Thursday, August 15, 2013

This is Ballet

A few week ago, with little fanfare, the CW launched the second season of its reality series, Breaking Pointe.

For those not in the know, Breaking Pointe follows the lives of several dancers at the Salt Lake City-based ballet company, Ballet West. Not only do we get a glimpse into the personal lives of the dancers, but we also get a behind-the-scenes look at the process of putting on a ballet. From casting to rehearsals to showtime, Breaking Pointe documents the blood, sweat, and tears that make for a successful ballet.

Most of you are probably thinking, "that sounds incredibly boring." And hey, maybe it would be for you. I'm not a ballet expert or anything, but I attend probably once or twice a year--usually the Nutcracker. Which probably makes the snotty ballet fans think I am a total noob. But no matter what you say, every little girl wants to be a ballet dancer when she grows up and so I love Breaking Pointe for providing a peek under the curtain of the professional dance world.

Last summer, the show focused on the relationship problems of Allison and Rex--they were best friends but he wanted more and she wasn't ready to give it to him. When we meet back up with these star-crossed lovers (not really) it turns out they tried dating, but Allison just wasn't over the love of her life whom she had previously dated. Now, Allison is back with her former boy toy and agonizing over whether to give up her dance career to move to Detroit to be with him. He apparently can't move because he still has three years left in his medical residency.

But whatever. I am so over Allison and her drama--just make a decision, girl!

What I find much more interesting is Ballet West's staging of the classic ballet, Cinderella. We get to see the dancers in rehearsals, duking it out for the coveted roles, and basically working their asses off to get the show ready for opening night. For anyone who thinks that ballet is just pretty princesses twirling around in tutus...think again. These bitches (including the guys) push their bodies to the brink every day, and incur multiple injuries. Sometimes it's just a toe nail that falls off--apparently this is an everyday occurrence--but sometimes it can be way more serious, like when soloist Ronnie breaks his foot. One of this year's plots is whether Ronnie's injury will cause the end of his dancing career. You can go from the top to the bottom with only one mistake.

Breaking Pointe has a little something for everyone. If relationship drama is your thing, you can follow the couples on the show (who range from a long-married couple to two young dancers just beginning to date). Or you can watch it for the dancing and the insider look at the workings of a dance company. Think of it as the real life version of Center Stage--minus Peter Gallagher's amazing eyebrows, unfortunately. But these dancers aren't messing around, and they'll do whatever it takes to stay on top.

Breaking Pointe airs Mondays at 9:00pm on the CW.

 But in the end, it's worth the pain.

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