News Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Logan McSwain, communications manager
704.372.0101 x2765

Little Mermaid takes audiences on
an underwater adventure

March 12 & 13, 2011

Charlotte, N.C. – Dive into the underwater world of Mark Diamond’s Little Mermaid, March 12 and 13 at the Knight Theater. This family-friendly performance excites imaginations with its whimsical costumes, exuberant choreography and fairy tale characters.

Little Mermaid, first published in 1837, is a fairy tale about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea for the love of a human prince “I based my ballet on the original Hans Christian Andersen tale with adaptations that make it possible as a ballet,” said choreographer Mark Diamond. “There are comedic elements and it’s entertaining for the entire family.”

For his version of Little Mermaid, Diamond primarily uses music composed by Reinhold Glière, and also uses music by Claude Debussy and Alexander Borodin. Act I of the ballet takes place under the sea, with colorful and fanciful costumes and lighting transporting the audience to an underwater world complete with sparkling seahorses, slithering eels and tumbling starfish. The Little Mermaid will “swim” through Act I as she is carried by the Undertow, danced by several male dancers. Long strips of silk held across the stage act as the sea’s surface, which the Little Mermaid rolls and swims through. Act II takes place at the Prince’s palace and is set in the 1820s.  

The cast of Little Mermaid is led by dancers Anna Gerberich and Justin VanWeest, reprising their roles as the Little Mermaid and the Prince. Addul Manzano will dance as the Sea King, with Jamie Dee as the Sea Witch. 

Tickets to Little Mermaid start at $25 and can be purchased at 704.372.1000, ncdance.org and the Blumenthal Performing Arts Box Office.

 Synopsis of Mark Diamond’s Little Mermaid

  • In the wonderful world under the sea the Little Mermaid is admired and loved for her sweet personality and beauty. Her father, the Sea King, warns her to be careful of her curiosity of the upper world and of humans on dry land. She can’t help but swim to the surface where one day she sees a handsome Prince sailing in his favorite little sailboat. When a terrible storm suddenly sends the Prince falling into the sea, the Little Mermaid saves him and swims him to the safety of the shore. She swims away when other humans arrive and sits sadly alone on the sea floor until the evil Sea Witch arrives to tempt her. The Sea Witch dreams of trading her legs for the Little Mermaid’s beautiful tail fin and promises to transform the Little Mermaid into a human. If the Little Mermaid can’t persuade the Prince to promise his love, then she will perish.

 About Mark Diamond
Mark Diamond has choreographed and taught in Europe, Japan and the United States since retiring from the Hamburg Staatsoper in Germany in 1983. He has choreographed over 30 ballets for NC Dance Theatre and is program director for NC Dance Theatre 2. In the summer he serves as associate artistic director and resident choreographer for Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux at the Chautauqua Institute. Before joining Dance Theatre Diamond was resident choreographer for the Cincinnati Opera, founded Ballet Artists Cincinnati, and received grants from the Ohio Arts Council, the New England Foundation for the Arts and others.

 Little Mermaid Details  

Dates: Saturday, March 12, 2011, at 2 p.m.
Sunday, March 13, 2011, at 2 p.m.  

Location: Knight Theater, 430 South Tryon St., Charlotte, N.C.

Tickets: Tickets range from $25-$67;  Student Rush for High School and College students (with ID) $10Purchase at 704.372.1000, ncdance.org or Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Box Office (Belk Theater Lobby)

  Groups of 10 or more receive discounts off the regular price of tickets.Call 704.379.1380 to find out about group tickets.

Sponsors: Little Mermaid is presented by Carolinas Medical Center, the exclusive healthcare sponsor, with media sponsorship by Charlotte Parent.

Also in March

Director’s Choice
Knight Theater
March 10-12, 2011, 7:30 p.m.     

Celebrate Dance Theatre’s 40th Anniversary with Director’s Choice! Artistic Director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux chose Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux by legendary choreographer and Bonnefoux’s teacher and mentor George Balanchine, Satto by former Dance Theatre Artistic Director Salvatore Aiello, and Le souffle de l'esprit by Czechoslovakian dancer turned choreographer Jiri Bubenicek. Coordinating with the centennial celebration of Charlotte artist Romare Bearden, Resident Choreographer Dwight Rhoden presents a world premiere inspired by the life and work of Bearden.


North Carolina Dance Theatre is a Charlotte-based ballet company focused on performing, inspiring and educating through artistically excellent programming. Led by internationally acclaimed President and Artistic Director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, NC Dance Theatre is known for its strong dancers and versatile repertoire, ranging from classical ballet to bold, contemporary works. In June 2010 NC Dance Theatre moved to the Patricia McBride & Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux Center for Dance in Uptown Charlotte. The Center houses the Company’s administrative offices, rehearsal space and School of Dance. For more information visit ncdance.org.

North Carolina Dance Theatre is supported, in part, with operating support by the Arts & Science Council. Dance Theatre is also supported by individuals, corporations, and local and national foundations, the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.