Chamber Symphony / Das Lied von der Erde - Further information

Chamber Symphony/Das Lied von der Erde Chamber Symphony/Das Lied von der Erde Chamber Symphony/Das Lied von der Erde
Chamber Symphony / Das Lied von der Erde


Lucinda Childs, born in America in 1940, is one of the best known protagonists of post modern dance and paved the way for minimal dance. She has long since been a dance icon and choreographs for the great ballet companies of the world. She began her career with the legendary Judson Dance Theatre in New York before founding her own company and has worked together with Robert Wilson (“Einstein on the Beach”), Philip Glass and Sol LeWitt (“Dance”). The starting point for all her pieces is the music, whose flowing patterns are reflected in the movements of the dancers. Divergences, displacements and minimal differentiations mark the flowing sequence of the movements which, even though they have found their way back to the stage, are not spatially limited to the usual central perspective. In 1994, Lucinda Childs created “Chamber Symphony” for the Bavarian State Ballet to music by John Adams. Meditative and repetitive movements evoke flowing, mysterious images. Constant repetitions can give rise to incredible fascination and turn the dancers into living sculptures, dancing sculptures, all of which is emphasized by the transparency of the visual effects of Ronaldus Shamask’s stage design and costumes.

In 1965, long before it became fashionable to choreograph whole symphonies by Gustav Mahler, Kenneth MacMillan created his choreography for the “Song of the Earth”. It became his perhaps most important work and one of the ballets to set the standard for the second half of the twentieth century. The great farewell opus of Mahler’s old age, actually his 9th symphony, which superstition prevented him from using as a title, inspired MacMillan to create a ballet which brilliantly renders the bottomless emotional depths of the music, the dramatic nucleus of the poems on which the work is based and the formal severity of the composition. He accords all the anecdotal elements their due – “The Drinking Song of Misery on Earth”, “The Lonely Man in Autumn”, “On Youth”, “On Beauty”, “The Drunkard in Spring”, “The Farewell” –, only then to transcend the anecdotal completely into pure dance. To do this required the genius of one of the most important choreographers of the last century who has so far not figured often in the Munich repertoire, the last time being with his narrative piece “Manon”.