Natalia

Breaking Pointe Season Two

126 posts in this topic

The dancer who was actually in jeopardy was Bennett, since her partner had an injured foot, and if it hadn't held up or had become re-injured, her partner would have been on the sidelines like Underwood. Not every dancer gets to get a new partner because the partner is injured, especially with this kind of specific and careful coaching. At PNB, for example, Korbes gets almost all of the top roles in the post prestigious slots and is featured in all of the tours for which she is healthy. That still didn't get her a new partner for "Diamonds" when hers was injured.

This occurred to me too, regarding Bennett - in a major story ballet the chemistry between leads is so important, and they also need to move together 'naturally' - presumably because they've worked together for endless hours. Throwing in a replacement at the last moment rarely yields a great performance.

I certainly remember NOT seeing Korbes in Diamonds when the injuries hit at the end of the season. ;)

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Helene brings up a good point about future runs of Cinderella. Per the casting that I googled, BW had 10 performances of Cinderella! For all their other programs, they have 6 (excluding Nut). I would call that an unqualified success! SFB jumped the gun on their PR announcing that the Wheeldon Cinderella would be "back by popular demand" (before the first run had even sold through). Fortunately their PR boast turned out to be true, because the run did eventually sell out.

In this case as well, I think 10 performances in a midsized city is a great success, and Sklute will most likely bring Cinders back in a year or so. Beckanne Sisk will have the experience of auditioning to help her for the next round.

Since we don't see all the footage, perhaps Sisk is indeed an understudy for the initial production, but all 3 Principals were able to perform, so she was given other featured roles instead.

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At Pacific Northwest Ballet, dancers often learn roles as new works are taught, with the understanding that they are not in line to perform during this particular run. Occasionally, this becomes a form of insurance against multiple cast injuries, but more often it is simply getting a running start on future performances.

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The way the show is shot, all five women and the four men with whom four are paired, appeared to be auditioning for the roles of Cinderella and Prince. We should know next week whether either of the two dancers who weren't cast continued to rehearse the roles. We should also know whether one cast member is the equivalent of the guy in the red shirt in the first scene of "Star Trek."

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Well, young dancers are just that - young. They went to a party and tied one on. As Ian noted on the show, enjoying yourself too much has its risks at what is in effect an office party, but I saw no degenerate goings-on - Ronnie never even took his shirt off - and these young people work pretty hard at their day job.

Hi Dirac,

I was confused by your comment, because in the online version of the episode, this is exactly what happens - Ronnie takes his shirt off, and there's the lovely licking of tequilla off of Ronnie's belly - and at least one other dancer. There's definitely a lot of alcohol and drunkeness in the party scene, and I kept thinking, "Their parents must be so proud". ;) Not that I haven't been there myself, but I never would have allowed my private behavior to be recorded by TV cameras. There's a level of narcissim at work in this culture that just didn't exist when I was a 20-something. Perhaps their parents really are proud - because the kids are getting exposure!

http://www.cwtv.com/cw-video/breaking-pointe/its-not-brain-surgery-its-ballet/?play=bbe877f3-dedc-4245-8d0d-c001a1056491

Somebody was licking tequila off Ronnie and I missed it? Damn.

Sklute seemed to like Sisk for the role of Cinderella better than Somes did, so Sisk's instincts were right (of course, when the stager keeps getting your name wrong and calling you "Becky Anne" that's never a good sign).

I note that amid all the boy-girl stuff and the ginning up of "drama," some serious personal questions do arise. Allison DeBona's dilemma - whether to stick around for a few more years of dancing or give it up, probably forever, to follow a guy who's pushing her to join him in a place where there's no company -- is a genuine one. Ronnie's recovery is another.

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There was more body shot action in what I fast-forwarded through last night.

I thought Alison's doctor boyfriend was a last-year resident. Unless he has a post-residency gig or an offer to be an attending there, his job could be mobile, likely a whole lot more mobile than hers. Clearly she was unhappy during their break-up, and she's glowing now, but it's too bad she has to stop dancing, because from what I've seen in those brief clips of her, she's very compelling, and, in her late 20's hasn't reached her prime.

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The way the show is shot, all five women and the four men with whom four are paired, appeared to be auditioning for the roles of Cinderella and Prince. We should know next week whether either of the two dancers who weren't cast continued to rehearse the roles. We should also know whether one cast member is the equivalent of the guy in the red shirt in the first scene of "Star Trek."

