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Mermaid ballet

By Wei Xi (Global Times)

08:16, July 26, 2012

Dancers rehearsing The Little Mermaid

Many children grow up reading adaptations of fairy tales written by Hans Christian Andersen. Now the stories come to life, as The National Ballet of China will stage the classic The Little Mermaid.

Cooperating with renowned choreographer and director John Neumeier, the ballet will be performed at Beijing's Tianqiao Theater from September 24 to 28.

The ballet production of The Little Mermaid is regarded as the first masterpiece from ballet master Neumeier to emerge over the last three years.

Classic story

Neumeier, 70, was born in the US and has been Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer of The Hamburg Ballet since 1973. Since 1996, he has been the "Ballettintendant" (General Manager).

Neumeier has created dozens of ballets, including Hamlet, Lady of the Camellias and The Saga of King Arthur.

The Little Mermaid was created in 2005, when he was invited by the Royal Danish Ballet to create a dance to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Andersen's birth.

The Little Mermaid tells the story of a mermaid who falls in love with a human prince. She bargains with the sea witch to give her human legs. Shortly after, the prince marries another woman, breaking the little mermaid's heart.

The sea witch tells the little mermaid that she can return to sea by killing the prince. Unable to bear this thought, the little mermaid throws herself into the sea and turns into foam.

Throughout recent years, there have been numerous adaptations of the story. But Neumeier said at a press conference last week that he would like to keep the original plot, including the sad ending.

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