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Breaking Pointe-- an ongoing discussion.


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#46 Neryssa

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 06:53 PM

[size=3]I watched it tonight for the first time and I cannot count how many times I cringed. From what I've seen I wonder if BW is up to Jewels. I live in Park City so it is fairly easy for me to attend. Now I'm having 2nd thoughts.[/size]

#47 Natalia

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:44 AM

Last night's episode (#3) was less offensive than the earlier two. For starters, we finally got to see substantial rehearsal portions of an elegant serious classical ballet without cheap-sex-thrills -- a ballet for adults, in other words -- being rehearsed: Paquita. For me, the star of last night's episode was the fabulous Elena Kunikova, chief stager for the ballet. A pupil of Feya Balabina and top graduate of the Vaganova Class of 1973, Kunikova was a leading soloist of the Leningrad Maly Theater in the late 70s/80s. She teaches in NYC (i.e., Steps) and is responsible for a lot of the staging of Petipa classics for the Trocks, among others.

Not sure how long this classy spell will last at Breaking Pt. Happy that the adult classicists got one nice episode, at least.

#48 elena

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 06:22 AM

I guess I am one of the few here still enjoying this show... by reality tv standards it is not too bad at all, and it is pretty much what I expected. I have read a few comparisons to the reality show with RNZB but I do remember that reality show had a lot of drama as well, particularly S1 where "Katie and Michael" and their relationship drama was one of the main focus points of the show. On season 2 they focused more on dancing and Ethan Steifl came on as AD so they probably learned what to do and not to do from the reactions to S1. I think this show is still trying to find a happy medium between showing a lot of dance to make ballet fans happy, but keeping a bit of the reality element in it to attract other people. I do hope at the very least it gives BW more exposure and they end up with more fans Posted Image


PS - I was curious about why they kept calling Beckanne "a freak" at ballet... on YT I found a few clips of her (some older ones from her at YAGP and some newer ones for an audition to something) and I see by freak they mean very flexible. She does seem to have gotten better since the earlier clips from YT. I also noticed that on the BW page, she is not listed as a demi-soloist (she is listed under 'artists') so I don't know if that "promotion" was fabricated for the show or if they just don't update their page much. It also shows Katie as a member of BWII.

I missed the last episode, about to watch it now, glad to hear it shows more of rehearsals Posted Image

#49 miliosr

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 06:47 AM

I am also enjoying it, elena. I think the CW is navigating (reasonably) successfully the fine line that exists between what the seriously addicted ballet fans who populate a board like this want to see and what its core women 18-34 demo wants to see.

For those who are interested, a former dancer did an excellent analysis of Adam's casting choices at the Television Without Pity - Breaking Pointe forum.

Was Ronald even in last night's episode?

#50 miliosr

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:03 AM

Breaking Pointe rebounded in the ratings:

18-49 demo -- 0.3/1
Total Viewers -- 870,000

Still not great but acceptable by CW standards.

I guess the CW audience has spoken -- they prefer Paquita to Petite Mort! Posted Image

#51 dirac

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:03 AM

That's good news. The show isn't bad at all by the standards of the genre, at least those examples that I've come across, and it would be nice to see more of it beyond half a dozen episodes.

#52 Helene

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:45 AM

Ronald was not shown last night. Had he been cast, it would have been a major story, since every male role in those ballets is a major one. On the other hand, two complete casts of those three ballets is 20 men, and it's not a huge company .

I agree that Kunikova was the jewel of last night's show. In this case, the cream really rose to the top. Allison's struggles with the style were realistic, and, paradoxically, It was the first time her talent was evident.

I haven't seen the YAGP clips, but from the class clips I wouldn't have guessed "competition dancer" for Beckanne. What I saw was a dancer who "got" the style of "Paquita" as well as any American-trained dancer I've seen, at least in rehearsal. (In performance, dancers can lose the ease.)

I was wondering where they were hiding the gay dancers, but it turns out the company has one. Of all places with top companies I'd think SLC would be the loneliest and most isolated to be the only gay dancer. I know there is a gay community there, but it's tiny compared to NYC, San Francisco, Boston, Miami, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Kansas City, etc.

#53 Neryssa

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 11:03 AM

[font=trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif][size=3]That was substantial rehearsal time being shown on the show?! My, I do have high expectations! Thank you Natalia for the information about Elena Kunikova. I enjoyed watching and listening to her. Actually, SLC has a large gay community for a city of its size; it is just underground. The company only has one male gay dancer? - that wasn't always the case either.[/size][/font]

#54 Drew

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:57 PM

Naturally I missed the episode w. Kunakova and focus on Petipa....had the time wrong....

#55 Helene

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:00 PM

It's been repeating on Monday nights, so you may be able to catch it next week.

#56 dirac

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:01 PM

The network repeats the program at least once that I've seen, although I don't remember when offhand. If you have Comcast it may show up on demand sooner or later.

#57 elena

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:02 PM

They also have the episodes available for streaming on the CW website :)

#58 Helene

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:10 PM

I haven't seen the NZ Ballet show, but CBC aired a one-hour (i.e. 43-minute) show called "Romeos and Juliets" about the creating and casting of Alexei Ratmansky's "Romeo and Juliet" for National Ballet of Canada. (I'd forgotten I'd taped it.) Although the marketing was as silly as the previews for "Breaking Pointe", the product was fascinating, with a lot of insight into the process and the dancers' thinking. I'm sure it helped a great deal that Ratmansky agreed to take part and there wasn't an X-minute limit on the work itself like there would be with "Emeralds", for example, but it's really the adult tone that sets it apart.

#59 miliosr

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:37 PM

Allison's struggles with the style were realistic, and, paradoxically, It was the first time her talent was evident.

I had the opposite reaction. Seeing Allison struggling so hard made me understand why she has stagnated at the demi-soloist level. Her ambition of advancing to the soloist level didn't look too promising, especially given that the 19-year-old up-and-comer handled the rehearsal and choreography with ease.

#60 Helene

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:43 PM

I had the opposite reaction. Seeing Allison struggling so hard made me understand why she has stagnated at the demi-soloist level. Her ambition of advancing to the soloist level didn't look too promising, especially given that the 19-year-old up-and-comer handled the rehearsal and choreography with ease.

I have no idea about advancement, but in my head I kept re-casting Allison in neoclassical ballets as I watched her.

I watched the handful of videos of Beckanne Sisk available on YouTube, and after watching the YAGP videos, I came away as depressed as watching the contemporary "beasts" on "So You Think You Can Dance," where kicking an ear with the side of the leg passes for style and choreography, but apart from some silly extensions in the "Esmeralda" solo in the Beijing audition, I think she was quite lovely in it and the "Sleeping Beauty" variation that followed, and especially in the "Nutcracker" pas de deux, danced no later than 2009, when she was 16 (or possible just-turned-17), at the Rock School. I was also impressed with her partner, Miguel Montoya.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0XwLYY3GQ8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDTgzA2GFng

What's depressing is that without "Breaking Pointe," no matter how beautifully Sisk dances at Ballet West, even if she were to become a Principal and dance the lead in every ballet every opening night plus her partner's role as well, she'd be a "Yawn, yeah, she dances somewhere out there in the sticks" ballerina. There is so much extraordinary dancing and alchemy that happens out of the sight lines of much of the ballet world. If the result is a show with the focus and intelligence of the average show targeted at teenage girls and has a bunch of footage I'm not so sure they'd want their children or grandchildren to see, at least the dancers may get some recognition.


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