Natalia

Breaking Pointe Season Two

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I'm genuinely curious about this, and excuse me if the question is a bit silly... but I often find myself wondering if the lack of actual dance on the show has to do with copyright/permission issues.

For example, I know that dancers portrayed on the show chose to be on - or at least I read this in an interview - so perhaps the short rehearsal footage has to do with not showing too much of people who did not agree to be on?

I also wonder if they have to pay for every snippet of Ashton choreo shown, and if the lack of the corresponding music means they found it cheaper to use other music than the actual one played by the orchestra at the performance?

I am not so sure on this subject or Union rules, but I do wonder if that gets in the way of what is shown.

Or maybe the fact is that they want to appeal to a wider audience and I'm just wondering about irrelevant issues. :/

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I'm genuinely curious about this, and excuse me if the question is a bit silly... but I often find myself wondering if the lack of actual dance on the show has to do with copyright/permission issues.

I personally think that has an awful lot to do with it. And is probably why we don't hear much of the Prokofiev music accompanying the ballet. And any dancers that didn't sign on to the show will necessarily be omitted.

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I agree with Jayne, this was one of the better episodes. Season 1 also built up to the Big Performances, and I think we saw more dancing this time around, if memory serves.

I echo balletgirl22sk's question above. I was surprised, given Emily's fall, that there was no follow-up later in the show.

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Just tuned in to BP last night for the first time; tuned it out very shortly thereafter. I am not averse to the guilty pleasure of reality TV; I keep up, for instance, with Project Runway. BP has a tenuous relationship with the reality of an actual ballet company, however. I have to agree with Phrerank that "BP is not really a show about ballet, it's about the relationships of dancers who happen to be in a ballet company."

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I found it irksome in last night's episode that when performance snippets were shown, we weren't hearing the orchestration but the episode's music. I think once (or twice) they had both tracks of music playing simultaneously but the episode's music was much louder, so you really couldn't hear the orchestra.

The music in this show is very frustrating.

I felt bad for Zach when his wig fell off, but from what they showed it looked like he handled it well. Wardrobe malfunctions can happen to anyone.

I think dancers are responsible for making sure their wigs stay on, although this may vary by company, but Sklute implied this was true at BW when he was quoted, and Zach wouldn't have thought that he might have blown his chances if he hadn't been responsible. (For opera, there are generally wig and make-up people.) I just wondered how it stayed on the second time, since he took another head-back pose.

I was very glad to see he got it out of the way of the incoming dancers, and because most people had never seen this version before, I'm sure many in the audience thought it was part of his stage business. at least the way it was shot.

Yes, it wasn't great when Christiana fell off pointe during her pas de deux with Rex, but I didn't think it was the end of the world like they were showing it to be. I've seen many ballerinas in major companies do that (yes, it is still a mistake). Granted, I've missed a few episodes this season and thus probably the rehearsal footage for that section, and I don't know the choreography in that segment, so maybe the part when she fell off pointe was during a highly climactic moment in the pas (they didn't show enough of the performance for me to gather that). Anyone else have any thoughts on this part?

Bennett did a beautiful arabesque right out of it, and, in my opinion, anyone in audience whose experience was ruined by that slip has lost sight of the tree, let alone the forest. It's not like she fell off pointe during an iconic moment like the "Rose Adagio" in a worldwide HD broadcast (which isn't high on my list of what to obsess about as an audience member), or she's Oksana Skorik, whose anti-fans are hovering with video cameras to make error compilation videos to post on YouTube. As Joyce DiDonato said in the Q&A of her most recent Juilliard Master Class, "I worked really hard to make sure I was clear that this is what I do; it's not who I am, which is why I can say I enjoyed the show even if it's a bad show, even if I missed something. I'm not a machine. I'm not a computer. I'm not a perfect singer. I do my best, and I go home, and I'm happy." and "'Um, yeah, G-d I didn't get that note. I'm going to try it next time'...but that doesn't make me the most awful person on the face of the Earth who's completely incompetent and has no talent. It means I missed a note. They don't arrest you for that." (And this is from a singer whose every public vocal mistake is recorded somewhere by someone.)

Ballet dancers of her rank and calibre don't always have the luxury of thinking that way, because their AD's have far more control and who sells tickets is not what drives most company casting, and I do understand her concern that that she felt she slipped because she was distracted by her personal life and wasn't concentrating on the ballet. Sklute's been quoted as saying that the dancers need to keep their personal life mishegas out of the studio, so, like with Zach losing his wig, her angst was likely in part in reaction to what the boss would say. The whole "Cinderella" production showed that her strategy to compartmentalize her life and work has its limits, which is a scary thing to realize. It would have taken a super-human effort in the first place if the only thing she had to worry about was a partner not fully recovered from injury and the "Will I/Won't I?" (dance) emotional roller-coaster.

