PeggyR

SFB-The Little Mermaid 2011

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Casts for the first four performances:

Take note:

--May 1 performance: Feijoo/Luiz/Keesler in debuts as the Mermaid/Prince/Princess.

--Filming for the broadcast and eventual DVD release takes place on May 3 and 5

PROGRAM 8 THE LITTLE MERMAID

Choreographer: John Neumeier

Composer: Lera Auerbach

Opening Night

Saturday, April 30, 2011, 8:00 PM

Conductor: Martin West

Mermaid: Yuan Yuan Tan

Prince: Tiit Helimets

Princess: Sarah Van Patten

Poet: Pascal Molat

Sea Witch: Davit Karapetyan

Matinee Sunday, May 01, 2011, 2:00 PM

Conductor: Martin West

Mermaid: Lorena Feijoo*

Prince: Vitor Luiz*

Princess: Madison Keesler*

Poet: Pascal Molat

Sea Witch: Garen Scribner

Tuesday, May 03, 2011, 8:00 PM

Conductor: Martin West

Mermaid: Yuan Yuan Tan

Prince: Tiit Helimets

Princess: Sarah Van Patten

Poet: Lloyd Riggins^

Sea Witch: Davit Karapetyan

Thursday, May 05, 2011, 8:00 PM

Conductor: Martin West

Mermaid: Yuan Yuan Tan

Prince: Tiit Helimets

Princess: Sarah Van Patten

Poet: Lloyd Riggins^

Sea Witch: Davit Karapetyan

^guest artist

* Denotes premiere in role.

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Casting for the entire run of The Little Mermaid is up. The bad news is that the Feijoo/Luiz/Keesler debuts apparently won't take place.

