The score of Mahler’s song Der Abschied set as choreography which speaks of a man’s struggle with mortality in contrast with eternal nature.
When the composer Gustav Mahler was diagnosed with serious heart disease, he wrote to a friend: “I have lost everything I have gained in terms of who I thought I was. I have to learn my first steps again like a new-born.”
It was in this mood that Mahler wrote Das Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth) the last movement of which, the moving Der Abschied (The Separation), is one of his most personal works. Man’s struggle with mortality, in contrast with eternal nature which is constantly renewing itself. In Forever, Grace Ellen Barkey deals with the same questions as Mahler.
The song is performed in an intimate setting as a recollection by the artist Maarten Seghers, along with dancers and installations. Mahler’s Der Abschied is reflected in the Forever choreography.