I wish the red shirt rule would hold with Tiger Woods, but alas, no.

I note that amid all the boy-girl stuff and the ginning up of "drama," some serious personal questions do arise. Allison DeBona's dilemma - whether to stick around for a few more years of dancing or give it up, probably forever, to follow a guy who's pushing her to join him in a place where there's no company -- is a genuine one. Ronnie's recovery is another.

Yes, these are the best "real" moments so far. DeBona spent last year worrying about her career, but she seems awfully close to ditching the whole thing and moving to Michigan(?). It's hard to say if in her case that's dumb. DeBona may not really love dance - it just happens to be what she chose to do.

Ronnie's problem is potentially very serious, and we don't really know if it's due to his monkeying around, or what. It's possible to get an infection after surgery even if your lying around all day, every day. He may not be my favorite "character" on the show, but I wish him well with his injury.

I thought Alison's doctor boyfriend was a last-year resident. Unless he has a post-residency gig or an offer to be an attending there, his job could be mobile, likely a whole lot more mobile than hers. Clearly she was unhappy during their break-up, and she's glowing now, but it's too bad she has to stop dancing, because from what I've seen in those brief clips of her, she's very compelling, and, in her late 20's hasn't reached her prime.

It strikes me as a danger signal when your lover/boyfriend insists you leave your career for them - and seems to be unwilling to find a compromise. If that's the situation - DeBona better love playing the masochist.

[And that reminds me of the Mad Men quote: "It's a business of sadists and masochists, and you know which one you are."]

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Just watched Ep 2 online - I laughed through most of the show. And I probably wasn't supposed to.

In the casting meeting, it was fascinating to watch Adam pushing for the young ones, the 'newbies' - Sisk, Josh and Zach. And then he goes on to say (in the voiceover) that BW needs to prove that they are a "world-class" company to perform Cinderella. With Josh and Zach? Seriously? Sisk has more talent than either of them, imo, but she has a ways to go too. A matinee performance Cinderella, perhaps, but I can't see her as Cinderella on opening night - and again, who's going to partner her? Then he wonders where he's going to get a Prince Charming - what about Chris Ruud? I realize that there must be a LOT of missing dialog that would explain things better, but this is what we get.

Random thoughts:

Would be fun to know what Somes really thinks of the dancers, but that could be unnecessarily mean too. We get to hear those things enough from Mr. Macaulay…

Ian has a more 'grownup' attitude toward work than Zach certainly, and he works steadliy and hard. I have to think he would fit in better at one of the bigger companies - if he has the talent to continue. But, that seems to be an issue...

Chris Ruud seems to be a very important man, to hear him tell it. ;)

Maybe it's because I'm 'older', but I feel more for Christiana and Chris in their relationship issues than Beckanne and Chase - stuck in Zach's high school world. Yikes!

And please, no more tequila belly shots. Two episodes of that was more than enough. For a lifetime.

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The shortened versions are a great way to watch the show, especially for those of us who aren't their target demographic. Many thanks, EvelNinjaX.

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Chris Ruud's dad Tomm was a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet for many years.

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I wish Adam Sklute didn't take race into consideration when casting Napoleon. I hope he doesn't do it again, or Josh is going to be relegated to fairy suitors and courtiers while trying to make his way up the ranks. From the few shots of him practicing the role, I think he would have been hysterical in it.

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I wish Adam Sklute didn't take race into consideration when casting Napoleon. I hope he doesn't do it again, or Josh is going to be relegated to fairy suitors and courtiers while trying to make his way up the ranks. From the few shots of him practicing the role, I think he would have been hysterical in it.

Unexpectedly (to myself), for this particular role, I found Sklute's reasoning made sense. It would be different if the company had several African-American dancers or maybe even if Josh was already well-known to Ballet West audiences. In the meanwhile there are other short-ish boy roles he could easily be cast in that wouldn't raise the same problems ...

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I wish Adam Sklute didn't take race into consideration when casting Napoleon. I hope he doesn't do it again, or Josh is going to be relegated to fairy suitors and courtiers while trying to make his way up the ranks. From the few shots of him practicing the role, I think he would have been hysterical in it.

Unexpectedly (to myself), for this particular role, I found Sklute's reasoning made sense. It would be different if the company had several African-American dancers or maybe even if Josh was already well-known to Ballet West audiences. In the meanwhile there are other short-ish boy roles he could easily be cast in that wouldn't raise the same problems ...