PROGRAM 8 Opening Night

Saturday, April 30, 2011, 8:00 PM

THE LITTLE MERMAID

Choreographer: John Neumeier

Composer: Lera Auerbach

Conductor: Martin West

Mermaid: Yuan Yuan Tan

Prince: Tiit Helimets

Princess: Sarah Van Patten

Poet: Pascal Molat

Sea Witch: Davit Karapetyan

PROGRAM 8 Matinee

Sunday, May 01, 2011, 2:00 PM

THE LITTLE MERMAID

Choreographer: John Neumeier

Composer: Lera Auerbach

Conductor: Martin West

Mermaid: Sarah Van Patten

Prince: Pierre-Francois Vilanoba

Princess: Vanessa Zahorian

Poet: Pascal Molat

Sea Witch: Jaime Garcia Castilla*

PROGRAM 8 Evening

Tuesday, May 03, 2011, 8:00 PM

THE LITTLE MERMAID

Choreographer: John Neumeier

Composer: Lera Auerbach

Conductor: Martin West

Mermaid: Yuan Yuan Tan

Prince: Tiit Helimets

Princess: Sarah Van Patten

Poet: Lloyd Riggins^

Sea Witch: Davit Karapetyan

^guest artist

PROGRAM 8 Evening

Wednesday, May 04, 2011, 7:30 PM

THE LITTLE MERMAID

Choreographer: John Neumeier

Composer: Lera Auerbach

Conductor: Martin West

Mermaid: Sarah Van Patten

Prince: Pierre-Francois Vilanoba

Princess: Vanessa Zahorian

Poet: Lloyd Riggins^

Sea Witch: Jaime Garcia Castilla

^guest artist

PROGRAM 8 Evening

Thursday, May 05, 2011, 8:00 PM

THE LITTLE MERMAID

Choreographer: John Neumeier

Composer: Lera Auerbach

Conductor: Martin West

Mermaid: Yuan Yuan Tan

Prince: Tiit Helimets

Princess: Sarah Van Patten

Poet: Lloyd Riggins^

Sea Witch: Davit Karapetyan

^guest artist

PROGRAM 8 Evening

Friday, May 06, 2011, 8:00 PM

THE LITTLE MERMAID

Choreographer: John Neumeier

Composer: Lera Auerbach

Conductor: Martin West

Mermaid: Sarah Van Patten

Prince: Pierre-Francois Vilanoba

Princess: Vanessa Zahorian

Poet: Pascal Molat

Sea Witch: Garen Scribner

PROGRAM 8 Matinee

Saturday, May 07, 2011, 2:00 PM

THE LITTLE MERMAID

Choreographer: John Neumeier

Composer: Lera Auerbach

Conductor: Martin West

Mermaid: Yuan Yuan Tan

Prince: Tiit Helimets

Princess: Vanessa Zahorian

Poet: Pascal Molat

Sea Witch: Davit Karapetyan

PROGRAM 8 Evening

Saturday, May 07, 2011, 8:00 PM

THE LITTLE MERMAID

Choreographer: John Neumeier

Composer: Lera Auerbach

Conductor: Martin West

Mermaid: Sarah Van Patten

Prince: Pierre-Francois Vilanoba

Princess: Vanessa Zahorian

Poet: Pascal Molat

Sea Witch: Garen Scribner

PROGRAM 8 Matinee

Sunday, May 08, 2011, 2:00 PM

THE LITTLE MERMAID

Choreographer: John Neumeier

Composer: Lera Auerbach

Conductor: Martin West

Mermaid: Yuan Yuan Tan

Prince: Tiit Helimets

Princess: Vanessa Zahorian

Poet:Pascal Molat

Sea Witch: Davit Karapetyan

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Casting for the entire run of The Little Mermaid is up. The bad news is that the Feijoo/Luiz/Keesler debuts apparently won't take place.

What a shame. And a little :off topic: , I WISH she would made her annual trip down here to do La Fille Mal Gardee with the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami. THAT would be a challenge for her, I think, for wwhich I can tell that the Lissette of Nijinska's version-(Alonso's/CCBM's)-seems to be more child like and mannered than that of Ashton's.

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Well, it's almost over, and Paul Parish's review of Little Mermaid in the Bay Area Reporter pretty much sums it up: great spectacle, not so great choreography, and really self-destructive emotional subtext. As is often the case, the beauty and skill of the dancers masked the tedium and tendentiousness of the choreographer. Although not in his review, I hope Mr. Parish got to see Jaime Garcia Castilla's chilling portrayal of the Sea Witch.

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I thought "Mermaid" became honest only at the end, stripped down, the story exhausted, with only the two characters left on stage - Pascal Molat and Sarah Van Patten, very touching there. Otherwise it was a heavy pastiche of everything you would have seen on the Lower East Side or at BAM twenty years ago – Joanne Akalaitis' "Pericles," Tadeusz Kantor's Cricot 2 theater (Kantor, whom Molat greatly resembled, played the writer part in "Dead Class"), Robert Wilson's "Einstein," the artist Boyd Webb (the upside down ship) etc – also the party from "La Dolce Vita," and in the music there were mosaics of Brecht/Weill and Nino Rota (Carlotta's theme from "8 1/2"). Allan Ulrich last year (he seems to have passed on reviewing it this year) thought the Sea Witch looked like Ming the Magnificent in Flash Gordon but it could also have been a Batman Joker iteration. Anyway because of weight of all this, "Mermaid" had no time to be its own good (25 minute) self – and none of the dancers got to dance. Steven Morse did nice bit as a wandering red-gloved shadow boxing boxer and I do wish I had been able to have see what Jaime Garcia Castilla could do with Sea Witch because he had been so good in "Chroma."

Architecture got over post-modernist mannerism fifteen years ago, and great clean new works are being done – especially in Spain, the Netherlands, and Chile; why can't dance make itself new again too?

Added: I agree with Balleroger about the relentless self-destruction motifs.

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I haven't had a chance to comment before now, but I was able to see the Van Patten/Molat/Vilanoba/Zahorian cast on Friday evening.

I had not seen this ballet before, nor had I seen any of the principal cast before so I was a fairly happy camper all evening with the new sights. I'm glad I was able to see Van Patten (thought I should see her with the Tan cast coming to PBS anyway)--what a stunning characterization. The amount of brutality inflicted on her body over the course of 2 1/2 hours must be incredibly extreme, she never played it easy or took the easy way out of any of the rough movements. My immediate dislikes were the Poet. Though obviously the Poet forms the basis of the plot in this story, I could really do without so much of him. It seemed that every scene he was in was an eternity and just treaded water. I don't think this was Molat's fault, so I guess I'll see if that holds for the other cast when it airs. I loved the costuming, and contrary to what some reviews have said I really enjoyed the movements of the dancers under the sea rather than above it. I think Neumeier really captured the almost alien-like movement of sea inhabitants very, very well. In contrast, the corps scenes on the boat didn't have the same spark for me.

Whoever those three Mermaid haulers were in the first act deserve a standing ovation for their seamless partnering and extended, really difficult lifts. It can be easy to press someone over the head because you can lock your arms, but most of the lifts required them to hold Van Patten right at chest level which makes my arms burn just thinking about it (credit also goes to the sheer amount of fluid male-male partnering/lifts with the Sea Witch).

I liked many more things about the production than disliked, so I am very glad I was able to attend. My friend who was with me is not an avid dance watcher and she really loved it. I do have to say I feel it's an odd choice for Dance in America, but I guess someone over there wants to take risks and this should be applauded!

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