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Mme. Hermine

ballet dancers in television roles

64 posts in this topic

this is very funny; it's an expanded synopsis for the monkees episode:

(i LOVE the name "Nyetovich"!)

*******************************Synopsis:

David, Micky and Peter are engaged to play really weird native instruments for the Druvanian National Ballet. Ivan slips microfilm in the toe of the slipper of his dancing partner, Natasha Pavlova. Natasha can’t bear dancing and rehearsing twenty-four hours a day, and hides in The Monkees’ instrument trunk, unbeknownst to the boys, who are kicked out of the theater by Nicolai, the ballet master, and Ivan, who can’t bear the sound of their weird music. The Monkees grab their trunk—Natasha hidden inside—and carry it with them. Ivan declares Natasha and the microfilm gone, but Nicolai insists Druvania will get it back at all costs, even at the expense of human life. Back at the pad, Natasha pops out and threatens David and Micky at gunpoint, while she falls in love with Peter. Micky gets hold of the pistol and threatens Natasha and Peter. Crying and sobbing, Natasha declares that this was her final chance to stay in America. Micky and David report to Nyetovich, the Ambassador, who denies of hearing of Natasha and has them thrown out. Nyetovich alerts Ivan by phone, who, along with Nicolai, comes to the pad, where Peter frantically avoids Natasha’s maniacal infatuations. Natasha hides in the trunk, while Peter opens the door and the spies, bent on breaking the door down, rush in and knock him down. He slumps unconscious, and they take him to the theater to be questioned.

Natasha warns to David and Micky that Peter will be tortured and forced to talk. Micky replies, “Talk?! Never. They can torture him, beat him, drug him; he’ll never talk! There’s only one torture he can’t withstand, oh, I pray they don’t use that…The Direct Question!” The boys overcome the risks of going on home territory and go to Peter’s rescue. In the guise of detectives, they declare to Nyetovich that they are from The BVD and investigating the disappearance of Natasha Pavlova, only to find that Nyetovich’s assignment coincides with theirs. Meanwhile, Ivan and Nicolai proceed to brainwash Peter, who advises that they use a good detergent (“New Reebersober’s Brain Detergent doesn’t fade, bleach, or shrink your brains!”); later, disguised as Cossacks, Micky and David are involved in a wild Russian dancing rehearsal, barely eluding Ivan. Recognizing who they really are, he send an ultimatum saying Peter Tork will die unless Natasha is returned for the night’s premiere, sending Natasha, Micky and David to the rescue.

There at the theater, Micky puts a glass to the wall and the three discover that Nyetovich has recovered the film and is preparing to do away with Peter at the end of Natasha’s solo. Ivan will leap into the air and a cymbal crash will be heard as soon as he lands, at which time Peter will be shot! Natasha prepares to don her chicken costume and mask for her “Dance of The Chicken” when she suddenly sprains her ankle, forcing Micky to take her place. Soon, three different romps commence: David jumps into the orchestra pit and does all he can to prevent the cymbalist from crashing his cymbals; Peter escapes Nicolai and takes on all comers, including Nyetovich, and a girl wrapped in a bathtowel, with swords, chalk, and a butterfly net; and Micky gives a hilarious performance onstage with Ivan, whom he prevents from taking that final leap into the air. The romps end with Nyetovich tied up and Ivan and Nicolai knocked unconscious. At the pad, David tells Natasha that the government has decided she can stay in America. Peter is happy to resume their romance, but Natasha, deciding that they are too different, presents her new love, Alexi—a Russian who looks just like Peter!

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alexandra, do you mind this? i just thought it was fun looking at these things, is it too OT? let me know.

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Mme. Hermine, I just meant my remark in fun. It's just when I think back on all those hours watching some of those shows, I wonder that I have any brain cells left. :)

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oh oh ohh I have one...its an episode of Angel, usually shown on WB, a spin off from BUffy TVS. There is the episode from season 3 where Angel (a vampie with a soul) takes his friends to see Giselle , but becomes suspicious when the prima ballerina is one he saw dance more than a century ago. They sneak backstage to investigate and find themselves consumed with an overwhelming passion for one another as the spirits of unrequited lovers take over.

The girl who plays the prima ballerina is Summer Glau, who danced with San Antonio ballet in Texas.

When Angel is talking about the ballet company he says .. "Oh yeah, yeah. I saw their production of Giselle in 1890 -- cried like a baby. And I was evil!".

Jeanette

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Excuse this off-topic tangent. Inspired by last night's Emmy Awards, a friend and I came up with a brilliant idea over lunch today: a sitcom of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.

Plot summary for Episode One: Didi and Gogo wait for Godot.

Plot summary for Episode Two: Didi and Gogo wait for Godot.

And so on, until cancellation.

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Originally posted by Dale

Diagnosis Murder

The Red's Shoes  

60 min.  

Amanda goes undercover as a dancer when a Chinese ballet star, who was about to defect to the U.S., is murdered by someone who poisoned his acupuncture needles. Amanda: Victoria Rowell. Steve: Barry Van Dyke. Mark: Dick Van Dyke.  

Watched this episode last night. Not much dancing, but I thought it was interesting when the character Amanda gave her dance history. It was based on Victoria Rowell's real life; she was a foster child and studied at ABT and SAB.

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I had to see it for myself to believe it, but there's actually an episode of BONANZA where an injured dancer trains an aspiring ballerina for the San Francisco Ballet.

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Barrie Chase, it was. She’s better known, of course, for her television appearances as Fred Astaire’s partner in his very successful Sixties television specials. (The gap in age may give one pause, at least it gave this viewer pause, but they work very well together and she was reputed to be his favorite partner, a large statement considering the competition. There are photographs of them in rehearsal, and Fred, who could be very fussy and demanding, looks entranced. They were also romantically linked for awhile, in gossip at any rate.)

