When the composer Gustav Mahler was diagnosed with a fatal heart disease, he wrote to a friend:
‘I have lost everything I have gained in terms of who I thought I was, and I have to learn my first steps again like a newborn.’
It was in this mood that Mahler wrote ‘Das Lied von der Erde’. The last of these songs, ‘Der Abschied’, was to be one of his most personal works, one that reflected his state of mind. Man’s struggle with his mortality, in contrast with nature, which is eternal and constantly renewing itself.
In FOREVER, her latest production, Grace Ellen Barkey raises the same questions as Mahler: ‘No one can sustain constant praise of life. Death or, rather, the finiteness of human life deserves a song or a dance too.’
The song, and also the orchestration, is sung in an intimate setting as a recollection by Maarten Seghers, backed up by the dancers and the installation. The score of Mahler's 'Der Abschied' is visible in the choreography of 'FOREVER'.
Idea, choreography Grace Ellen Barkey
Music Der Abschied, Das Lied von der Erde, Gustav Mahler
With Maarten Seghers, Mélissa Guérin, Sarah Lutz, Mohamed Toukabri
Musical dramaturgy Rombout Willems
Dramaturgy Elke Janssens
Sound Bart Aga
Production & Technique Marjolein Demey, Gwen Laroche
Trainee assistant to the director Camille Doucet
A Needcompany production.
Coproduction: Steirischer Herbst, Internationales Figurentheater-Festival (Erlangen and Nürnberg) and PACT Zollverein (Essen).
With the support of the Flemish authorities.