Meet Lloyd Riggins who dances the role of the The Poet in San Francisco Ballet’s The Little Mermaid.
Discover how his role, (based on the real life author Hans Christian Anderson), came to be part of the ballet. The Little Mermaid from San Francisco Ballet airs as part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival.
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I come from an artistic family kind of a circus troupe family my father was an upper singer and a stage performer and my mother and her brother began a ballet school which later became a ballet company in Orlando Florida this step into dance was quite a natural one for me the wonderful thing about our art form is that we get to relive we get to create again I won't say recreate because this is something of reproduction but we get to create again a new world and drop ourselves into it and play out the story we can pretty much be sure that hence Christian Anderson took from his real life the inspirations for his stories and he was living with a family and there was a man named Edward and he became very attached to him because Anderson was always the ugly duckling I was the outsider and this family took him in and this man I think not only tolerated him but connected with him somehow and Anderson maybe became a little too much attached and when this this man of course went on his life and got married and did the normal things this affected the artist the poet Anderson very strongly very internally and I think created the momentum for the story of the Little Mermaid always with John the wonderful thing is he never sits on his let's say success or his his thing there's a constant development and when we came to San Francisco having worked with John on death in Venice and other bodies I just finally had the courage to say I feel as if Anderson is is a character in the ballet and not the creator the notes I would get from John as he was creating the role it would it had been created in Copenhagen but much more developed when he came to Hamburg we've worked a lot together John and I and on a valley especially death in Venice I think which had a direct link into this role the note was always don't don't think about all the story yet you're just creating it's the most positive moment for you in the ballet this moment of creation inspiration which gives him actual joy in the midst of all the sorrow and the tragedy in his in his view of what happened in his life the entire second deck to the wedding it's a wedding it's a wonderful thing but there's an entire subtext under underneath and I can imagine Anderson going to this wedding and just being this big dark cloud the second act is is difficult to also perform because it's so each scene the more did the more happens you feel the weight of the story is he's he's dragging the story he's trying to get to the end