The Little Mermaid Northern Ballet On tour until Dec 17
This production is designed to give opportunities to the younger members of Northern Ballet. Sadly, neither the narrative nor the concept is strong enough for it to make much impact.
David Nixon is the director and choreographer, and
you have a hard time working out what is going on in Hans Andersen’s tale of a mermaid falling for a prince.
It’s a touching and haunting parable with several layers of meaning, but not one that instantly lends itself to balletic treatment. Kimie Nakano’s diaphanous scenery doesn’t help either. It’s so abstract that what is happening underwater or on dry land becomes confused.
Nixon plays daintily with movements associated with water but apart from the mermaid herself – a blonde bombshell charmingly embodied by Abigail Prudames – all the characters seem generic and the drama never generates much emotional heat.
After the interval, the pace picks up, energised by Sally Beamish’s fluent score and graced with lively dancing and stylish costumes. A very pretty show but not a hit.
Matthew Topliss as Lord of the Sea