SF Ballet to Premiere “The Little Mermaid” for the First Time in the US

Dance enthusiasts may want to take the short, two-hour flight to San Francisco this month, as it’s world-renowned ballet company with world-class dancers, San Francisco Ballet, is making history by premiering The Little Mermaid for the first time in the US.

The talented Yuan Yuan Tan will star in “The Little Mermaid.”

If you’re thinking this is a production fit for the whole family, think again. Choreographer John Neumeier of Hamburg Ballet has created a deep, emotional and modern interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s 1836 The Little Mermaid.

The Little Mermaid presents a variation on the theme of love, which is quite unique, said Neumeier. “Someone whose love is so strong that they will pass boundaries — a boundless love.”

San Francisco Ballet’s Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson, who describes The Little Mermaid as “a feast for the eye,” had the pleasure of seeing the ballet in Hamburg and “loved it.” He thought it would be a fantastic production to bring to San Francisco.

“It’s very, very different than anything we have done before,” said Tomasson.

The debuting ballet still encompasses the popular film’s major concept – a mermaid who falls in love with a prince and transcends through both worlds to be with him. However, this ballet reaches a whole new psychological and emotional level, as the mermaid’s two physical states represent a battle between lifestyles and state of being. The underwater life embodies serenity and simplicity, whereas her life on-land symbolizes the complex, and often flamboyant lives of humans.

“Neumeier elevates a fantasy into a sophisticated portrayal of psychological transformation and the resilience of the spirit, human or otherwise,” said Cheryl Ossola.

The colorful new San Francisco production, debuting March 20 and running through March 28, is just as dramatic in its movement as it is visually. The Little Mermaid allows the audience to see the world through the love sick mermaid, where everything underwater is beautiful and serene. Tomosson promises a visually stunning production and adds that the role of the Mermaid is very difficult, but “fantastic.”

The Little Mermaid will also feature an original commissioned score by renowned composer Lera Auerbach.

The Little Mermaid Premieres:

World Premiere: April 15, 2005—The Royal Danish Ballet Copenhagen, Denmark
Hamburg Version: July 1, 2007—The Hamburg Ballet Hamburg, Germany
San Francisco Ballet Premiere: March 20, 2010 War Memorial Opera House; San Francisco, California

On a different note, spectators can experience the romantic, yet tragic story of star-crossed lovers, Romeo & Juliet, which will take the form of dance at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco May 1 through 9.

For tickets or more information, please visit www.sfballet.org.

  1. Helgi Tomosson always puts on a great prodution. They say Jennifer Stahl is the upcoming dancer. I saw The Nutcracker at Christmas time. Really colorful!

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