The Segerstrom Center for the Arts (SCFTA) presents the Southern California premiere of Hamburg Ballet’s “The Little Mermaid” from February 8 – February 10, continuing the Center’s International Dance series.
Hamburg Ballet’s production is based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale and is directed and choreographed by John Neumeier. Unlike the popular, kid friendly fairy tale of “The Little Mermaid,” this sophisticated interpretation of the classic story delves into the deeper themes of conflicted love and loss and is not recommended for children.
Inspired in part by traditional Japanese theater, Neumeier’s vision features striking costumes and dramatic scenery with the writer – Hans Christian Andersen – a prominent figure in the ballet. The Mermaid’s feelings and her tragic destiny become a reflection of Andersen’s own longing. As she travels through both her own world and that of humans, enduring torment because of her committed love for a prince, in the end, the Mermaid discovers her own strength. This SoCal premiere also features an original score commissioned by renowned composer Lera Auerbach.
Since 1973, American-born John Neumeier has been director and chief choreographer of Hamburg Ballet and "Ballettintendant" since 1996. As a choreographer, Neumeier continually focuses on the preservation of ballet tradition, while giving his works a modern dramatic framework. His latest creations for the Hamburg Ballet, “Purgatorio” and “Liliom” premiered in 2011. Neumeier has worked as a guest choreographer with many companies, including The Royal Ballet in London, the State Operas of Vienna, Munich and Dresden as well as the Paris Opera Ballet, The Tokyo Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.
“The Little Mermaid” was commissioned by the Royal Danish Ballet to commemorate the 200th birthday of Andersen. It premiered in Copenhagen on April 15, 2005. In 2007, Neumeier created a revised version for his own company, the Hamburg Ballet, and the score was completely reworked by Lera Auerbach. In 2010, the production has premiered by the San Francisco Ballet and in 2011 made its Russian debut at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre. The production premiered at the National Ballet of China in 2012.
The Hamburg Ballet’s performance at the SCFTA begins Friday, February 8, 2013 and runs through Sunday, February 10, 2013. For more information visit: www.scfta.org.
The Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa.