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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: Taking the stage-MTV

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should try to step out of the ballet lover/student/parent bubble and have a broader perspective


Well Blackswan--we like our little bubble here thank you very much! :yucky: We are a ballet board, the rules require that we discuss things from a ballet perspective. So we can't discuss this show here at all if we're just discussing Reality TV with a side of occasional dance. We've had open discussions before about the pros and cons of all the dance based shows, from our ballet perspective. To do anything less is our not being honest since that perspective is what we have.


There have been some good dance shows recently and some not so good. I have hopes that this one will get better and better as time goes on. The way to get a show more viewers is to first attract those with similar mindset, who will then share with their friends about this new show they watch and peak their interest. So while MTV might not be gearing for a wide dance audience, it is actually the dancers and musicians coming to it first who will bring in new viewers. So my suggestion is for you to watch the show, then come back and engage in the discussion with us. But it might be nice (and certainly more respectful) to not make assumptions about those who have shared their opinion because they did see the show until you've at least seen it yourself. In reality, the dance based shows that our ballet perspective have enjoyed have in fact been the one's that have had TV longevity so far. I wouldn't discount our opinions so easily because those we haven't liked usually lasted one season and that was it. (We generally liked So You Think You Can Dance, it's still on. We generally liked America's Best Dance Crew, it's still on. We panned Superstars of Dance, gone. We panned Step it Up and Dance...gone. We liked Dancing with the Stars....still on and noting that neither are ballet minded shows yet so far we've been dead on globally.)


On a side note: I had to chuckle a bit at someone who mentioned that they don't break into song and dance at the school. I remember those scenes in the show Fame and often wondered if there was any assemblance of that at what is now LaGuardia. We have a local Arts college here that does not have a dance department but a world renowned arts and music program. They do in fact bring out the cellos and violins or the occasional opera singer or rapid art canvas during lunch and dinner on a fairly regular basis. But there is no dancing on the tables ala Fame. The lunchtime concerts attract many students to them over the other Arts college in town which has a more traditional college feel to the cafeteria.


*edited by moderator

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As regards the 'breaking out in song and dance', I was recently visiting another city and happened to be in a coffee shop/bakery across the street from a performing arts high school at about 8:30 a.m. It is a very small shop with only a couple tables on each side of the shop. I must say, I did find it annoying when a group of about 4-5 high school kids broke out into songs (not all the same one) making it quite difficult for my companion and me to continue our conversation. Not much of a fan of the 'breaking out in song' in such an instance. :)


But it did make me chuckle when reading this thread. :o

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I was able to tune into the show for about 15 minutes last Saturday. I plan on catching up this weekend, as I'm sure MTV will show them over. I'm guessing we're up to 2 shows now? I would expect nothing less from MTV to make drama where none exists; it's nature of the beast. I do hope we get to see more dance though.


As far as breaking out in song and dance, all I can say is that before warm-ups at Nutcracker rehearsals this past year, DD's company did break out in song and dance on stage a number of times (started with one, all joined in). It happens. It's just not all that pretty when it does like they show on TV.

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Friend of mine was on "the real world", I will not divulge season, location, or names to protect the innocent. After 6 months, friend came back very different, work ethic was gone academics were discontinued, and friend's life and career went into stasis. I'm not sure if I would trust those MTV types, they fill your head up with crazy stuff!

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We are a ballet board, the rules require that we discuss things from a ballet perspective. So we can't discuss this show here at all if we're just discussing Reality TV with a side of occasional dance. We've had open discussions before about the pros and cons of all the dance based shows, from our ballet perspective.


I guess the point I was trying to make is that as much as you can't discuss Reality TV with a side of occasional dance, I think it's pretty clear that's all this show is. Reality TV with a side of dance. When MTV is involved, even if it's dance-themed, the fact of the matter is, it's not a dance show, it's a fake drama reality show, with a side of occasional dance.

Edited by Blackswans
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Thank you for that clarity (and much nicer approach) blackswan. We hope you'll take time to watch the show and form your own opinion of what it is and then come back to discuss the show with us. :) Knowledge there will be power in the discussion on this thread.


If you're not allowed to watch Reality TV we certainly understand the reasoning behind that!!!. If it's just a personal choice, then it'll help your perspective to watch at least once so that it's a specific perspective and not one just based on MTV in general or our comments here.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, DD2 (16) enjoys watching the show to see the boyfriend drama between the two girls. We watched together last night and it was nice to see the small glimmers of the solo dancing even though obviously staged. My only wish is that it was more of a true reflection of the school itself.

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momof3- I too wish it was even a close reflection of the school, as a place where kids learn arts, the actual story line stuff is relatively accurate but we (as parents of teens) live it so who needs to watch it.

Last night from 7:30-9:30 we are at the dance class presentations - and stupid MTV should have been there. What could have been seen was the progress from the beginner 4th graders through the HS kids ready to leave and go on to college programs and some to companies. A dance program with 50% AA students and amazingly probably a dozen boys at an intermediate level and up. Tyler- the hip-hop boy did Russian from Nut, for the one actual required competition in the schools. (All juniors must prepare and participate in a scholarship competition in their arts.)


DD says the next 2 episodes deal with Nutcracker, which she is ambivalent about since she had a major wipe-out when they were filming so she is hoping that her first big scene won't be her sprawled on the floor as the mouseking. I watch it with disappointment about what it does not include about the school and with amusement at seeing kids we have known for 7 years, in some cases, "acting/living" on camera.

To be honest it has done good things for the school and specifically the dance department. Last night there was actually an audience not all of whom were parents with dancing kids. And with some of the money from the show the dance department has been able to once again hire a modern teacher for a weekly class for the top 3 levels, pay two men to come in and work on partnering with the top 2 levels, and applications to the school for dance are almost double. (Ok so they will all be surprised when they have 1 90 minute hip-hop/contemporary class a week and 4 ballet classes a week.)


And just as a brag, DD who is a junior did her solo last night and my jaw dropped at how amazing she looked (even with a fall- again). Where was MTV for that (not the fall - her amazing performance!)

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To be honest it has done good things for the school and specifically the dance department.


And that quite frankly, says it all then. If it is doing good things for the school, then who cares if it is keyed on much of what is not the school at all but the normal student drama that occurs at every school in America. We heard the bit about next week's show and Nutcracker so I do plan to watch to see what they offer in those regards.

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  • 4 weeks later...

As a teenager, I have enjoyed watching the show. However, from the first episode, I guessed all of the drama that would happen between the girls and boys. I have found the little amount of ballet shown to be just ok, but I'm really enjoying the unique style of hip hop that Tyler dances. Even though it doesn't show the amount and level of ballet that I would like it to, I have looked forward to watching the show each week. And even if it isn't a big dance show, it still educates the public to dance. I mean within just a few episodes, they have mentioned The Nutcracker, Juilliard, and Alvin Ailey. I'm all for any show that can present dance to the non-dancing community, whether it be ballet, hip-hop, or modern. :D

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calamitous--did the young lady get into Juilliard? Or is that suspense for the show?

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Ballet Fanatique

She did not make it into Juilliard. According to the show, she got cut right before interviews.

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I am enjoying this show. My DD thinks it would be amazing to go to math, then go to ballet! It is an MTV teen drama at it's core, and the story and plot lines are contrived, but the struggle that these kids have in balancing their art, their school, their relationships and their ambitions does make for interesting TV. for me the most talented person is the singer, Mia. I love her voice and think she probably has a pretty good future. Its nice to hear that the attention from the show is bringing more people to the school's productions. The kids seem to be behaving in a respectful manner and the school is being portrayed in a good light.

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