The Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Evansville Ballet will create history on March 15, 2014 as they present “The Little Mermaid,” an original ballet in one act composed by Evansville’s own Dr. Brian St. John, choreography by Mark Bush, and lighting design by Sarah Stolnack. This project will see Evansville as the only known place in the United States that can claim original music and original choreography for youth.

Based on the book by Hans Christian Andersen, this isn’t your typical “Disney version” of the story. The tale is somewhat darker, exploring crisis of identity, a longing for the unknown, and ultimately, love and loss – each theme beautifully (sometime painfully so) heard in nine scenes through St. John’s musical painting and seen through Bush’s expression of movement, each that could tell the story on their own, but only together create a powerful experience for observer, performer, and creator.

The process started a year ago when Mr. Bush and Dr. St John began to brainstorm about subject matter for the ballet. Now, a year later, the music has been written, the dancers have been cast, and all the elements of production are culminating in a world premiere performance. The students involved have had the opportunity to create history, and the audience is a part of that history, too. The audience in attendance on March 15 will be the first people ever to hear these notes and see this choreography. History is being made right here in Evansville, Indiana.

The ballet will take place on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Victory Theatre. A silent auction will take place during the event as a fundraiser for the EPYO. General admission is $15.00 and tickets may be purchased by calling the Philharmonic Box Office at (812) 425-5050 or ordering online at Children under 2 are free.

This performance is made possible in part by The Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana.

Summer Bennett,
Alice May Director of Education and Community Programs