INTERVIEW | Dreda Blow talks Northern Ballet's The Little Mermaid.


Northern Ballet is no stranger to touring across the UK with their productions. The Little Mermaid completes its final stop on the 2018 tour at the Curve Theatre, Leicester between 1-5 May 2018. I caught up Northern Ballet Leading Soloist, Dreda Blow about the production which has been highly acclaimed by audiences throughout the UK.

Dreda Blow, originally from Canada graduated from a specialised Ballet school in Toronto at 17 years of age. Before she joined she lived in Holland for 4 years where she took on her first job with Dutch Ballet. "I always wanted to come to Northern Ballet" says Dreda, "I was always drawn to the theatrical performances narrative work and how they had unusual stories to tell through Dance. It always intrigued me. I was intrigued by the acting as well as the dancing." Dreda didn't want to be apart of a huge, classical Ballet team. The smaller and more innovative approach to Dance was exactly what I wanted to do.  

Northern Ballet's beautiful new ballet reimagines the classic Hans Christian Anderson fairytale and takes you on a journey beneath the waves like no other. When you look at the cast list for the performances you'll notice that the list changes each night. "There's a couple of reasons why this happens" explains Dreda, "Northern Ballet is predominately a touring company so it would be heavy for one cast list to the entirety of the performances on a tour." 

"It also offers everyone a chance to rest, especially the principal cast. It also opens up more opportunities for people. Everyone interprets the role very differently and so you'll find that they do approach the piece differently, with a distinct direction in what they can or can't do. It's almost like seeing a different, fresh ballet most evenings." Dreda also explained that there's also a different chemistry between members. Injuries of course can happen whilst touring too. Dreda doesn't play the Little Mermaid part anymore as her partner left the company so now she plays primarily the human love interest, Dana instead. 


"Princess Dana was created on me so I have a genuine relationship with her character. I know that role inside out, she's lovely, cheeky, charming and there's a real genuine love between her and the prince." 

So what can we expect when we see The Little Mermaid? "It surprises a lot of people who come to see it because it is very different from the Disney film. A lot of people are familiar with that version of the story. It's a lot closer to the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale in the first place." Dreda goes on to mention that "when the mermaid gets her legs, she experiences a lot of pain and it's like walking on needles. The only time the pain dissolves and subsidies are when she sees the Prince. She's so desperately in love with him. But she never gets the Prince, it doesn't really have a happy ending for her."

An obvious difference in the production is that Northern Ballet doesn't have the role of Ursula but a Sea Lord instead. It is very different to the story of The Little Mermaid most people know but "it's a really moving story, it's a beautiful message. You have to embrace who you are and you can't change yourself or an environment for someone else, for someone in love". 

What makes Northern Ballet's production of The Little Mermaid so outstanding is the combination of choreography by David Nixon, the original score played live by Northern Ballet Sinfonia and the set design which brings the underwater world to live right in front of your eyes. 

You don't want to miss The Little Mermaid at the Curve Theatre, Leicester between 1-5 May 2018.

You can visit the Curve website here to book your tickets.

Take a look at the short trailer video for the production too! 





1 comment

  1. Love hearing about fellow Canadians! This was so cool :)

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