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SF Ballet's 'The Little Mermaid': A Tale of Sacrifice and Psychological Transformation

Photo courtesy of Erik Tomasson

This is not a Disney sing-along. Choreographer John Neumeier’s interpretation of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid is much deeper, darker, and creepier than the animated movie. Andersen experienced the pain of unrequited love with both men and women, and this fable is considered the most autobiographical of his works. Neumeier pays tribute to the author with the addition of a new character, a poet, who also falls in love with the prince. A tale of sacrifice and psychological transformation, complete with exquisite costume and set design all done by Neumeier himself, the performance is a journey into spiraling desperation. It’s also your last chance before Nutcracker to see the SF Ballet in 2011.

April 30–May 8; War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., 415-865-2000, sfballet.org