Because of the way the show is edited, we see Bennett's anxiety about everything. This is absolutely understandable as her decade-long relationship with her husband is in danger, and she can't avoid seeing him at work I'm sure she isn't the first ballerina to carry or co-carry a smaller company as it becomes stronger and better-known. She's said repeatedly over two seasons that she has to be a role model and that she wants to be the lead on the biggest roles and faces competition from up-and-coming dancers, and while she hasn't said exactly that she has to be perfect to accomplish all of this, that is what comes through. It's hard to see from this series where she actually enjoys what she's doing, aside from a few times she's relaxing with her friends.

I was shocked when she said she was 33. I thought she was a lot older because she seems to be bearing such burdens, and with a good number of years left to dance, she and the other female Principals at the company will be facing intense competition, and probably not only from Sisk, who's already a Soloist. It also means that she and Ruud had been together from when she was quite young. Hopefully with Ruud stepping down from the Ballet West II position, they'll have time to focus on their relationship and whether they want to remain together. He seemed to thrive in the position, even when he seemed overwhelmed, but the experience should be important for him going forward.

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(Sorry for the two separate posts. I went in to add a link to the post above, and all of the quotes and answers mysteriously nested.)

Beckanne and Allison looked lovely during their performance parts. Too bad Allison's boyfriend couldn't be bothered to show up.

Sisk looked so beautiful in that costume, I was all verklempt.

At one point deBona said something about Tilton (Rex) coming into her life 3.5 years ago. Screech, run the recording back. 3.5 years ago??? That means when the first season was taped, she and Tilton had been having a relationship of some kind(s) for 1.5-2 years, which is not the way it read last season. That makes Jonathan's insecurity a lot more understandable, and it makes Tilton seem a lot less stalker-y and delusional in retrospect.

Still, it is over a year later, and to recap: 1. Jonathan's got the girl, 2. Tilton doesn't have the girl, 3. deBona is willing to hand over her career and move back to Michigan to be with Jonathan, if he shows up for her adieu to the stage and, as the kids would say, recognizes the quite amazing thing she's accomplished in dance and support her in ending her career gracefully. (Assuming that the chronology shown is accurate, not something I'd bet the house on.) That doesn't seem to be enough for him -- it's not like he left her a v-mail to say he was planning to come, but then her grandmother became ill, and he couldn't leave -- and if he's going to make her pay over and over again because she's not the girl who was never with Rex, I know what advice Dan Savage would give her. I hope the fact that she's still on the BW roster means she will be back to dance in 2013-14 and didn't give up her career for someone who needs a kick in the head has some unresolved issues.

I'm genuinely curious about this, and excuse me if the question is a bit silly... but I often find myself wondering if the lack of actual dance on the show has to do with copyright/permission issues.



I personally think that has an awful lot to do with it. And is probably why we don't hear much of the Prokofiev music accompanying the ballet. And any dancers that didn't sign on to the show will necessarily be omitted.

I think rights issues probably have a lot to do with how the ballets are shown, and that if a dancer does not want to be shown, at least outside rehearsal, class, or performance, s/he may be able to opt out, but Tom Mattingly and Christopher Ruud were featured in episodes last season when they weren't "cast" and others have been shown chatting on the couches with featured dancers.

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I too was surprised by Allison's revelation that Rex and she go that far back. We don't have enough information from Doc in Detroit to know all of his side of the story (and no, I'm not asking for any more) but if he didn't bother to at least inform DeBona that he wasn't coming to see her dance, that fact alone speaks pretty eloquently. Bennett's forthright remarks to DeBona on the subject at the end of last night's episode seem on the mark to this viewer. On the other hand, given that Allison and Rex are getting quite flirty again, maybe Jonathan was right to save on plane fare. I had hoped that he would show up, if only to give this storyline a rest.

I wasn't surprised by Christiana's age (in fact, judging by looks alone I would not have been surprised if she was younger, not older).

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deBona might have been awful to Dr. Detroit. She might have ripped his guts out. However, if he wants a relationship with her, it's with with her, not with an alternate universe Alison who made other choices, just as if she ends up with Tilton, they don't get a memory-free do-over. I've never seen what seems to be his strategy working out all that well, emotionally at least.

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....and if he's going to make her pay over and over again because she's not the girl who was never with Rex, I know what advice Dan Savage would give her. I hope the fact that she's still on the BW roster means she will be back to dance in 2013-14 and didn't give up her career for someone who needs a kick in the head has some unresolved issues.

Helene quoting Dan Savage? speechless-smiley-003.gif Truly she has a wide spectrum of reading material.

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deBona might have been awful to Dr. Detroit. She might have ripped his guts out. However, if he wants a relationship with her, it's with with her, not with an alternate universe Alison who made other choices, just as if she ends up with Tilton, they don't get a memory-free do-over. I've never seen what seems to be his strategy working out all that well, emotionally at least.

