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NORTHERN BALLET’S THE LITTLE MERMAID
Act One swam by and at the end, we were reminded of the tragedy at the heart of the story as the little mermaid struggled with the pain of having legs. ‘I could go to the ballet every night,’ said my companion also telling me earnestly how much she liked the seahorse as he galloped and the marble walls of the set.
In Act two the little mermaid is innocently joyful about being on land. She watches the humans dance with fascination and then dances herself. This is a dance of guileless not belonging as it is evident that she is a stranger, a sea creature. The Prince joins her in a dance where they unite their differences of land and sea but it is only a small window of possibility. it is at this point that the subtleties of the choreography can be truly appreciated. There are some lovely moments of tenderness for her plight from the women as the Prince is pulled back to his life and she is left broken-hearted and alone to dance her grief out.
‘Oh, that’s sad,’ said my daughter as the mermaid was saved by dying and returning to the sea. Altogether very beautiful and absorbing.
Review by Moira Cormack on behalf of Love Books Group
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