Dance, Thoughts
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{Breaking Pointe} Review

Carolina Ballet is two weeks into our 16th Season and the dancers are already rehearsing six separate ballets for the next two programs! Busy start to the year.

CW's Breaking Pointe, Season One

CW’s Breaking Pointe, Season One.

My blogger friend Rebecca King, of Tendu Under a Palm Tree, from Miami City Ballet, wrote a post in August reviewing the start of CW’s {Breaking Pointe} Season Two. The show finished its final episode of the season last week. If you have not heard of this TV series, I’ll give you a quick summary. The CW producers tried to feed off the ballet trend (with “Black Swan”) by showing the life of Ballet West‘s professional company dancers in a reality TV show setting. I agree with what Rebecca said in her post on Season One, the previous season was disappointing because there was little focus on dance scenes and more on the relationship drama between the dancers. In the Second Two, there was just as much drama, but fortunately much more dance footage in the studio and on stage. Rebecca puts it nicely in her recent post on Season Two, “there was a lot of reality amidst the dancers’ personal drama.”

Due to the recent buzz on the ballet world, society has no doubt altered their view of the art form. Yes, dance is graceful and glamourous on the stage from the seats in the audience, but the journey to a dancer’s moments on stage are not as beautiful.

Although “Black Swan” (2010) was a bit over-dramatized, the cutting edge competition for the one role of the Swan Queen is prevalent in our world. And the incident of the acid attack to Bolshoi Ballet’s Artistic Director Sergei Filin in January is again exaggerated, but it indeed happened in reality. From inside the profession, ballet is not the previously perceived idea of a happy world of tutus and roses.

CW's Breaking Pointe, Season 2

CW’s Breaking Pointe, Season Two.

As ballet dancers, most of us think it would be so appropriate (and funny) to turn our ballet company lives into a reality TV show. There is endless drama, competition, injuries, gains and disappointments; it’s the nature of the beast. Now that CW actually took the task upon themselves, we all of a sudden became critical of the idea. Why?

While watching Season Two of “Breaking Pointe,” I compared my struggles as a professional dancer to those featured on the show. I found myself substituting dancers I knew into the roles of the Ballet West dancers.

The daily struggles of a hard rehearsal or the imperfections of a performance are all very true. As dancers, we must be perfectionists in order to improve. The internal battles are what people don’t see. Yes, the story line of the show is a bit repetitive and the relationship drama between the dancers is a bit much, but it is all true to some extent in our lives.

As the opening credits on the show say, “Ballet may seem like a beautiful fairytale, but behind the scene is where the real drama lies. For a ballet dancer, the path to perfection is paved with fear, agony, and sacrifice. Some will rise to the challenge, but for others this may be their breaking point.”

***

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My View on “Bunheads”

My View on “city.ballet.”

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6 Comments

  1. Elizabeth C. Evans-Iliesiu says

    Good review of the series. I am glad that you have joined the conversation, within the dancers-community, on the subject.

    Like

  2. Pingback: My view on “city.ballet.” | Twirling Terpsichorean

  3. Pingback: My View on “Bunheads.” | Twirling Terpsichorean

  4. Pingback: My View on “Winter Season” | Twirling Terpsichorean

  5. Pingback: My View on “Dancing Through It” | Twirling Terpsichorean

  6. Pingback: My View on “Strickly Ballet” | Twirling Terpsichorean

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