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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Reality Series---Joffrey Ballet Trainee Program (Chicago)

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I'm for anything that promotes ballet, HOWEVER, based on other reality shows I've seen, I don't have a lot of faith that Hollywood would portray these dancers in a positive light. Most reality shows mock the participants or showcase their most superficial traits. But, I can think of lots of funny, ballet-related parodies of other reality shows.

  • They could be "voted off the stage".
  • Weighed in, with immunity awarded to the biggest loser. (ugh)
  • Fired
  • Receive a rose, if they're invited to stay.
  • Compete in physical challenges... (32 fouettes to both sides)
  • Be coached on their upcoming variations by big stars of the ballet world.

Ha, ha. Any other great ideas?

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I think we will split this topic off of the dedicated Joffrey Ballet--Trainee Program thread as it is something not directly related to the ins-and-outs of the program itself.

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For some reason this leaves me cold! Red flags are going off all over the place for me. This is astonishing. Yes it gives ballet exposure and having the common populous experience ballet can only be good, but, well, that but is huge! I'm really quite speechless. My gut does not like this.

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I'm sure there will be some who like this challenge.


For me, all I can say is that during dd's years in her residency program, two documentaries were made. Film crews were around a lot of the time, and by the end of the process (which in each case took many months), the students were relieved. The 2nd documentary focussed on students in their graduating year - I can't imagine the added stress that the cameras placed on the kids....(well, I sort of can, but I wasn't there, so you know what I mean!)

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IMHO I feel this type of "reality/challenge" really cheapens/devalues the time,sacrife,money we all invest in our dancers with the training required to obtain the elusive contract. This becomes nothing more than cheap tv viewing. There has to be a payoff for Joffrey in this??? :)

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I will probably watch out of curiosity, but I am not sure how I feel about it. I like the idea of ballet being promoted, but something in my gut tells me that things may get presented in a negative light. Most of these show are people fighting and I hope it doesn't go there. It would be nice if it provides a realistic peek inside what DK's experience, but I am sure the producers will do what they think will get ratings. :)

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Not sure how I feel about it either. Could be interesting, could be disasterous. Given the nature of "stars" of reality TV and how they are apparant in time on camera, I'm leaning more toward disasterous. I hope that is not the case, but I do think for reality TV, it would be one of a very small minority that is not in the "oops" category.

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I also wonder how all the dancers feel about it-- if one dancer doesn't want to be involved, can she or he still be a trainee? And still be under the same consideration for the contract that is apparently to be given to the winner?

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Interesting timing of this announcement, as Trainee offers are issued and decisions are made. :innocent:

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A reality show style documentary (like the one about the performing arts school in Ohio last year) would be one thing, but having the trainees have to meet challenges and compete for a contract via a reality show contest? Ugh! I think the whole idea cheapens what these trainees have worked for their whole lives.

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I think having a contract as a 'prize' at the end does cheapen the whole thing. If I were a parent of a Joffrey trainee I would not like this. The trainee program there is fairly expensive and paying to have my child compete on a reality television show is not something I would like to do. IMO it would be an awful distraction for the dancers and the way reality TV producers like to play with editing could cost someone the chance to be hired by another company if they came off looking like a diva or injury prone.


On the other hand, as a viewer I would love to see a real documentary series about the Joffrey trainees (maybe on Ovation, something similar to Dance School: Juilliard). Something very real. That would get viewers too.

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On the other hand, as a viewer I would love to see a real documentary series about the Joffrey trainees (maybe on Ovation, something similar to Dance School: Juilliard). Something very real. That would get viewers too.



So would I, but real documentaries and reality series are worlds apart. "La Danse" or even "The Company" this is not. Since opening the Academy and the new Tower, Joffrey has been coming on like gang busters in terms of "glitz." I'm worried that substantial is being sacrificed for the sensational though. And Joffrey, even when small, was always substantial.

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Ballet is plenty real without a show pointing a laser beam at the dancers. The reality is both beautiful and ugly all at the same time. No show can capture that. Just my opinion.

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