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Flesh and BoneBallet drama series from Starz


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#1 dirac

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 10:47 AM

The Starz channel has a new series in the works:

 

The drama will explore the dark side of the professional ballet world through the story of Claire, a young ballet dancer with a troubled past who joins a prestigious New York ballet company. Starz says the series "will unflinchingly explore the dysfunctional underbelly of the ballet world."

 

 

and from the casting call notes:

 

CLAIRE: Female, Caucasian, 21 years old. Series lead. Must dance at a company ballerina level. Claire is beautiful, delicate, soulful and serious. Prototype: Polina Semionova (see video above).

 

 



#2 Dale

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 11:21 AM

Those descriptions of the roles are hilarious. I hope the show overcomes them.



#3 Helene

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:53 PM

The network has announced:

 

  • It will be called "Flesh and Bone"
  • It will be created, written, and produced by "Breaking Bad" writer/co-producer Moira Walley-Beckett
  • Ethan Stiefel will consult and choreograph
  • In supporting roles will be former ABT Principal Irina Dvorovenko, ABT's Sascha Radetsky, and Ballet Arizona's Raychel Diane Weiner

 

"Flesh and Bone" follows a young ballet dancer, Claire Robbins, who has a distinctly troubled past, as she joins a prestigious ballet company in New York.  The dark and gritty series will unflinchingly explore the dysfunction and glamour of the ballet world.

 

 
The producers are an interesting and ballet-deep bunch:
 
The project will be written and executive produced by Ms. Walley-Beckett and Starz, with Executive Producers Lawrence Bender (Oscar® nominated for Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting), Kevin Brown ("Roswell") and John Melfi ("Sex and the City," "House of Cards," "Nurse Jackie," "Rome").  Bender, Brown and Walley-Beckett all have connections to the world of ballet, which brought them together with Starz on this project.  Bender and Walley-Beckett are former ballet dancers, and Brown's family is made up entirely of former ballet dancers and their story was the basis for the Oscar-nominated film, The Turning Point.

 

 



#4 dirac

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:51 PM

Thanks for the link, Helene. According to the link they haven't yet found anyone beautiful, delicate, soulful and serious enough for the lead.

 

The "troubled past" is standard issue for the protagonist of a contemporary cable drama. Perhaps Claire will be mentally unstable and reliant on prescription drugs to keep her on an even keel. Her mother earned the money to put Claire through ballet school by becoming a methamphetamine dealer. Halfway through Season 2, we will discover that Claire's real name is Dick Whitman.....



#5 liebs

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 05:10 AM

if only...



#6 checkwriter

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 05:57 AM

Future best series quote: "I AM the one who pliés."  



#7 dirac

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:00 AM

The show may air in 2015:

 

The green light comes after an extensive nationwide search involving thousands of hopefuls resulted in the casting of dancer Sarah Hay (Black Swan) in the lead role.

 



#8 dirac

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 12:51 PM

Evidently the show will be a miniseries. They're using many actual ballet dancers and apparently scheduling them for more than one season is a bit of a hassle. Not necessarily a bad thing, many of these multiseason serial dramas go on longer than they ought to do.



#9 dirac

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 08:56 AM

Here's the trailer for the show.



#10 Amy Reusch

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 08:28 PM

okay... this is odd... but that flash clip of the homeless girl... I swear I used to see exactly that character in real life in the late '70s...  always wondered about her...  is that recreated from someone's memory?   (I guess I should add that I mean a particular homeless person... there have been countless homeless in the city in the last few decades, but this image speaks of a particular child...)



#11 volcanohunter

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 08:47 PM

another promo clip

 

http://video.vanityf...-flesh-and-bone



#12 maps

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 07:38 AM

Starz' premier episode is available to non-subscribers for a limited period both streaming and online. 



#13 dirac

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 09:12 AM

The series is now available in its entirety via streaming and On Demand. I saw the first episode last night. The adjectives “dark” and “unflinching” have been used to describe the show and they are accurate enough. There are the customary shots of dangerously skinny girls with scary feet.  The heroine, played and danced appealingly by Sarah Hay, comes outfitted with the emotional problems that, as noted previously, seem to be standard issue for cable drama protagonists these days. (She has the emotional problems because of a Terrible Secret.) There are some humorous moments, but it’s not at all clear that writer/producer Moira Walley-Beckett is in on the joke.

 

I also wonder about the heroine's habit of sleeping covered in books, presumably as a source of psychological comfort. It make for a striking overhead shot, but there must be quite the racket when she turns over.

The more relaxed censorship that is afforded pay cable is used in ways both good and bad. Good:  the casual attitude toward nudity and various states of undress that will be familiar to anyone who’s spent a lot of time backstage in a theater. Bad: pretty much everything else.  For a show that is supposed to be showing us the dark underbelly of ballet, we spend a disproportionate amount of time in the dark underbelly of a strip club.  Walley-Beckett has made a very big production about casting real dancers, so it’s to be hoped that in the future episodes they’ll get to do some more actual dancing.  Sascha Radetsky makes a good impression playing what seems to be a more jaded version of his nice boy in “Center Stage” and I anticipate fun moments from Dvorovenko as the druggie senior ballerina. (Speaking of dangerously skinny – I’m sure Dvorovenko’s thinness is perfectly natural, but gee – get this girl some cheesecake.)

 

Anyone else see it? (Be careful to post spoiler alerts if you are binge-watching.)



#14 sandik

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 09:45 AM

I watched a chunk of the first episode while it was free (my local cable provider wants much too much money for the package that includes Starz -- not to mention the incredible list of ridiculous channels that come along with it).  I agree -- it seems like the creators are working with very familiar soap-opera themes.  It's a double-edged blade as far as that's concerned.  While I appreciate the way that this treatment could normalize dance in the eyes of viewers who think of the profession as something far outside the world they inhabit, I'd really like to see more actual dance and more actual rehearsal practice.  Yes, the foot inside the pointe shoe is often bloody and bruised, but so is the foot inside the soccer shoe, and the stiletto pump, for that matter. 



#15 dirac

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 08:45 AM

I kinda like some of those ridiculous channels. Lately I’ve been tuning in occasionally to BUZZR, which is showing old Goodson-Todman game shows. (Well, it beats watching Sarah Hay bring her pointe shoe down on her nail-free big toe.) Back to our topic......




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