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‘The Little Mermaid’ brought to life in Ballet West’s annual family series March 30-April 2

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The tale of a mermaid who falls in love with a prince and is willing to give up her voice to be with him on land is brought to the stage as Ballet West’s annual family series returns with its production of Hans Christian Andersen's “The Little Mermaid” from March 30-April 2.

"The Hans Christian Andersen story is very engaging and one that is quite wonderful," said CEO and artistic director Adam Sklute in an interview. "We know ('The Little Mermaid') through the Disney story, but the original story was so multi-layered that I really wanted to use it and explore it."

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Ballet West will be performing "The Little Mermaid" March 30-April 2. | Ballet West

The show comes complete with the courageous mermaid, a handsome prince and the frightening sea witch, just like the Disney movie. However, viewers will find many differences in this version of the tale. Audience members can expect the production to be filled with humor, sadness and beauty, Sklute said. And overall, Sklute said he always leaves feeling moved on a deeper level.

"Even though there's a lot of action and fun and funny activity, ('The Little Mermaid') is also very uplifting and moving and takes us to another realm," Sklute said. "It's a wonderful lesson about doing good in life and doing something beyond oneself."

"The Little Mermaid" is choreographed by Ballet West principal ballet mistress Pamela Robinson-Harris, in collaboration with the associate director of Ballet West II, Peggy Dolkas.

“My design and choreographic teams have created a spectacular world of undersea kingdoms, waves, ships and palaces that will enthrall any audience member,” Sklute said in a news release.

"The Little Mermaid" will run for just six performances. It is intentionally shorter than a typical ballet. The show is performed in one hour and 15 minutes by the members of Ballet West II, the Ballet West Academy Professional Training Division, and students of the Ballet West Academy, with two 25-minute acts and an intermission.

The timing of the show especially leans toward a younger audience that would like to see the ballet but may not have the attention span to sit through longer productions.

“Really what I wanted to do is create a program that was truly a family-friendly setting where young kids could start putting their heads around what the art form of ballet is and have their families share in that art form," Sklute said in an interview.

Sklute said they've also incorporated a narrator, so children and people who may be new to ballet can understand what the action is and how the movement relates to the storytelling.

The family series is an annual tradition. Sklute created this concept six years ago, and it's been successful ever since, catering to children and those who might not be as familiar with ballet, while still satisfying those who love the art form.

“People have really loved it,” Sklute said. “It's a wonderful opportunity for families to bring their children to the ballet. It's been fun and entertaining, and at the same time very much an art.”

If you go …

What: Ballet West's "The Little Mermaid"

When: Thursday-Saturday, March 30-April 1, 7 p.m.; Sunday, April 2, 12 p.m.

Where: Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South

How much: $15-$35

Phone: 801-869-6920

Web: balletwest.org

Email: toriackerman@gmail.com