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Auerbach: The Little Mermaid

19 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Nov 15, 2011)
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$20.23 $18.56

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$24.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

After making its triumphant U.S. Premiere and playing to sold-out houses, John Neumeier's superlative work of dance-theater returns, featuring an evocative score by Lera Auerbach, and danced by the prestigious San Francisco Ballet featuring acclaimed prima ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan. This heart-wrenching story of sacrifice and unrequited love comes to life against dazzling scenic, costume and lighting designs.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: John Neumeier, Lera Auerbach, San Francisco Ballet, Yuan Yuan Tan
  • Directors: Thomas Grimm
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: C Major Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 15, 2011
  • Run Time: 154 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005OV1MWA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,324 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By danrubin06 on December 31, 2011
The Little Mermaid, a tribute to the legendary author Hans Christian Andersen, choreographed and designed by John Neumeier, with music by Lera Auerbach, is truly a work of genius. The San Francisco Ballet brings the work incredible life, though the corps de ballet is at times somewhat sloppy. Yuan Yuan Tan and Llyod Riggins stand out in this masterpiece of theater.
Intertwined with Andersen's own life, the emotional depth and complexity is perfectly portrayed by both the little mermaid and the poet. The choreography is a work of art. There is simply no gesture that is excess, and the piece displays a different kind of mime (as compared to classical ballet), a more realistic mime. The music is genius, with the incorporation of an instrument known as theramin.

As for the quality of the DVD, the ballet is filmed in stunning high definition, and the shots are very appropriate to the ballet. Having seen it live (by the San Francisco Ballet, as well), I must say that the shots enhance the experience of The Little Mermaid. There is a second DVD, with bonus features, including a behind-the-scenes looking at The Little Mermaid, were the process behind this work is described, as well as the process behind the music.

Though I could go on about the pure aesthetic genius and emotional depth of every second of this ballet, it's better to say that it is definitely worth the purchase. This is the most perfect modern ballet I've yet to see, I recommend this to absolutely everyone.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By SFguy on January 8, 2012
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I saw two productions of Little Mermaid with both Yuan Yuan Tan and Sarah Van Patten as The Little Mermaid. In a sense, this DVD is a better way to see the production than an actual staging, because it allows the viewer to do some necessary editing. My overall comment would be that this ballet has one hour of inspired choreography and stage design in two hours of ballet. The DVD allows the viewer to skip the tedium and focus on the brilliance. It also allows the viewer to see the wonderful acting talent of the dancers better than from any seat in the house.

As with any filming of a theater piece, the viewer is at the mercy of the artistic choices of the photographer, who may not choose to capture the subject of greatest interest to a person in the audience. I think the Video Director has struck a reasonable compromise between focusing on individual dancers and the greater ensemble. Part of the problem for him no doubt was that the lighting was often quite dark, especially in the under water scenes, even as viewed in the audience.

The real stars in this production are the dancers of the San Francisco Ballet, who are uniformly excellent. The Video Director necessarily focuses on the principals, but all the dancers contributed. The dancing of the Magic Shadows and the Sea Witch in the Transformation scene alone would justify this DVD.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By jack wilinsky VINE VOICE on December 24, 2011
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This is a great ballet version of the story of "The Little Mermaid". Neumeier seems to have returned to an earlier style of sticking to something resembling classical ballet infused with modernity. Unlike most recent versions of this story, here, Neumeier sticks very closely to the original story as Hans Christian Andersen intended it, including Andersens reworked, final version of the ending. Some story elements are nevertheless difficult to convey in a ballet restricted to dancing and pantomime as the only vehicles of expression. Unless you are already familiar with the story, you may miss some things, such as the fact that she will have no voice in human form, and experience the pain of walking on broken glass each time she takes a step on her new human legs. But all in all, the action takes place with great theatricality, dancing, makeup, costumes, and emotional drama. The deeply sad aspect of this story comes through very well.
An interesting addition to the action is the inclusion of Hans Christian Andersen to the story, itself. This was a very useful inclusion by Neumeier giving us an onstage generator of story and action, as well as additional dancing. It also gives us insight into the motivation of the story and how it relates to the life of Hans Christian Andersen. There is no doubt that Andersen's life was replete with the torturous pain of unrequited love and that is what this story is mostly about. Andersen expressed much grief over his unsuccessful love and desire to marry several women, most notably the Swedish soprano, Jenny Lind. He even wrote "The Nightingale" expressly out of his love for her. He proposed to her, but she rejected him, telling him she loved him only as a brother. Ouch!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patricia J. Robinson on March 11, 2013
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Commissioned for the bicentennial of writer Hans Christian Anderson, the familiar tale of love and sacrifice is given a20th Century look while retaining all its original tragic elements. This Little Mermaid has nothing to do with Disney! There are no cute & sassy sidekicks here; no happy ending. Ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan of the San Francisco Ballet may be the greatest actress in dance today. Conveying the torment of the Mermaid's attempted transformation into a human with her expressive face & body is both harrowing and mezmerising to watch. Her futile attempts to win the man she loves, the sacrifices she is forced to make, the humiliations she undergoes are piled on as human love is celebrated all around her. An outcast both above & below the sea, this fragile creature is fated to live in isolation, cut off from everything & everyone she's ever loved. Choreography & costumes by John Neuneier are top notch. The music may not be to your taste, however.
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