Great Performances: The Little Mermaid From San Francisco Ballet
Airs Friday, December 16, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV - CANCELLED
Friday, December 9, 2011
Experience Hans Christian Andersen’s haunting tale of love in San Francisco Ballet’s production of this inventive ballet. Hamburg Ballet’s chief choreographer John Neumeier blends dance, dramatic storytelling and spectacle in a darkly emotional interpretation of the classic fable.
Yuan Yuan Tan found a strong personal connection with the Mermaid, she says, in the character’s pursuit of “unconditional love. People dream about it. And [the Mermaid] tries to pursue it, and fails, but still believes in it.” Kristi Yamaguchi hosts the program.
Those expecting a simple ballet adaptation of the Disney animated film will be surprised to find a complex and intense portrayal of unrequited love and the resilience of the human spirit.
San Francisco Ballet – the oldest professional ballet company in America – received Neumeier’s rare permission to present the American premiere in March 2010, which was met with ecstatic audience response, and hailed by critics as “mesmerizing” and “moving.” The two-act production features an evocative score by the young Russian-American composer Lera Auerbach which mixes haunting melodic passages with moody undercurrents atonality and dissonance.
Cast: Yuan Yuan Tan (The Little Mermaid); Lloyd Riggins (The Poet); Tiit Helimets (The Prince); Sarah Van Patten (The Princess); Davit Karapetyan (The Sea Witch). Music Director & Principal Conductor: Martin West.
GREAT PERFORMANCES is a production of Thirteen for WNET New York Public Media. The evening’s presentation is in collaboration with PBS member station KQED. "The Little Mermaid From San Francisco Ballet" airs as part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival.