Neumeier's The Little Mermaid
Posted 23 November 2011 - 10:25 AM
Some of the choreography is very dissonant. Not sure what the right word is. Non-flowing movements. Maybe there are ballet terms. So this would never become a favorite ballet for most of us. But it is a fascinating one. I think I liked the first part where she still had her fish tail (actually silky cloth that symbolizes a fish tail). Her dancing was very beautiful. Then, later when she gains legs, of course, the dancing is impressive but not beautiful.
To me this is a very modern piece, so not for everyone. Some of the moves look like yoga moves that I attempt to do in my yoga classes to give you an idea.
The music is atmospheric, but I will have to listen more times to know whether I like it a lot or not, b/c so far it is not bad, not great either.
Overall, it is something different that works as a theater piece. I don't think it is a work anyone would fly somewhere to see like people here flew to Italy to see Raymonda! LOL But if it were playing near me I think I would go to it.
Although I understand why some people warned me it is not for children I did not really see anything that would prevent me from taking a child to see it if I had a child. I know my parents would have taken me to something like this at any age without any hesitation or regret. No, it's not Disney, but it is not offensive at all, in my opinion.
Posted 23 November 2011 - 04:18 PM
I promise to post my, and DD's impressions when we have seen it, it will be very interesting to see if we all are in agreement or not.
Posted 23 November 2011 - 05:56 PM
I would like to know what others think about the dancing for the title character, b/c it is intriguing that the dancer who dances the Little Mermaid has to use all of her skill to demonstrate awkward steps (to portray agony at walking). On paper that sounds like a really ridiculous idea for the title character in a ballet! LOL But it works for me. And like I said I think Yuan Yuan Tan does an amazing job portraying both the physical and emotional pain of the role. Funny enough, the opera Rusalka which is essentially the same story has the character Rusalka give up her ability to speak to become human (so the soprano is mute for part of the opera), which is also sort of funny!
Posted 24 November 2011 - 04:10 PM
Posted 24 November 2011 - 09:06 PM
Posted 29 November 2011 - 04:08 PM
performance - she was just unbelievably good. If only there had been less of able seamen strutting about and more of her, we would both have liked it better. The entire ballet stands and falls with the ballerina, with Yuan Yuan Tan it stands beautifully, with a lesser dancer the whole ballet would flounder and just become some silly goings on aboard a cruise liner- "Anyone for shuffle board?"
Posted 29 November 2011 - 07:52 PM
Posted 30 November 2011 - 01:08 AM
Silvia Azzoni danced the mermaid at the German premiere in Hamburg. I had the chance to see this ballet about a year after the premiere and I liked it very much, even if I am not a big fan of Ms. Auerbach's music. Sivia Azzoni was a fantastic, very touching mermaid and I especially liked her dancing in the first part when she was still the sea creature moving beautifully and elegantly in the watery element. I love the idea how to the fishtail is made part of the dance. But my heart was broken when the mermaid made her first horrible, clumsy steps on her new feet.
I agree there is not much of a fairy tale atmosphere and I could have done without golf and the Royal marine and those seamen. I found the Princess's (Helen Bouchet in Hamburg) behavior a bit irritating because she almost never reacts to anything the mermaid does, as if she is not able to see the mermaid.
Neumeier's Little Mermaid will probably not become one of my all-time favorites (this place is occupied by his Illusions – Like Swan Lake and the Lady of the Camellias) but I would love to get another chance to see the Little Mermaid on stage and I am very much looking forward to this DVD.
Posted 30 November 2011 - 05:12 AM
I agree that the dancing in the first part was much more beautiful when the little mermaid was in the water. Even though the later "clumsy" and "painful" dancing was amazing and thrilling in its own way I did wish we could see the Mermaid return in the water with the tail. But she was too "in love" to kill the prince to regain her tail just like in the original tale! LOL This is a timeless tale of how people fall for the wrong guy! About 90% of my friends do that!!!
Posted 12 December 2011 - 07:48 AM
Copy of my 'alert' on the timing, from another forum:
MPT is the only PBS station in the DC area showing the San Fco Ballet's Little Mermaid this Friday, Dec 16, at 9pm EST. Alert to folks hoping to tape it: the show will run 2 hrs & 26 minutes, so use proper recording mode/speed to not be disappointed, if you're not monitoring the taping.
Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:56 AM
Tan is exceedingly bendy - every last inch of her - and she was able to put this facility to the utmost balletic use in order to interpret the character of the mermaid on sea and on land. The scene showing her struggle to feel free in a physical 'room' erected on stage was heartrending as she made us experience the loss of hope when she realizes there is no escape while trapped in a human form.
She and Helimets together made the ballet something very special. Kudos to PBS for televising it!
Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:29 AM
Posted 17 December 2011 - 12:37 PM
Posted 17 December 2011 - 02:48 PM
I do think it has legs! No pun intended. I think it is more likely to spread as a ballet played all over the world than the Royal Ballet's new Alice. I enjoyed both, but The Little Mermaid has more dancing and is a more moving experience. However, I can't imagine anyone topping Yuan Yuan Tan's performance. I feel like she made the dvd worth it for me. I think it is going to become a real challenge for dancers to equal or top her performance in this in the future, but you never know. We seem to be living in a very good time for ballet. In contrast, the opera world has gone downhill, in my personal opinion, which is the reason I have turned to ballet. I have had a few too many disappointments in the opera house in recent years. I think opera is experiencing a decline right now, but I am happy that ballet is on an upswing.
Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:22 PM
It's a work that needs and deserves a receptive and sensitive audience and great artists on stage... and what a fantastic performance from SFB: Yuan Yuan Tan, Helimets and Riggins (guest from Hamburg) were great.
As much as Yuan Yuan Tan was superb, I've been told by many people that also Silvia Azzoni (awarded with the Benois de la Danse for this role) is wonderful. I've booked for a performance in Hamburg in April and I hope she will be on that night.
She is very different physically and technically from Yuan Yuan Tan so it will be interesting to see how the approach to the role changes. For the moment I've seen only this pdd (with her husband Sascha Riabko) from a gala and I must say that here I tend to prefer Silvia's less extreme but more poetic kind of movement, I think that her slower movements give also a grater idea of underwater ambient.
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