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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: Breaking Pointe on the CW-Season 2


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I believe she danced Kitri with Ballet West while not even a demi soloist to pretty great reviews, so it is not a question of her ability or talent to do substantial, principal level roles. You make some good points on respect for hierarchy and those above your rank, and the choreographer and company in general. I did groan slightly when she said she doesn't want to stand in the back and do corps roles, essentially what she called "nothing". Ouch.


And sorry, that Silver person..."It's not brain surgery, it's just ballet." Ouch again.

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I agree with you that the strength of a ballet company is reflected in the strength of its corps.

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Thank you for pointing all this out. Beckanne has had so many wonderful opportunities, for her to say that the supporting dancers are doing parts that are "nothing" is a tremendous put down.


I helped at our studio for years with the casting and I can remember speaking to dissappointed dancers many times over when they were soldiers for the third year in a row. The essential thing they need to understand it that we must put on the best show possible and everyone must do their part and in that respect the soldier is as important as the ballerina doll and the ballerina doll is as important as the maid. I had to see how my words impacted my own DD when she was cast to play the maid. She said that while she would rather have a part with more dancing, she loves the party scene and loves the acting and was having fun doing the part. There are certainly dancers who would have thought that part was beneath them and have pouted. And that was the example that Beckanne was setting.


Breaking pointe has the dancers participating on twitter during the show, and they do see what we tweet and sometimes even respond. So I think I may point this out to her if she repeats her frustrations next week! :whistling:

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I work with college students and we advise them not to post pictures of themselves at parties or drinking alcoholic beverages. It does not convey a professional image to future employers who often want access to Facebook and tweeting. And certainly video taping creates the same problem. If Beckanne sees herself as a star then she should quickly learn this.


As for hierarchies, you will find that this generation does not share the viewpoint of many previous generations. At some level I agree. However ballet companies are businesses and they simply need each role filled. I doubt its a dues paying technique as much as it is a financial reality. If Beckanne brings people to the ballet and sells tickets hierarchies mean nothing.

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learningdance I agree. You can have the greatest company ever, but if you can't pay the light bill, you will go out of business.


Artistic and financial realities often collide.

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She was getting lead roles before the show, so it isnt a matter of casting her because she is popular on the show and therefore will sell tickets, though that may be true now. Most ballet companies will put the best dancer in the role, and sorry, unless you are a phenom (and perhaps she is - I am not judging) you DO pay your dues in this industry.


And this particular company (unlike all, for sure) is not in immediate jeopardy of not being able to pay the light bill. This is great institutional marketing, but I am not sure they should be pleased with the message they are sending about their company and ballet in general.

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It's Ashton's Cinderella, not McMillan's.

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4 words-

Geraldo Riviera Anthony Weiner.


Just sayin'............ :grinning:


Anyway, to be fair, I have not seen this episode, but I am wondering as some other posters have, if the belly-shot/partying thing wasn't maybe 1 event that happened once, put on by the producers to fit in with more demographics?


Also, I have had a situation where someone who doesn't know me really well, takes something that I said like, "It's not brain surgery- it's just ballet" out of context and formulated a negative opinion. It's frustrating because people who know you know exactly what you mean and what your intent is, whereas those who don't are given to jump to conclusions.

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I didn't have a problem with the "it's not brain surgery" comment - maybe I'm taking it differently than others would. Ballet isn't like brain surgery, in that someone else's life does not depend on you. Some people do overthink when they're dancing or rehearsing, and sometimes you just need to let go and dance. That's how I interpreted the comment, although who knows what Silver meant by it.


It's not a potshot at how much skill is required to dance or anything like that - it just doesn't have to be life-and-death serious. At the same time, there is a bit of gravitas needed. One misstep could end your career, but unless you land on someone else's foot, or the whole line of corps dancers crash into you, you're probably not going to alter someone else's life dramatically.


A couple more thoughts:


Beckanne's use of the word "I's", as in "Chase and I's relationship" sounds odd to me. Shouldn't it have been "Chase and my relationship", or "my relationship with Chase"? She said this twice (I think) and both times it sounded odd.

The partying scenes is making me hesitant about recommending the show to my friend from work, who was a fan of th ABC Family show Bunheads. I think she'd enjoy the class and rehearsal scenes but what if she wonders why I'm recommending Jersey Shore to her?

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GretchenStar, I interpreted the brain surgery comment the same way you did.


I also interpreted Beckanne's comment about doing corps roles slightly differently. If I remember correctly, she kind of hesitated when she said it. I thought she knew it would sound off-putting, which I took to mean that she was just disappointed that she wasn't getting the same amazing opportunities as the year before. It's not unreasonable to be disappointed by that. I imagine there's a difference in the amount of private coaching you get when you're rehearsing a soloist role than when you're rehearsing a corps role. And that it might be harder to see how your career is progressing if you're getting fewer special opportunities. (Not that it's not in fact progressing, just that it takes more introspection to see it.) If she acts like a diva in a corps -- or any rehearsal -- rehearsal next week, I'll judge her much more harshly.

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I was so mad at the Beckanne drinking thing. All my ballet friends and I loved her in the first season. She's who we wanted to be. Young, talented, the ideal ballerina. But now the show is just crap. Although that doesn't mean I won't be waiting to see what the rest of the season presents. More ballet, hopefully!

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