The opening of the fifth version of Ficwallmapu dazzled us with contemporary indigenous dance, performance art and scenic arts. From the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Lucas Avendaño; from Santiago de Chile, Ricardo Curaqueo and the seventeen lamngen/sisters that make up the cast of “Malen” posed their vital impulse in the city of Temuco, in the ancestral-historical Mapuche territory, the Wallmapu. A night that wrapped us with the beauty of the staging of two pieces that have toured various continents and that were enjoyed by the hundreds of people who filled the great hall of the Catholic University of Temuco on January 21, 2020.
The stage lights opened softly to receive the force of the movement of Lucas Avendaño; perhaps, the best known muxe around the world. The Oaxacan performance artist and anthropologist, opened the Inaugural night with a performance, and accompanied us in various instances of the Festival, in a year where we have discussed around the sex- affective diversities from the perspective of the original peoples and black and Afro-descendant communities. His proposal on muxeidad, muxe, that identity that surpasses the masculine-feminine binarism and that also overflows modern identities, has been not only pertinent but also necessary in times of diverse voices from the indigenous worlds.
The darkness returns to the stage after Lucas’s action. Now it receives Malen. A cast of Mapuche domo / Mapuche women. The youngest, Ayelen, is twelve years old and the oldest, papai Elsa Quinchaleo is seventy-six. For many minutes, only the sound of female voices flooded our senses, soon the light appeared, the bodies of the seventeen women multiplied, like the image that circulates in the social networks that indicates “move forward as if hundreds of ancestors walk behind you ” There is no doubt that the kuifikeche yem (ancestors) were present whenever one breath joined another in the exercise of keeping the indigenous arts alive.
The play’s contemporary proposal ignited the expectations of those who awaited it: the bodies of women with bare chests facing each other in the dance of the loncomew (with their heads), the solo voice of the girl Ayelen in the middle of the stage, the steps of the dances of the lamngen, the force of the collective movements, the final moment where papay Elsa gave us a song for Macarena Valdés, all in a strong and harmonious framework like a “witral”, a Mapuche loom.
We closed with the origin and we asked Ricardo Curaqueo, the director of Malen, how did the idea of this Mapuche contemporary dance work came about: “It arises from taking a certain responsibility for who I am and discerning that what built me the most, were the women who surrounded my life. My mother, my sisters, my grandmothers as more attractive figures than male figures. The kimün (wisdom) has been carried by women, from that point of view is that, if I had to take responsibility for who I am, it is through that feminine memory, of women. ”