Hamburg Ballet

    “The Little Mermaid” is one of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s most celebrated fairy tales, published in 1837. Thanks to the influence of the cheery, Disney movie-musical, the deep pain and tragedy of the original tale is often forgotten. But not by choreographer John Neumeier, who has been artistic director of Hamburg Ballet since 1973. He paired Andersen’s real life romantic losses and that of his Mermaid’s in a two-act ballet first created for the Royal Danish Ballet in 2005 and then revised two years later for Hamburg’s dancers. They performed this dramatic, dance-theater spectacle at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Feb. 8-10, with principals Silvia Azzoni as the Mermaid, Carsten Jung as the Prince, Lloyd Riggins as Andersen, and Alexandre Riabko as the Sea Witch. –Photography by Michael Khoury.