I've been doing my best not to say anything about the personal relationship scenes - but, Dr. Detroit sent a rather strong message: not exactly of rejection, but more one of passive-agressive punishment. He's obvioulsy waiting for DeBona to jump through some hoops to prove herself. But his timing is way off - he should have come through for HER at this point. He's got to demonstrate that he respects her (and that would include DeBona's career commitments). I definitely get the feeling that he doesn't think she's doing serious things (like he is). DeBona just needs to get that the best thing she can do with her life is shuck it all and wait on Dr. D hand and foot. ;)

I do feel for DeBona because her other obvious option is to get back together with a rather "young" Rex Tilton, who really needs more time learning about life (ideally). But nothing ever happens when you want it to. Tilton has possession issues too, and spent the entire 1st season of the show being happy about DeBona's behavior.

And then there's Bennett talking about some rule she and Ruud have where they can't talk to each other at work. Seriously? How unworkable and childish is that? Well now we know.

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Alison does point out to Christianna that in the past Dr Detroit drove her to all her auditions and was her biggest fan. It might be that he felt he supported her, only to have her move away and get into a 3 1/2 year relationship with someone else. So he resents her career for those reasons. I'm reading waaaaaaaayyyyy too much into this. I hate it when my mom analyzes my brother's relationship with his succession of girlfriends, and here I am - doing the same thing to strangers. Granted, strangers who were willing to appear on a TV show, but still.

Anyway, I still think she would be lovely at Grand Rapids Ballet, and would receive great direction from the AD, Patricia Barker (another long, tall, cool beauty). However, I'm not sure at this late date if there is an open spot for her there. More's the pity.

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It is a pity, and I think deBona would look great in the Grand Rapids rep. There are lots of miles between SLC and Grand Rapids, even if she choose Dr. Detroit and they aren't together all the time because it's not a reasonable commute from Detroit and Grand Rapids.

While Tilton said several times during the last episode that if he weren't promoted, he wanted to be somewhere else, he is on the current roster as a First Soloist. Was he a Soloist last season and got the promotion, or was he a First Soloist last season as well? Edited to add: I should remember that Google Is My Friend and look it up before asking questions. According to the 2013-14 Ballet West promotion announcement, Tilton jumped from Demi-Soloist to First Soloist, a two-level leap, and I'm guessing it was "Cinderella" that helped to earn promotions to Principal for Arolyn Wiliiams and Tom Mattingly, and possibly Haley Henderson Smith.

As it turns out, there was another man given a Ballet West contract from Ballet West II in addition to the spot over which Prentice and Tanzer were competing. Two of the Ballet West II women also joined the Company.


And then there's Bennett talking about some rule she and Ruud have where they can't talk to each other at work. Seriously? How unworkable and childish is that? Well now we know.

I've seen this work quite well in several (non-dance) companies for which I've worked, but it helps when the people are doing better outside the workplace.

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Granted, strangers who were willing to appear on a TV show, but still.

These are dancers were willing to appear on a television show for the benefit of their company and to publicize the art form to which their lives are dedicated. Just saying.

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Unfortunately, the way the show is cut and what is emphasized, not a lot of publicizing the art is happening.

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Unfortunately, the way the show is cut and what is emphasized, not a lot of publicizing the art is happening.

It may feel that way to us, but for the vast majority of the television audience who really don't have any experience with the art form, this is an incredible amount of information.

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It's Time to Face the Music
Season 2, Ep. 8
Original Air Date: Sep 9, 2013

"With closing night of "Cinderella" just around the corner, the dancers continue to give it all they've got."

Most thrilling episode of all? Or anticlimactic letdown? Or still sleep inducing? You make the call!

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Cheer up, naysayers: With these ratings, soon you may not have "Breaking Pointe" to kick around any more.

The network renewed the Ballet West docu-series last year despite poor ratings and this summer’s ratings have been even worse. Season one averaged 780,000 weekly viewers while season two has been averaging 490,000.

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Cheer up, naysayers: With these ratings, soon you may not have "Breaking Pointe" to kick around any more.

I can't say that I'm totally surprised as this last season was not particularly charming, imo. And without charm, there's nothing to draw people in. In the last episode - the 'finale' - we see the BW dancers are invited to perform at a private fund raising gala. They perform and join in the party at a very upscale L.A. home, but it is a small gathering that we see on camera, and somehow it feels rather lackluster, and lot of trouble to go to for a contribution. But I'm sure Adam Sklute also intended it as a fun end-of-season outing for the company. But a few of his dancers are dealing with real troubles in their private lives, especially Bennett and Ruud, who we learn are divorcing. Which just brings everything to a low ebb. At least there was very little of Zach Prentice in the finale (sorry Zach fans!).