I thought it was a mistake for Sklute to lay that cumbersome excuse on Josh Whitehead - what is the young dancer supposed to do with that? And Whitehead was right in saying (I think it was outside the talk with Skulte) that he couldn't believe the company wasn't past all that. The only real excuse that Skulte has is that he thinks Zach was a stronger Napoleon character than Josh. Period. Which would be doubly remarkable considering that Zach doesn't know who Napoleon Bonaparte was - and apparently no one is going to educate him on that point.

I don't think Ballet West is in danger of becoming the top ballet company in America any time soon. Although a significant rise in ocean levels, submerging the coastal regions of the Americas could truly make Salt Lake City the promised land. And the only land - but I digress.

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I’m afraid I disagreed with Sklute’s reasoning. I think his fears are probably overblown, for one thing. Also, who runs the risk of looking bad if Josh’s appearance as Napoleon is taken the wrong way? Sklute. But that is not the dancer’s problem. If he is best for the role, cast him and take a chance.

It’s a moot point for poor Josh, but he Zach doesn’t need to know who Napoleon was to dance the role properly. His coaches should give him all the guidance he needs. Having said that, it couldn’t hurt to look the fellow up and I’m surprised no one supervising the production suggested that the dancers rehearsing the part do so – a peek at portraits of Napoleon alone would surely have been helpful.

I have relatives by marriage who live in Salt Lake City. Nice people, nice place, with some good dance studios by the look of it.

Edited by dirac

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SLC's an epicenter of competitive ballroom dance in the US.

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SLC's an epicenter of competitive ballroom dance in the US.

And when the sky is clear is...breathtakingly beautiful. At least I found it so...

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Which would be doubly remarkable considering that Josh doesn't know who Napoleon Bonaparte was - and apparently no one is going to educate him on that point.

In defense of Josh, it was actually Zach who didn't know who Napoleon was.

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Which would be doubly remarkable considering that Josh doesn't know who Napoleon Bonaparte was - and apparently no one is going to educate him on that point.

In defense of Josh, it was actually Zach who didn't know who Napoleon was.

Thanks for that catch, love_ballet - I meant to write Zach, and I'll change my original post.

For me, it's just strange that the dancers aren't learning about the details of Ashton's ballet. Part of it is a lack of curiosity on the part of the dancers, but part of it is obviously a lack of information from the 'higher-ups'. Somes should be providing the background for the ballet, imo. Napoleon and Wellington are iconic European figures, but that doesn't mean that they naturally belong in Cinderella. Ashton incorporated these characters for a reason, but the company seems to not know any of these details. Of course, we only get to see what the film editors let us see (and hear), so there may be more said on the subject, but that information gets dropped from the final cut of the TV show.

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I could see having to explain Wellington to an American dancer, and that it's not just a random character name, but it's hard for me to get my head around having to explain who Napoleon is, even to someone with an eighth-grade education, because the famous portrait is a fairly common image and used a lot in comedy.

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I could see having to explain Wellington to an American dancer, and that it's not just a random character name, but it's hard for me to get my head around having to explain who Napoleon is, even to someone with an eighth-grade education, because the famous portrait is a fairly common image and used a lot in comedy.

Napoleon is so famous, he's been known by his first name for some time.

In the British world, Napoleon may be 'comical', but I doubt he is a comical figure to the French. ;)

It's human nature to try to reduce our enemies in 'stature' - making them less scary, and less attractive.

Not to belabor the point, but it sure would be nice if the dance companies learned something about the ballets that they take part in. After all, they will be passing on this knowledge to the younger generations, so better start knowing something.

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It's not like Wellington gets the girl.

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Which would be doubly remarkable considering that Josh doesn't know who Napoleon Bonaparte was - and apparently no one is going to educate him on that point.

In defense of Josh, it was actually Zach who didn't know who Napoleon was.

I add my thanks, love_ballet. Good catch.

I have read that when writing for many general-interest publications you have to be cautious about most historical references pre-Hitler. Napoleon isn't a figure in American history and it's not at all surprising to me that a teenager might not know exactly who he is, although it would be nice if he did. On top of that Zach is in a profession that is all-consuming.

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Very true. After watching this episode, I asked my daughter (now in college) what she learned in high school about Napoleon. Her response "Nothing really. I didn't take European History, mom!"

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