Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet … ballet is filled with examples of would-be romances thwarted, if only temporarily, by adverse circumstances. But in terms of obstacles, “we can’t breathe the same substance” is kind of a doozy. Two young royals from vastly different realms find their hearts in the same place in the OKC Ballet’s stirring new presentation of The Little Mermaid, Feb. 16-18.
This genuinely is a new experience – the world premiere of a ballet choreographed by artistic director Robert Mills – and while elements of the story will be familiar, be aware that it’s based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, not the animated musical. In other words, don’t expect to see a reggae-singing crab onstage.
However, in the course of the mermaid’s tale (and in addition to her tail), audiences will see the handsome human prince who wins her affection and the gruesome sea witch whose magic makes the romance possible; hear a score assembled from music by elite composers including Borodin and Zemlinksy; and witness the lavish touches that bring the spectacle to life, from immersive sets and video projections to the unparalleled grace and poise of the corps de ballet.
This family-friendly ballet will “be bright and colorful, touching at moments, and sad at moments, with an uplifting end,” Mills promises. Tickets are on sale at the Civic Center box office or online at okcballet.org – get them before you get left high and dry.