Thank you, Faustine, for reviving this thread. I am reminded of the "Cheers" episode in which Diane, the character played by Shelley Long, is taking ballet lessons. No dancers appear except briefly, but it's a funny show. Briefly, Diane, under the mistaken impression that her teacher believes she has great talent, auditions for Boston Ballet.

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Well, she doesn’t actually audition. Because of plot developments too complicated to go into here, Diane believes mistakenly that her teacher regards her as a great unfulfilled talent, so she goes to Boston Ballet clad in bright blue tights to make her case. She barges onstage while the dancers are rehearsing to Tchaikovsky and makes a speech declaring her dedication to dance, and receives grudging permission to go ahead, but after a last minute interrruption decides not to do so. Long is very funny, and it’s a cute show. There is a bit of business about a video that Diane has made of her dancing, but we never get to see it.

(Earlier in this thread, I made references to "junk." After recent viewing a few episodes of shows like "Happy Days" after a long time, I have to say that it was a better show than I gave it credit for, really quite good on its own terms.)

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I thought Barrie Chase was Astaire's best partner. She was a better dancer than any of the others, and the chemistry between the two was great, overriding the age difference.

George de la Pena played a Russian ballet dancer in at least two tv shows. (One may have been a made-for-tv movie.) Of course, I don't remember one (except for my thought, George playing a Russian dancer again?!), but the other was an LA Law, where he was represented by the distinctly non-ballet dancing Conchata Ferrell.

Maybe someone can fill in my considerable blanks.

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Victor Barbee was also in a Murder She Wrote. He was a defecting Russian; that's all I can remember.

I can't even remember the name of the show, but the master from "The Karate Kid" had a TV series for a short while, and there was a dancer who, doing her barre in the park (where else?) saw a murder. They knew they'd been spotted and pursued her. But never fear. She felled them with one hell of a grand battement.

And there was an escaping ballerina episode on Starsky and Hutch. She fell in love with one of them -- I'd never seen the show before this, so I never knew which one.

And there's the famous Gelsey Kirkland on L.A. Law episode

"one hell of a grand battement." Hee hee!

If the Gelsey Kirkland episode is the one I'm thinking of, then I remember seeing it and feeling that it was great to see her dance, while painful to see how "botoxy" she looked.

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Oh. And of course there are the "almost" dancers on soaps, such as Victoria Rowell on The Young and the Restless. I believe she trained at ABT. When she first arrived on Y&R, she danced quite often.

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Does anyone remember Zena Bethune? I thought it fascinating when I was young that a ballet dancer would become a soap opera actress. This was back in the 60s. She later went on to star in a TV show called "The Nurses". I seem to remember that after her television experiences, she went back to the performing arts in some capacity.

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I do remember Zena Bethune! Wasn't The Nurses originally an afternoon soap that moved to prime time and adapted to prime time norms?

What about Lea Thompson, ex-ABT school, who starred in Caroline in the City?

A pair of sit-com friends, Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper, both aspired to ballet careers before finding success in a verbal art form.

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carbro, I believe you're right about "The Nurses". I only remember it vaguely.

There's also Jenna Elfman (Dharma and Greg), who at 5'10", thought or was told that she was too tall for ballet. At least that's what the media kept reporting when her sitcom was new and she was a popular subject in entertainment news.

edited to add:

I googled Jenna Elfman and found this passage in an unofficial site about her:

A torn ligament growing up functionally ended her dreams of becoming a ballerina. Though the prestigious Pacific Northwest Ballet did accept her, the pain outweighed the potential, and she passed on the chance.

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In the coverage of the Robert Altman film, The Company, it was reported that

Neve Campbell had ballet training before becoming an actress.

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Yes, we've discussed her training with the National Ballet School here in Toronto when the film came out. In fact, that thread turned into a list much like this thread has become, except that it wasn't confined to TV. ("The Company" isn't TV either, of course, but Campbell did star in the TV drama Party of Five).

"A new ballet movie" aka list of actors and actresses who danced

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Finola Hughes of General Hospital fame was in pre-professional training as a teenager until she had a career-ending injury.

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In the coverage of the Robert Altman film, The Company, it was reported that

Neve Campbell had ballet training before becoming an actress.

She was also on a TV show called something like Catwalk - she danced in a few episodes of that. She trained at Canada's NBS between the ages of 9 and 14 I think. She was in the Ballet chorus of Phantom in Toronto and understudied one of the semi-lead roles (I forget which one.)

The Company was a terrible movie - Blue Snake was only cutting edge in the 80s when it was first choreographed. That's just my humble opinion though...

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Saw a film the other day, and one of the trivia items between the pre-show ads was Neve Campbell's ballet background.

There are some people who may not find that trivial at all! :wacko:

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I'm a fan of 6 Feet Under, which I've seen entirely on DVDs THere are a couple of episodes 3rd or 4th year, where the artistic kid sister gets to fantasize herself dancing and the actress gets to TEAR IT UP with multiple pirouettes and renverses and wild kicks and rond de jambes.... which turn outjust to have been little fantasies.... She's a wonderful character, played by a wonderful actress...

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How silly of me to have forgotten---Mikhail Baryshnikov had a recurring role on Sex and the City, playing SJP's love interest, a tortured artist. :wacko:

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How silly of me to have forgotten---Mikhail Baryshnikov had a recurring role on Sex and the City, playing SJP's love interest, a tortured artist. :wacko:

tortured? How about torturing? I think that whole role was a mechanism to be negative enough to force a final resolution of the plot. Maybe the "nicest"way to describe the character is "self-absorbed".

Richard

Edited by richard53dog

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