The Little Mermaid, A Bozeman original

Montana Ballet Company’s “stunning” production includes live orchestra, Feb. 18-19

On Stage

Montana Ballet Company brings its original “visually stunning” production of The Little Mermaid back to the stage for two performances Feb. 18-19 at Willson Auditorium in Bozeman.

Marina is about to sip from a poisonous cup in Montana Ballet's 2019 production of The Little Mermaid.
Marina is about to sip from a poisonous cup in Montana Ballet’s 2019 production of The Little Mermaid.Photo © Raven's Eye Productions

In 2019 Montana Ballet Company premiered The Little Mermaid, an original work inspired by the famous Hans Christian Andersen tale. Artistic Director Elizabeth DeFanti reinterpreted the story, infusing messages of self-acceptance, self-truth, and embracing one’s own inherent worth.

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

A group of exceptional artists gathered to create Mermaid, including MBC music director Stefan Stern, who composed an original, dynamic orchestral score and led an outstanding group of local musicians and vocalists.

Michael Hillenius, then head of the Willson Auditorium, designed and executed new sets and created lighting to portray magical worlds both under the sea and above. Newly crafted costumes from master costume designer Winthrop Corey, and MBC costume mistresses, Melinda Delgado and Annette Piccirillo among others, embellish the stage.

Artist Saskia Ewen Fox of Whole Art Inc. created Mermaid’s original visual art, while Kristin Wimberg of Wimberg Productions filmed a documentary, The Making of Mermaid, which was shown at the BZN International Film Festival.

Special guest artists from Pacific Northwest Ballet, Malena Ani and Kuu Sakuragi, will dance the principal roles of Mermaid Marina and the Prince, joining a cast of talented MBC dancers to bring The Little Mermaid to life.

“With a captivating story, original choreography and orchestral score, and exceptional sets and costumes, The Little Mermaid will enchant all audiences,” says DeFanti.

Audience member Melissa VandenToorn lauded the 2019 show as “one of the most visually stunning and moving performances my daughters and I have ever attended. … I have never been more proud and humbled to be in the presence of the greatness that is the Montana Ballet Company.”

Show times are 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. For tickets, which range from $22-$68, call Montana Ballet Company at 406-582-8702 or order online at All seating is reserved.