John Neumeier’s “The Little Mermaid”

Spent a sick weekend in bed and in front of the TV. I hate it when the weather is responsible for my feeling unwell, but it really seems this is happening here in Hong Kong more than everywhere else. I don’t deal well with the heat and humidity here.

So, I had bought like 12 DVDs of classical and modern ballet pieces a few weeks ago, and then finally watched “The Little Mermaid” in a performance by The San Francisco Ballet. Tan Yuan Yuan, named THE Chinese ballerina here in Hong Kong, played the mermaid.

I had loved the book when my mother read it to me as a child, and in the version we had of Andersen’s fairy tales, there were some pretty dark illustrations, so I always thought the story a little scary, too. A few year later, I love Arielle, of course, which was the Disney-ized version of the story, and I still sometimes sing the songs.

In February, I had seen John Neumeier’s “A Streetcar Named Desire”, and had loved it a lot. The flexed foots, the beautiful costumes in pastel colors, the original and powerful choreography, the elements of boxing and theater, the stage setting, …

These were three imageries were what I had in mind before I watched the ballet.

Now, in short: I loved The Little Mermaid.

It started with the beautiful entree, the excellent stage design, incredibly beautiful dancers and choreography, and an amazingly strong and wild Tan Yuan Yuan. I read a blog entry here, and could not describe it better. I regret I only saw it on DVD, and I can’t wait to see it live – somewhere, somewhen.


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