Saturday, December 17, 2011


John Neumeier -- the American-born chief choreographer for Hamburg Ballet -- blends dance, dramatic storytelling and spectacle into this interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen's classic fable. With choreography, sets and costumes all by Neumeier, this ballet -- as much theater as it is dance -- reveals the depths of the choreographer's imagination. And it demands the heights of artistry from the dancers, who must venture into deeply emotional terrain in order to convey the ballet's full meaning.

Created for the Royal Danish Ballet in 2005 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Andersen's birth and featuring a score by acclaimed young composer Lera Auerbach, San Francisco Ballet received Neumeier's rare permission to present the American premiere in March 2010, which was met with ecstatic audience response. San Francisco Ballet prima ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan gives the performance of her career in the title role.-  Arizona Public Media

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