Views and reviews of "Big Ballet."
The three-part series follows former ballet principals Wayne Sleep and Monica Loughman as they attempt to draw up a troupe of plus-sized amateurs. After pruning the 500 to 18, Sleep and Loughman have five months to train up their 16 women and two men for a performance of Swan Lake at St George’s Hall in Bradford.
A review, also in the Telegraph.
As it turns out, Big Ballet doesn’t represent a new nadir for Channel 4 after all. Much like The Undateables, another Channel 4 series that was written off as “exploitative” before it had even aired, the first instalment was sweet, heart-warming but with a necessary dose of reality....
When he was told about Sleep's production, the choreographer Derek Deane practically shuddered: "You know, fat, cellulite, bums and large breasts... I'm sorry but it doesn't lend itself to the pure form of classical ballet."
Wayne Sleep cracks himself up. Virtually everything he says ends with him dissolving into helpless laughter. Like Wayne himself, this habit is charming and irritating by turns. It's also a bit risky, because the premise of Big Ballet (Channel 4) – Sleep assembles a troupe of plus-size dancers to perform a scene from Swan Lake – seems designed to court accusations of exploitation. Might the result not be cruel, or unintentionally comical? Doesn't Wayne need to ask himself what he's laughing at?