Ballet of the Dolls: The Little Match Girl

Hans Christian Anderson wrote some pretty dark fairytales. There's the mermaid who swapped her tail for legs to dance for her beloved prince—but it hurt like hell; the selfish girl who tries to save her new shoes from damage by stepping on the loaf of bread she's taking to her starving mother, who is sucked down into a vile swamp; and the freezing little girl with only matches to keep her warm, who gazes through a window at a happy family feasting on a New Year's goose. Myron Johnson's version of "The Little Match Girl" for Ballet of the Dolls becomes a cautionary tale for our troubled times. Each match lights a vision or memory to keep her warm, at least until the flame goes out and night closes in again. Trust Johnson to wring both pathos and dark humor out of this richly evocative tale.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m.; Dec. 20, 2 p.m.; Dec. 26-27, 8 p.m. Starts: Dec. 11. Continues through Dec. 28, 2008

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