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Balletmore Dance Studio presents 'A Mermaid Tale' tomorrow

Balletmore performances are family friendly and fun for all ages.
Balletmore performances are family friendly and fun for all ages.
Photo by Chris Warber

If you are looking for a fun weekend family activity, consider taking the kids to see Balletmore Dance Studio's "A Mermaid Tale." The local Grand Rapids dance studio presents a unique story based on the classic fairy tale, "The Little Mermaid," in a one-hour ballet performance. Even if you are familiar with the fairy tale, this story will surprise you. Balletmore Dance Studio's "A Mermaid Tale" will be performed on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 4 pm at Northview High School's Max Colley Jr.'s Performing Arts Center.

A New Mermaid Story

Balletmore's "A Mermaid Tale" is not another copy of the famous Disney mermaid story. The artistic director of Balletmore, Melanie Anderson Brossiet, researched many versions of "The Little Mermaid" fairy tale from all over the world, including other ballets, to put together a unique, family friendly 60-minute show. Brossiet and her creative team, Judith Vanden Bosch and Leslie Van Winkle, collaborated to create the aquatic world of mermaids, water fairies and sea creatures brought to life in dance. This will be a world premiere performance of a heroic young mermaid in a beautiful aquatic world where she will get to play with her friends, battle evil sea creatures, and even fall in love for the first time.

Balletmore student dancers and the Balletmore Ensemble will perform. Student dancers range in age from 4 to 18. 13-year-old Claire Meyer plays the lead mermaid princess, Arianna. Zane Terry will give a special guest performance as her merman prince, Zane. Performances showcasing the Arianna's water kingdom will include mermaids, water fairies, the Queen of the Ocean, jelly fish, eels and octopuses. A projection set will be used. Costumes were designed by Vanden Bosch and some were borrowed from the Children's Opera Workshop, Grand Rapids. The audience will feel transported into a fantastical aquatic world.

Even the music will a unique experience for a mermaid fairy tale. Dancers will perform to music scores by Alexandre Desplat and Benjamin Britten, featuring music from the soundtracks of movies like "The Twilight Saga," "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium."

"All of the classes will tell a portion of the story that takes place entirely in the mermaid's ocean world. It will be a story of first love, friendship, strong women, the strength of family, and good defeating evil," said Brossiet.

A Family Friendly Show

It was important to Brossiet that "A Mermaid Tale" be enjoyable for audience members of all ages, including young children. The show is only 60 minutes long and is easily understood by even the youngest members of the audience. Although the story includes elements from the original fairy tale, it doesn't include the scary parts. The battle between good and evil is told in a family friendly manner that stresses the importance of friendship and family loyalty. The heroine will face challenges and battle the bad guys, but it will ultimately have a happy ending.

Performance Time and Location

Balletmore's "A Mermaid Tale" will be held at 4 pm at Northview High School's Max Colley Jr. Performing Arts Center at 4451 Hunsberger NE in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Tickets are available online at Balletmore's website through ExtremeTix and will also be sold at the door. Tickets purchased online are $10 for adults and $5 for children 5-years-old and under. Tickets sold at the door will be $12 for adults and $7 for children 5-years-old and under.

"A Mermaid Tale" is one weekend activity you can take the entire family to see for an hour of entertainment complete with dancing water fairies and sea battles.

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