John Neumeier’s acclaimed production to air nationally on Great Performances and internationally in European and Asian markets
SAN FRANCISCO, Tuesday, April 5, 2011—San Francisco Ballet—the oldest professional ballet company in America—has announced that it will record Hamburg Ballet Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer John Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid live, during two performances at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House (May 3 and May 5, 2011). Filmed in high definition using eight cameras, both performances will be edited into a program broadcast to air on PBS’s Great Performances・Dance in America and in European and Asian markets this fall (dates to be announced). In addition, the broadcast, directed by Thomas Grimm, will be distributed worldwide on Blu-ray and DVD, by C Major Entertainment. Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media partners. David Horn is executive producer.
Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid, hailed by critics as “mesmerizing” and “moving,” was first performed in the United States by SF Ballet in 2010. The two-act production features choreography, scenic, costume, and lighting design by Neumeier and an evocative score by Lera Auerbach. SF Ballet performs the production from April 30-May 7.
“We are grateful to our co-partners and sponsors for the opportunity to broadcast this truly unique and dazzling production,” said SF Ballet Executive Director Glenn McCoy. “San Francisco Ballet was very proud to present the United States premiere of John Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid, and we are thrilled that the Company has the opportunity to share it with wider audiences, not only nationally, but worldwide,” added McCoy.
The director of the broadcast, Thomas Grimm, has directed more than 150 international ballet productions. Earlier in his career, Grimm worked on over 50 feature films and TV episodes, with directors such Bernhard Wicki, Kurt Hoffmann, Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Andersen, Peter Tewksbury, and Norman Campbell.
This project is a co-production with PBS’s Great Performances・Dance in America, Bernhard Fleischer Moving Images, NDR/ARTE, and C Major Entertainment.
Great Performances is America’s longest-running and most prestigious television series devoted to the performing arts. 2010-11 is its 38th season on PBS. With its programs garnering 64 Emmy Awards and four George Foster Peabody Awards, the series has received every major television honor.
Bernhard Fleischer Moving Images of Salzburg, Austria is an independent production company for audio-visual programs of the performing arts including documentaries, portraits of artists, adaptations of music and dance for the camera, and live performances.
C Major Entertainment, based in Berlin, markets and distributes audio and audiovisual music programs from its library of more than 2,100 programs of music and art on film and TV formats.
ARTE, a European public-service cultural television channel, composed of ARTE France in Paris and ARTE Deutschland TV GmbH in Baden-Baden.
WNET New York Public Media is a pioneering provider of television and web content. The parent of THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and Creative News Group, WNET brings such acclaimed broadcast series and websites as Tavis Smiley, Need To Know, Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Secrets of the Dead, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, Visions, Consuelo Mack WealthTrack, Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps and Cyberchase to national and international audiences. Through its wide range of channels and platforms, WNET serves the entire New York City metro area with unique local productions, broadcasts and innovative educational and cultural projects. In all that it does, WNET pursues a single, overarching goal— to create media experiences of lasting significance for New York, America and the world. For more information, visit www.wnet.org.
SF Ballet is very proud to bring this work to audiences around the globe. We are especially grateful for the generosity of the following contributors for helping to make this taping possible:
Bob Ross Foundation
Fang and Gary Bridge
Helgi Tomasson Innovation Fund
of the San Francisco Ballet Endowment Foundation
The James Irvine Foundation
Mrs. Jeannik Mequét Littlefield
Major support for Great Performances is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Vivian Milstein, the Irene Diamond Fund, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, the Starr Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Joseph A. Wilson, public television viewers, and PBS.
As America’s oldest professional ballet company and one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States, San Francisco Ballet has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933. It performed the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first production of Coppélia choreographed by an American choreographer. Guided in its early years by American dance pioneers and brothers Lew, Willam, and Harold Christensen, San Francisco Ballet currently presents more than 100 performances a year locally, nationally, and abroad. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson for 25 years, the Company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world. In 2005, San Francisco Ballet won the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award, its first, in the category of “Outstanding Achievement in Dance,” for its 2004 London tour. In 2006, San Francisco Ballet was the first non-European company elected “Company of the Year” in Dance Europe magazine’s annual readers’ poll. In 2008, San Francisco Ballet celebrated its 75th anniversary with a host of initiatives that included a New Works Festival of 10 world premieres by 10 renowned choreographers. 2010 marked the 25th anniversary of SF Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson’s tenure with the Company.