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The Little Mermaid

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RDB has announced the following cast for the new Neumeier ballet “The Little Mermaid”:

The mermaid: Marie-Pierre Greve/ Susanne Grinder/ Yao Wei

Prince Edward: Kenneth Greve/ Mads Blangstrup/ Kristoffer Sakurai

The mermaid’s sisters: Cecilie Lassen, Susanne Grinder, Femke Mølback Slot, Mie Fjelstrup, Yao Wei

The sea witch: Gudrun Bojesen/ Amy Watson

Hans Christian Andersen: Mogens Boesen/ Erling Eliassen

Any comments, anybody? I’m disappointed that Schandorff (would be the perfect mermaid :wub: ) once again is passed by given the fact that she is RDB’s biggest star and we don’t have many years left to enjoy her dancing. I also miss my other favorite dancer, Cavallo, on that list. And what’s the deal with M-P Greve? She is in my opinion the least charismatic dancer of that company and should never have been made a principal :angry2: On the other hand, it’s good that a young generation of dancers like Wei, Sakurai etc. are getting their chances.

Bojesen and Watson as witches? Hard to imagine but let’s wait and see. Neumeier rarely disappoints me.

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I. on the contrary, am very happy with the cast.

I find Marie-Pierre Greve a wonderful ballerina and love her in everything lately. She was the best Anna Karenina in my opinion and a stunning Rosita. Also perfect in In the Night. I am glad the company most promising ballerinas Susanne Grinder and Yao Wei (Christina Olsen is another one) get the chance. The three princes cannot fail. But it is of course difficult to comment the cast choice when we don't yet know the choreography.

I agree Silja Schandorff is the company absolute number one and is underused. I won't miss Cavallo.

Bojesen and Watson are princesses, not witches:

Sea witch: Jean-Lucien Massot / Morten Eggert

Prinsesse Henriette: Gudrund Bojesen / Amy Watson

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Princesses, ok that makes more sense, hi hi.

I've only seen Susanne Grinder in Bournonville soloist parts so I'm excited to see how she will do in a leading part.

Another person that I miss on the list is Sokolowska, hopefully a future star of the company.

I guess opinions of dancers are very subjective. Every time I go to a performance, I try to keep an open mind - also regarding M-P Greve. But I must say that I so far havn't seen her show more than one facial expression. It's like seeing somebody dance with a mask on. Some coaching would do her good.

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judging from photos on the RDB home site she will almost with a mask or rather heavy make up. I must say that MP Greve is a dancer that have grown on me over the last few years, and I do think that she and Mads Blangstrup is a very fine couple in romantic ballets. For a long period she was well bland. Blessed with a beautifull proportions dancers body and a dramatic face - she could not really project, but Anna, In the Night and Rosita shows a new exiting phase.

Silja was the star of Neumeiers last enterprise Odysseus, but I can see why she is not in the Mermaid, she is neither the shy mermaid, nor the pretty princess. Silja can do so much on a stage, she has such a commanding presense, but for certain parts it can work against her, like in Caroline Mathilde where in one scene she should be bullied by the childlike mad king and his friend, but it look like she could punch them instead. Reading the Andersen tale it is clear that allthough it need magic it cannot contain Silja magic. It is a sentimental story, not fit for her qualities. But do enjoy her in Lifeguard and if possible in the Night - sheer majesty.

Re. Cavallo she could possibly have danced the princess, but the part is probably not that big and she has a big repetoire anyway.

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The Little Mermaid is not the worst ballet John Neumeier has made - nor is it his masterpiece. It has the distinct characteristics of being a commisioned work rather than a labour of love and commitment. But cut down approx. 30 minutes and you would have a ballet with some lasting qualities. John Neumeier based the ballet on the now famous "gay" interpretation of the fairytale by Danish literate Johan de Mylius,which sees the story as an allergy of Andersen unrequitted love for Edward Collin, the son of his benefactor, but Neumeiers nevertheless managed some original touches, especially at the end where the immortality of the Mermaid and the immortality of the poet are woven together - one would not be immortal without the other.

The ballet really uses and overuses the qualities of Marie Pierre Greve and Kenneth Greve - to the result that it is difficult to imagine other dancers in the parts. MPG is very flexible and this is used to form the key movements of the mermaid. and Kenneth Greve lines and even his abilities as a golfer (his father is a golf pro) is put into play. I am certain that someone will pronounce it the part of a lifetime of MPG who really dominated the scene, even though in heavy "japanese" makeup. The strong part is the mermaids dancing under vater and the saving of the prince. At lot is done dramatically with Verfremdung effects and you cannot help feeling that there are cut a few corners here and there to make the story fit. Never the less he uses the material well and it is amazing how well dancers, who in the younger years was known as non-acting dancers like Kenneth Greve and Mogens Boesen has matured into fine dance actors. Espicially Greve, although it is a difficult role as the prince who never discovers the true love of his life. Gudrun Bojesen as the princess is so well cast dramatically but is subject to the same unfortunate destiny as in Anna Karenina, where she was ideally cast in a secondary role of not much stagetime. But she will get her dues during the Bournonville week.

The stage functions well but it is really really big and therefore diffucult to fill out with corps.

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I think that after a long slow beginning of the first act the drama gets more and more intense and in the second act it excalates all the way until the end of the immortality scene. The last very dramatic scenes makes you forget the kind of boring start.

For me the whole evening was a big triumph of Marie-Pierre Greve. She showed her flexibility and surprisingly very strong acting skills. She was convincingly longing, loving, helpless, misplaced and dispairing. It must be a very demanding role to dance both mentally and physically. Kenneth Greve was the perfect Prince. As Effy says it's hard to immagine anyone else in these roles.

This was the first time for ballet in the new Opera House. It's a luxorius building with all the facilities and a big stage. As expected it lacks the atmosphere and intimity of the good old "Gamle Scene". Maybe it takes some time get used to it, but I don't think it will ever feel like my second home as the Old Stage does.

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Seeing the Greves in this work it was difficult to imagine anyone else, but someone had to do it and it became Susanne Grinder and Mads Blangstrups lot to dances parts that were so tailormade ffor someone else. Blangstrup is actually quite good in the part. Grinder almost a debut is in much deeper water. She is not really suited to the part - but definately to other lead roles - she dances the steps but you see the mechanics in them, whereas MP Greve conveyed the feeling and wonder. In the last scene the decoration did not come down and the mermaid and HC Andersen lost the starry light for their immortality sccene. It was a poignent metaphor. With this cast mortality is never left.

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