This week we went along to Milton Keynes Theatre to see the lovely ballet by David Nixon OBE. Having always been in love with the story of The Little Mermaid and watching the Disney version several times a day (as a child!), I was very excited to see this grown-up adaptation of the story. Mermaids, and their earlier related form the Siren, have been a part of myth and folklore since at least the ancient Greeks, however Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy-tale is one of the most well known and loved stories to this day. Nixon’s ballet resembles Andersen’s fairy-tale much closer to that of Disney and as such you must prepare yourselves for the not-so-happy ending as the Little Mermaid learns that you do not always get what you want. You will be pleased to know that Marilla does have a trusty friend in the form of Dillion the seahorse.
Ballet is an artistic and delicate form of dance and lends itself perfectly to the undersea movements you would expect. The stage was lit up beautifully with a bluish, twinkling aqua-like glow and then a bright, warm sunshine glow when Marilla washes ashore. Along with the lighting and music of course, a simple stage was transformed through the use of two large arched structures to show us the underwater palace, cliffs and even the ship. The costumes were beautiful with lots of silks and sequins to show off the soft movements and specs of sunlight as you’d expect underwater. The performance overall was very charming, elegant and a delight to watch. The music was enchanting and all the dancers performed brilliantly. The other-worldly floating movements of the mermaids and the much more energetic routines of the sailors harmonised perfectly with the music and you always knew what was going on even though there is no dialogue.
Well done to all involved and thank you for bringing us a perfect adaptation of the adored fairy-tale, The Little Mermaid.
At Milton Keynes Theatre until 21st April, for tickets go to www.atgtickets.com