Believe it or not, Disney's "The Little Mermaid" dispenses most of the fairy tale touches that Hans Christian Andersen enveloped his original story.
Andersen's version centered on how intangible love is that only the souls of two people who truly love each other can fully grasp it. The Disney version makes love more concrete by equating it to marriage. Andersen also opted for a slow and mature depiction of love by allowing the readers to witness the gradual development of the two characters' feelings of each other. Perhaps because of the time constraints, the Prince only had to kiss the Little Mermaid for their love to be actualized in the Disney version.
Then there is ever-controversial ending, the Little Mermaid died in the original version but lived happily ever after in the Disney version.
The Andersen version is tragic to say the least and it is what you can expect from Hamburg Ballet's "The Little Mermaid" this weekend.
American-born choreographer John Neumeier created a tantalizingly graceful but utterly painful choreography to accurately capture the highs and lows of falling in love, the pain and benefits of exploring new worlds and the joy of seeing the one you love happy. Then, there's its equal torture when it is not you he or she is happy with.
Originally created for the Royal Danish Ballet on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Andersen's birth, it will be in LA for a two-night performance at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
- Hamburg Ballet's "The Little Mermaid"
- February 9, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; February 10, 2 p.m.
- Segerstrom Center for the Arts
- 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA
- For tickets, call 714-556-2787 or visit their website