigenous people. This new work brings together Mapuche artist, singer, and composer Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo and Chilean contemporary flamenco dancer Natalia Garcia-Huidobro. The work was sparked by events detonated after the Chilean police murdered Camilo Catrillanca, a Mapuche former student, activist, and farmer. Catrillanca worked on the movement of reclamation of Mapuche lands. Voices and bodies weave together in a ceremony revealing their own stories: two lives that reflect both Chile’s history and the search for its future. Touching on questions of identity, destiny, and nature, the work transcends conventional ideas of theater, dance, and activism.


Please note: Love to Death (Amor a la muerte) contains nudity and loud sounds.

Presented in Mapudungun and Spanish without surtitles.

There is a keen theatrical intelligence at work here, with moving intimations of the solitude of human existence and moments of dream-like intensity.

Sanjoy Roy, The Guardian

Love to Death (Amor a la muerte) has been produced by Fundación Teatro a Mil, Grec, and supported by La Dirección de Asuntos Culturales (DIRAC) del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Chile. It is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

about the artists

Lemi Ponifasio

Internationally renowned for his work in theater and dance, Lemi Ponifasio is a Samoan director, designer, and choreographer. 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 of Chile. 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 Chile’s Ministerio de las Culturas, las Artes y el Patrimonio.



Natalia García-Huidobro

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 Chile’s Santiago a Mil—I am Mapuche (2015) and Ceremonia Performance MAU mapuche (2016). 

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cast & creative team

Conceived and Directed by Lemi Ponifasio

Performances by Elisa Avendaño Curaqueo, Natalia García-Huidobro