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Breaking Pointe Season Two


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#91 Buddy

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 06:12 PM

The thing that I like about the program is that whatever their personal situations, and some of that is quite touching, the minute they start to dance they look like goddesses (Christiana in particular) and gods. That's ballet I guess.


#92 Drew

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 09:55 PM

Allison (qua Breaking Pointe "character") interests me a lot more as the heroine of an internal "love!" versus "art!" debate than as the heroine of a more conventional love triangle.

 

Qua dancer, she has always seemed quite interesting to me. At least as best one can tell watching a show that doesn't show all that much dancing.

 

Actually, in this last episode, I felt the producers gave us more of students at Rock studio dancing than professionals at Ballet West dancing. Perhaps because it's the CW but I almost suspect that it's also because, on some level, they find it easier to grasp dance as a school recital than as a grown-up art.



#93 dirac

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 10:49 AM

I might question the "heroine" part. Judging by Monday's episode Allison's been rather the tease with Rex, who admittedly seems not unwilling.

 

The footage from The Rock School was indeed charming. Nice kids, and nice for Beckanne to be able to come back and enjoy some hero worship. She was good with the students, too. 



#94 Drew

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 01:54 PM

I might question the "heroine" part. Judging by Monday's episode Allison's been rather the tease with Rex, who admittedly seems not unwilling.

 

 

 

Yes...that's probably one reason the 'plot' (as edited anyway) is so unappealling.



#95 Buddy

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 08:43 AM

As a contrast to this series I recall episodes posted here about the New Zealand ballet. They seemed to have a relaxed feeling in regard to personal matters and company attitude with a lot of emphasis on the dancing, which I really enjoyed.



#96 Jayne

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 08:45 AM

I watched episode #7 on the CW website.  I think the show misrepresents "opening night".  Indeed it's opening night for the lead cast, but according to to the cast schedule, Arolyn Williams and Tom Mattingly danced on First Night (Thursday Feb.14).  In fact the Williams / Mattingly pair get 4 performances, Christianna Bennett / Rex Tilton get 3, and Katherine Lawrence / Christopher Rudd get 3. 

 

Mr Rudd is also a Stepsister on the Williams/Mattingly nights.  

 

All in all, I tried to focus on the snippets of Ashton dancing that could be seen in this episode, and for the most part the emotional side was focused on jitters, wigs falling off, and last minute injuries.  If all the episodes were like this one, I could like the show more.  I'm frustrated with Christianna, though, her husband tries to be attentive to her when she is injured, and she is cool to him.  Then later she says he's not giving her what she needs in the relationship (implying more attention and time).  Just the same complaint over and over.  



#97 ABT Fan

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 09:04 AM

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.  

 

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.

 

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?

 

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



#98 balletgirl22sk

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 10:03 AM

During dress rehearsal, it showed a girl take a bad fall. They said her name was Emily- never said if she was able to dance for opening night. Anyone know?



#99 dirac

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 10:15 AM

My hunch is that one reason Chris and Christiana are avoiding talk at work is in order to avoid talk getting picked up on camera and turning into the Loud family. I wouldn't draw too many conclusions from their awkward exchanges. I sympathize with them, even if the show could use a good screaming match.

 

I would think that securing your wig properly is the least you can do. Sure, things happen, but we're also shown Zach losing his wig in rehearsal as well, so it could only be carelessness (or nervousness). Sklute notes that normally he's death on this kind of thing, but that Zach recovered well - as he certainly did.

 

 

I didn't think it was the end of the world like they were showing it to be.

 

 

I think Chris Ruud just said, "She's going to hate herself for that," and he was probably right, dancers being as dedicated as they are. I thought that was more a reflection of the dancers' feelings during a tense performance - both dancers with recent foot trouble, so things were dicey. Also fits in dramatically with the trouble other dancers are experiencing in the episode (poor Emily dropping on the stage like a sack of mule feed).

 

Yes, Motor City Doc was a no-show. I fear this will mean that Allison 'n' Rex are back for good.



#100 pherank

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:20 AM

I watched episode #7 on the CW website.  I think the show misrepresents "opening night".  Indeed it's opening night for the lead cast, but according to to the cast schedule, Arolyn Williams and Tom Mattingly danced on First Night (Thursday Feb.14).  In fact the Williams / Mattingly pair get 4 performances, Christianna Bennett / Rex Tilton get 3, and Katherine Lawrence / Christopher Rudd get 3. 

 

Mr Rudd is also a Stepsister on the Williams/Mattingly nights.  

 

All in all, I tried to focus on the snippets of Ashton dancing that could be seen in this episode, and for the most part the emotional side was focused on jitters, wigs falling off, and last minute injuries.  If all the episodes were like this one, I could like the show more.  I'm frustrated with Christianna, though, her husband tries to be attentive to her when she is injured, and she is cool to him.  Then later she says he's not giving her what she needs in the relationship (implying more attention and time).  Just the same complaint over and over.  

 

"If all the episodes were like this one, I could like the show more" - unfortunately for me, I felt that this episode underscored everything I don't like about this program: no context for the ballet moments, but constant repetition of each person's relationship 'problem'. Bennett feels her marriage isn't working and the stress is ruining her dancing; DeBona can't decide between Doctor "Feet of Clay" Detroit, and Rex Tilton, who wants recognitiion, but is very nervous about having to earn it. And we literally hear about these situations 3 to 5 times an episode, every episode. It isn't the fault of the actual people/dancers that they are portrayed in this manner - these are the choices of the director, editor, writers (there are writers for this?!!!), and production crew.

 

As Jayne points out above, there are actually other dancers in BW - we just don't hear about them, and the cameras manage to never show the rest of the company in group scenes. Which must take some work, but I would rather that work be put towards educating the audience about the Cinderella ballet by Ashton, and ballet dancing in general. It's amazing that this show never takes the opportunity to explain why people would want to do this thing called "ballet".

 

The depiction of "opening night" was, as Jayne says, false - it was not the actual opening night for BW, and the entire episode made ballet performance look like a comedy of errors.

 

But we did get to see everyone in costume, even Ian, who promptly has more bad luck and injures himself right out of the production. The costume scenes were very anitclimactic for me. I have to stick with one of my original comments that BP is not really a show about ballet, it's about the relationships of dancers who happen to be in a ballet company. And what we see on-camera isn't necessarily representative of what is going on off-camera (especially with Bennett/Ruud).



#101 elena

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:55 AM

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. :/

#102 pherank

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 12:27 PM

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.



#103 dirac

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 01:01 PM

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.



#104 Ray

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 01:12 PM

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." 



#105 Helene

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 02:16 PM

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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