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The Little Mermaid / San Francisco Ballet [2 DVD]

Album Summary

>Auerbach, Lera : The Little Mermaid
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

PBS Great Performances Broadcast - December 16, 2011 + After making its triumphant U.S. Premiere and playing to sold-out houses this past season, John Neumeier's superlative work of dance-theater returns in 2011. Featuring an evocative score by Lera Auerbach, and danced by the prestigious San Francisco Ballet featuring acclaimed prima ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan, this heart-wrenching story of sacrifice and unrequited love comes to life against dazzling scenic, costume and lighting designs. + "Neumeiers place in the ballet world is as singular as his interpretation of the tale." San Francisco Chronicle + "Yuan Yuan Tan danced better than ever, fully engaged in the title role, in a noteworthy dramatic performance as well." San Francisco Examiner

"Neumeier's decor, costumes and evocative lighting, with their inner stages and fluid sets, add up to stagecraft at its most compelling. Under Martin West's expert leadership, Lera Auerbach's commissioned score groans, rages and sometimes sings (and, yes, that is a theremin you're hearing in the underwater episodes)... "The Little Mermaid" has elicited miracles of interpretation from the company. The heroine may very well be the role of Yuan Yuan Tan's career. Audiences have long admired her natural beauty and willowy technique, but watching the poignant longing and searing despair with which she inflects the assignment, whether falling in love or attempting to control her new legs, is a harrowing experience." -SF Gate

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 154 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, DTS 5.1


Pure Genius
The Little Mermaid, a tribute to the legendary author Hans Christian Andersen, choreographed and designed by John Neumeier, with music by Lera Auerbach, is truly a work of genius. The San Francisco Ballet brings the work incredible life, though the corps de ballet is at times somewhat sloppy. Yuan Yuan Tan and Llyod Riggins stand out in this masterpiece of theater.
Intertwined with Andersen's own life, the emotional depth and complexity is perfectly portrayed by both the little mermaid and the poet. The choreography is a work of art. There is simply no gesture that is excess, and the piece displays a different kind of mime (as compared to classical ballet), a more realistic mime. The music is genius, with the incorporation of an instrument known as theramin.

As for the quality of the DVD, the ballet is filmed in stunning high definition, and the shots are very appropriate to the ballet. Having seen it live (by the San Francisco Ballet, as well), I must say that the shots enhance the experience of The Little Mermaid. There is a second DVD, with bonus features, including a behind-the-scenes looking at The Little Mermaid, were the process behind this work is described, as well as the process behind the music.

Though I could go on about the pure aesthetic genius and emotional depth of every second of this ballet, it's better to say that it is definitely worth the purchase. This is the most perfect modern ballet I've yet to see, I recommend this to absolutely everyone.
Submitted on 12/31/11 by danrubin06 
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Works Details

>Auerbach, Lera : The Little Mermaid
  • Performers: Tiit Helimets (Dancer); Davit Karapetyan (Dancer); Lloyd Riggins (Dancer); Yuan Tan (Dancer); Sarah van Patten (Dancer)
  • Conductor: Martin West
  • Ensemble: San Francisco Ballet
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 2005