After making its triumphant U.S. Premiere and playing to sold-out houses in 2010, John Neumeier’s superlative work of dance-theater returns in 2011. Featuring an evocative score by Lera Auerbach, this heart-wrenching story of sacrifice and unrequited love comes to life against dazzling scenic, costume and lighting designs.
In The Little Mermaid, Hamburg Ballet Director and Chief Choreographer John Neumeier blends dance, dramatic story-telling, 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 resil- ience of the spirit, human or otherwise.
Helping Neumeier define the distinctions between land, ship, and sea is Russian composer Lera Auerbach. Like the abstract waves of light that divide the stage visually, showing us whether we’re above the water’s surface or below it, the music too sets the scene, evoking both atmosphere and emotional tone. In her score for The Little Mermaid, sweet and haunting melodies for violin flow into brusque passages of atonality and dissonance, making audible the strangeness and discomfort of being out of one’s element.
Lera Auerbach, composer
John Neumeier, choreography, ccenic, costume, and lighting design
Staged by Kevin Haigen, Leslie McBeth, Niurka Moredo, Lloyd Riggins
Lighting realized by Ralf Merkel
Klassik Echo 2012
Category: Music DVD Production of the Year
Dance Screen 2013
Category: Live performance Relay
Rose d'Or 2012
Category: Arts Documentary and Performing Arts
Also a available is a 30 min. Behind the Scenes
documentary which explores the production process of the staging.