When I think back over the 2 seasons, the only things I really learned about concerned interviews/contracts and company apprenticeships. Any real information concerning the ballets danced was mostly omitted, or cut into little bits. Not charming, and really not inspiring.

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Cheer up, naysayers: With these ratings, soon you may not have "Breaking Pointe" to kick around any more.

I can't say that I'm totally surprised as this last season was not particularly charming, imo. And without charm, there's nothing to draw people in. In the last episode - the 'finale' - we see the BW dancers are invited to perform at a private fund raising gala. They perform and join in the party at a very upscale L.A. home, but it is a small gathering that we see on camera, and somehow it feels rather lackluster, and lot of trouble to go to for a contribution. But I'm sure Adam Sklute also intended it as a fun end-of-season outing for the company. But a few of his dancers are dealing with real troubles in their private lives, especially Bennett and Ruud, who we learn are divorcing. Which just brings everything to a low ebb. At least there was very little of Zach Prentice in the finale (sorry Zach fans!).

When I think back over the 2 seasons, the only things I really learned about concerned interviews/contracts and company apprenticeships. Any real information concerning the ballets danced was mostly omitted, or cut into little bits. Not charming, and really not inspiring.

I enjoyed the bits of ballet in the final episode--and the glimpses of the Malibu mansion; also kind of liked Christiana making the case for supporting the arts to a donor. But from a 'storyline' point of view, the episode was a downer.

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Unfortunately, the way the show is cut and what is emphasized, not a lot of publicizing the art is happening.

It may feel that way to us, but for the vast majority of the television audience who really don't have any experience with the art form, this is an incredible amount of information.

True, and it'll be a real shame if the show is canceled, its flaws notwithstanding. There aren't many other shows on basic cable featuring Wendy Ellis Somes coaching. Fingers crossed.

Since this final episode apparently wasn't the real season wrap-up, if the article is accurate, we won't know the note that the show was intended to close on unless that episode sees the light of day. These last two episodes weren't bad - as with last season the show did improve over time,. I liked the dancing that we did see and the dancers looked cool and happy posing in their sunglasses. Perhaps I have heard Christiana declare that work is her refuge a few too many times (and I was slightly stupefied by Allison's announcement that she realized she's been in love with Sexy Rexy all along). Divorce is always tough but judging by Monday's episode Chris will not be wanting for consolation. Good luck to both of them. If there is a third season I'll be curious to find out if Rex holds firm in his intent to keep Allison at arm's length for the time being....

.....kind of liked Christiana making the case for supporting the arts to a donor.

That was a nice bit.

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For those who care.......season 2 is now available on Hulu (perhaps on other internet based services too).

I don't have cable, so I have to wait for a DVD release or a service like Hulu to give me access. (I'm not sure when season 2 became available; I only look every couple of months).

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Be of good cheer, non-fans - you won't have "Breaking Pointe" to kick around any more.

I had a lot of problems with the show for obvious reasons but I would rather have had it do well than tank, if only to reward whoever thought a ballet reality show might appeal to a mass audience. That's life.

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I will miss the show. One can pick it apart, as many have done here, but frankly the criticism here rang hollow to me.....petty even.

I'd like to see any of us work as hard as these dancers did; take the risk of allowing our lives to be on public display as these dancers did; and be as honest as I think everyone involved with the show was. Easy to sit in our arm chairs and pick at this and that.

Sure, the personal content was like being 20-something...........JESUS, they ARE 20-something!! Try to remember back when YOU were 20. How would you look if 1 million people saw YOU at a party when you were 22!! Some of the dancers were older and dealt with "older" problems. I'm nearly 69, and I deeply felt the pain of Christiana and Chris (as well as being privileged to see bits of their exquisite dancing).

Sure again, there wasn't enough actual dancing, but so what. I have NO doubt the producers, directors, and dancers in this series would have loved to show more dancing. Clearly there were contractual restrictions and other limitations that made such a thing not possible (makes me think of how many times I've heard my local ballet company's director -- Peter Boal at Seattle's PNB -- say with regret: "No, we can't produce a DVD.....it's just too expensive given the royalty and other such payments required."

Sure again and again, I winced a few times at my ripe old age, but overall, I thought the series terrific. It gave me an insider's view of a ballet company of dedicated people striving to do their best in the art form I love so much. THANK YOU BALLET WEST.

P.S. What strikes me the most is that such a documentary (OK....reality show if you like) was made at all.

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Does anyone know how I can watch "Breaking Pointe" season 2? It was on Hulu for a while, but has been removed (I guess I wasn't fast enough blushing.gifmad.gif ).

It does not seem to be on DVD. I can find any info on a DVD release date either. Indeed, I can't find any way to see it at any price at any time (so far).

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