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Montana Ballet Company premieres “The Little Mermaid”

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Montana Ballet Company announced the world premiere of “The Little Mermaid” on Saturday, Feb. 23 and Sunday, Feb. 24 at the Willson Auditorium in Bozeman.

“The Little Mermaid” is a new, original work inspired by the famous Hans Christian Andersen tale. Artistic Director Elizabeth DeFanti reinterprets the story, infusing messages of self-acceptance, self-truth and empowerment.

“Our Mermaid Marina initially believes her truth and contentment are found outside of herself,” DeFanti said. “Through an important journey, she realizes everything she needs for fulfillment is already within her.”

DeFanti said she’s humbled by the exceptional and talented artists who have gathered to create “The Little Mermaid.” Upon hearing DeFanti’s “Mermaid” tale, MBC Music Director Stefan Stern composed an original orchestral score and led a group of local musicians and vocalists to realize it.

Also joining the team is Michael Hillenius, head of the Willson Auditorium, who is designing and building new sets, as well as devising lighting to portray magical worlds both under and above the sea. Newly-crafted costumes from Master Costume Designer Winthrop Corey, and MBC costume mistresses Melinda Delgado, Annette Piccirillo and Heidi Fry, will be showcased on stage. Artist Saskia Ewen Fox of Whole Art Inc. created original visual art for the piece, while Kristin Wimberg of Wimberg Productions has been filming “The Making of Mermaid” since the summer of 2018.

The cast of MBC dancers will bring “The Little Mermaid” to life, along with special guest artists Lily Loveland and Aaron Melendrez from Ballet Palm Beach, who will dance the principal roles of Mermaid Marina and Prince.

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