Still from Cancion de despedida by Vanessa Estrada

Canción de Despedida by Vanessa Estrada


"Canción de Despedida is an intimate and personal experience. A story of love, of farewells, of letting go and moving on.

A woman having to overcome loss and grief while being away from home.

This is a story of resilience told through movement and song.

An embodied experience in which the creation of the piece itself was a ritual, making it a very real part of my own grieving process".

Direction, Editing and Post Production: Gabriela González 
Production: Vanessa Estrada & Gabriela González 
DOP: José Pincheira 
Art Direction: Vanessa Estrada, Gabriela González, Kathleen González, Neisha Smith 
Choreography: Kathleen González 
Still Photography and Prod. Assistant: Sebastián Barahona 
Costume Design: Neisha Smith 
Makeup Artist: Rebecca Campbell 
Drone Operation: Cristián Saavedra

“Canción de Despedida” is a musical composition which mixes elements of Chilean Cueca and Argentinean Chacarera. Since the moment I’ve decided to produce this video, I had the idea of including a dance piece and the white handkerchief used to dance cueca as a symbolism of my culture.

With the director Gabriela González and the choreographer Kathleen González, we explored ideas of different and symbolic ways of saying farewell to a loved one. This was achieved through inner connection, movement and symbolic elements. 
We had weekly meetings with Kathleen to create and rehearse the choreography. We studied elements of Cueca and Chacarera dance and rhythms. We created our own interpretation incorporating contemporary movements. We decided to use the hood and handkerchief as symbols representing the relief of letting go, of overcoming grief.

We also had weekly meetings with Gabriela to work on the script, story, art, costumes and main location. We took our main inspiration from Cueca dancing and more importantly by the resilient women that during and after the Chilean dictatorship (1973 - 1990) danced by themselves with photographs of their disappeared ones "La Cueca Sola". They were mourning in protest, demanding answers to find their loved ones. In our hearts and in lots of others, it became a symbol of resilience, protest, melancholy, grieving and heartbreaking loss.

Gabriela and I share a strong connection and respect for our stories, it was easy to reach a common ground on what we wanted to express and communicate, having a wonderful experience in the whole process.

Neisha Smith did a fantastic work in designing and creating the outfits, having a huge input in the art direction of the project. 
The production team did an amazing job all along, understanding the needs of the work, the expectations and the sentiment in general. 
I am very thankful to every single person involved in this project.

This work exceeded all my expectations, I am incredibly grateful for receiving the support to create this beautiful piece of art.

This project gave me healing, a voice, a space. It opened so many new doors in my artistic career. I am extremely happy to be one of the recipients of Ahead of the Curve and have this extra support to exhibit my work alongside many other amazing local artists.

It's so important for us artists to have these spaces and opportunities. Thanks to MAV and my amazing team for making this possible and believing in my art."

Presented as part of MAV’s Ahead of the Curve program.

Supported by The Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.