Rising Alternative

San Francisco Ballet

The Little Mermaid

Lera Auerbach

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In The Little Mermaid, Hamburg Ballet Director and Chief Choreographer John Neumeier blends dance, dramatic storytelling, and spectacle into a stunning interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fable. With choreography, sets, and costumes all by Neumeier, this ballet—as much theater as it is dance— reveals the depths of the choreographer’s imagination. And it demands the heights of artistry from the dancers, who must venture into deeply emotional terrain in order to convey the ballet’s full message. Neumeier elevates a fantasy into a sophisticated portrayal of psychological transformation and the resilience of the spirit, human or otherwise. Neumeier created The Little Mermaid for the Royal Danish Ballet in 2005 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Andersen’s birth. Of all the famous writer’s stories, the choreographer chose this one because of its “very particular concept of love,” he says. “Love that is so strong that it can overcome boundaries, that it can transport her to new worlds, although it may seem to be self-destructive— because the Mermaid re-creates herself at the cost of extreme personal pain. But the story teaches us, at the same time, that no matter how strong our love may be, it doesn’t obligate the object of our love to love us in return.”


DirectorKevin Haigen, Leslie McBeth, Niurka Moredo, Lloyd Riggins

ChoreographerJohn Neumeier

CastYuan Yuan Tan | Lloyd Riggins Tiit Helimets | Sarah Van Patten

Total running time1 hour 59 min

SubtitlesNo subtitles needed

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