Gustav Mahler’s Third Symphony

La Troisième Symphonie de Gustav Mahler

By In Ballet 2 hours 11 min

The entire edifice of 's work is built around a profound musical sensibility. However, the choreographer, in his constant questioning of the human condition, probably finds the closest reflection of his own humanist concerns in the works of Gustav Mahler, several of whose symphonies he has set to dance. On the wings of the emotions inspired by the monumental Third Symphony, written as “a great hymn to the glory of all creation”, he enters the composer's tormented and contrasting universe to sculpt images of a powerful and profound lyricism. The piece is an osmosis between music and dance, shot through with a palette of emotions, from existential angst to mystical faith. Chorus and soloists accompany the dancers' elegant movements, curved lines and vertiginous lifts, reminding us yet again of the richness of inspiration that powers Neumeier's choreography.

Long reputed difficult – if not impossible – to dance, Gustav Mahler's music has inspired many artists since the 1960s. , , , and have successfully tackled this challenge. But one name will undoubtedly remain attached to the musician's: John Neumeier, who explored about ten of Mahler's works.
Created in 1975 in Hamburg, Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 3 entered the Paris Opera's repertoire in 2009.

What seems today obvious was, back then, perceived as an audacious, even bold choice, a crazy and disturbing ambition: few were the choreographers, apart from Maurice Béjart with the Symphony No. 9, who dared to create a choreography on symphonic music.
And choosing Mahler's work, considered to be even harder to apprehend than Beethoven's, could imply an unusual attraction for complexity. But the result belied the ominous critics, and Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 3 was an immediate (and lasting) success.