29 April 2015 at 9.41am | 2 Comments
Set to Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, it was originally created on Stuttgart Ballet, due to the Royal Opera House Board's reservations about the suitability of Mahler’s score for ballet. However, just six months after its premiere, it was taken into The Royal Ballet repertory.
‘The inventiveness, and the unique quality and development of the choreography, set to Mahler’s wonderful score, makes it a masterpiece’, says Monica Mason, former Director of The Royal Ballet, who performed Song of the Earth when it first came to the Company.
‘What is extraordinary for me is that in the music, Mahler combines his wonderful enjoyment of life with the overall feeling that he’s not going to be around that much longer,’ says Barry Wordsworth, Royal Ballet Music Director. ‘It’s a song full of the lusty love of life, but contrasted with tranquil, reflective melody and the overwhelming feeling of change, and that is what the choreography shows so well.’
Monica and Barry recently took part in an Insights session with Guest Notator Grant Coyle. Watch an extract:
‘Kenneth had such a sense of the shortness of our lives’, agrees Monica. ‘He was not afraid of the horrors of life or its ugliness, and just took it all on board. It was part of life, along with love, lust, fun, tears and great grief.’
The production is staged with generous philanthropic support from Richard and Delia Baker and Lindsay and Sarah Tomlinson.