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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: Breaking Pointe on the CW-Season 1


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Marigold, you are correct. She is teaching at Broadway Dance Center. For those of you who are interested, Allison actually has a facebook page. You can see what she's up to on there - this is how I know she's there.

Here is the link : [link removed] Mods, I hope it's okay to post this. I wanted to because she is trying to get enough 'likes' and says if she does, it will help to promote that there should be a season 2 of Breaking Pointe. I thought this would be a good place to promote it since I just happened to stumble upon her page myself.

Edited by dancemaven
BT4D policy re: personal links
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  • LaFilleSylphide

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Momof3darlings

Here's a link to a social media web camera (spreecast) interview with Katie Martin. It's long with a section of questions by the interviewer and then questions/comments from those who watched it live but she does talk alot about what the show was and what dancing is like. You either have to sign in with facebook, twitter or your email. Sometimes just closing the sign in button works on sites but not sure about this one. It's sort of an interview that's more like talking to a new girlfriend about the show and ballet as life. Candid.

 

Katie Martin

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oops sorry Momof3. Didn't know I shouldn't post that - I was unsure. Hope I didn't do anything too out of line.

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  • 2 weeks later...
love_ballet

Interesting article on Dance/USA's site, with different views presented on the merits and the impact of this series:

Can 'Breaking Pointe' Fix Ballet?

 

Sklute said he is generally pleased with the final results, although he lamented that more dancing and background information about the ballets the company was preparing – including Balanchine’s “Emeralds” and Jiri Kylian’s “Petit Mort” – and performing wasn’t provided. [...] And, he added, the producers also had to be mindful of their target audience in putting the show together. “This show wasn’t being done for PBS. This was being done for the CW, which is a totally different audience,” Sklute said

 

and

 

Ballet West’s Sklute did the risk assessment before proceeding and felt that the company had more to gain than to lose by signing on to do the CW series. [...] “Companies are doing all sorts of things around the world to attract new audiences,” Sklute said. “We just went about it this way.”

 

Several critics and artistic directors were quoted, some supportive and some very critical. I thought overall this was one of the more balanced articles I've read about the series.

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I read the article it seemed like a fair assessment. I sent it to DD at SI. Thank you love_ballet

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I had a Jiri Kylian moment in my house, very similar to the one described in the article. DD did not know this choreographer's name, but she has me on a mission searching the Web to find companies that will be performing Petit Mort in the upcoming season. We are hoping to catch a performance somewhere. So I think the show should be applauded for exposing more people to Jiri Kylian's work.

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NikkisMamma

DD (almost 11) and I have been watching these several nights in a row, we only have the last episode left. She really didn't care for the relationship stuff, and while I agree with her I also see how it did provide a glimpse into what professional [ballet] life is like, good and bad. She loved the dancing of course, and loved how similar but on a different scale things are even in her little ballet world, regarding casting/rehearsing/performing.

We also happen to have an alumni from our studio at Ballet West, so it was really exciting to get to see this girl throughout. Really makes it "real", the whole thing.... the life in a large company and the fact that with dedication, hard work and talent it isn't unobtainable, she's watching someone from here living it, KWIM?? Dreams do come true for some little girls with ballerina aspirations! :)

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I think the saddest part of this show is that it shows what insulated and under-educated lives the dancers live, at least in this company. Doesn't anyone take any college classes? Doesn't anyone have any interests other than shopping, food and sex? I know dancers are busy, but really these poor people have such limited lives! One bad career-ending injury and any one of the depicted dancers would be completely lost, at least as portrayed here, or perhaps like many former dancers they would make decorated leotards to sell on the internet.

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musicgal23, I think you are selling the Ballet West dancers short. Yes, their 'dance lives' take up way more of their time that some other professions. They are a bit insulated as their hours are so scheduled and so tiring physically, that it doesn't leave much time for diversifying. However, I would be willing to be that many of them do have some other interests and that several, like Allison, already have their college degree.

 

You are absolutely right that a career-ending injury can happen at any time. However, I disagree that such an occurrence would relegate them "like many former dancers [to making] decorated leotards to sell on the internet". My DD graduated with a BFA in dance (summa cum laude) this spring and had every intention of dancing professional. However, she had suffered a 'career-ending' injury (so unfair and heart-breaking after so much), but she promptly enrolled in a post-baccalaureate pre-med program with the intent of going to medical school to be an orthopedic surgeon. She is doing more than fine in those intense classes this summer, even though she has not taken a math or science course since sophomore year of high school.

 

Yes, there are some dancers that are so tunnel-visioned that they are not able to quickly change direction. However, in my experience, that type of dancer is the minority. Most are very bright, quite articulate, and have many talents---dance just being the one they feel most fulfilled by. I would be willing to bet that many of the Ballet West dancers are the just like that.

 

I think the format of the 'reality show' leaves little time to really get to know these dancers in depth. I think the CW folks chose those aspects of their 'personal' lives that they thought would most click with young viewers, hence 'shopping, food, and sex'.

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Momof3darlings

I agree with dancemaven's assessment. Not once watching the show did I think the dancers were uneducated, or had poorly limited lives. I looked at the show and noted that the part of their lives that I was seeing was the part the producers wanted me to see. I will bet that just like every other company, at least in the US, there are some dancers with college degrees, some without college degrees but with dancers taking classes to get there, and some for whom taking college classes just isn't their thing.

 

But then, I'm one who would find that a dancer who turned their retirement into a business venture of leotard making as not something to look down on but to consider that it is part of the American Dream to own your own business. And regardless of what path they took to get there, would consider that a success story.

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When I read musicgal23's comment I was thinking "What is wrong with shopping, food and sex?" The show did not give me the impression that this was all the dancers' lives were about. A dancer's profession is demanding both physically and mentally at times, and these are fun ways to escape the stresses of life.

 

Dancemaven I agree with all that you have said. I would think some of these dancers have college degrees or some sort of college background and other interests that do not make great reality tv. I know you must be proud of your daughter for picking up the pieces and finding a new path to fulfill her life. I am sure that it was difficult after devoting so many years to her dance education. I bet she has come to realize that all the training and discipline she has aquired, has given her many skills of survival. There has to be a great mom behind her.

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The "selling decorated leos on the internet" comment reminded me of Yumiko Takeshima and her oh so teeny, tiny little dancewear business she started - and she didn't even have to retire to do it. :) Sharp businesswoman.

 

Not every life is everyone else's cup of tea, but if you are living a life you love that fulfulls you, then you're successful in my opinion.

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Not every life is everyone else's cup of tea, but if you are living a life you love that fulfulls you, then you're successful in my opinion.

 

Very well put, Mousling. I was going to say something along these lines... but it wasn't comng out as sweetly :flowers:

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Twinkle Mom

Dancemaven I agree with all that you have said. I would think some of these dancers have college degrees or some sort of college background and other interests that do not make great reality tv. I know you must be proud of your daughter for picking up the pieces and finding a new path to fulfill her life. I am sure that it was difficult after devoting so many years to her dance education. I bet she has come to realize that all the training and discipline she has aquired, has given her many skills of survival. There has to be a great mom behind her.

 

I agree! Kudos to you, Dancemaven, and to your daughter! :clapping:

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As I stated in an earlier post, DD has me on a mission to find performances of Jiri Kylian's Petite Mort. I just saw where Alvin Ailey Dance Theater has added this work to their 2012-2013 season as a company premiere. Mission accomplished!

 

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/31/alvin-ailey-american-dance-theater-announces-fall-city-center-season/

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