Posted by Rebecca King on 08.04.2013
After a disappointing season 2 premier of Breaking Pointe, the show redeemed itself quite a bit in episode two. Yes we did look into some company relationships at the beginning and end of the episode, but the true focus this week was on rehearsals for Cinderella. About five minutes in, we hear Beckanne Sisk telling us how their day begins: “with a group class” before rehearsals. We are treated to extensive class footage with Ballet West’s Director Adam Sklute giving corrections and encouraging his dancers. This is a wonderful look into the way professional ballet dancers’ begin their day. And it is in fact, reality.
Ian and Zac reveal the real anxiety and emotions that come with trying to find your way into a company. Working day in and day out to prove yourself to be not only a talented dancer, but also an asset to the company, can be extremely frustrating and exhausting. Ian and Zac are in a position that professionals dancers know all too well. As Ian says, “Adam’s decision changes my entire life.” Reality.
Learning a new ballet is a very overwhelming experience. Not only are you focusing on learning choreography and executing the steps, but also on impressing someone who has never seen you dance before. Each day seems like an audition where you are constantly striving to stand out and show the people in the front of the room everything you have. Reality.
Working with a répétiteur can be a wonderfully fulfilling experience as well. Having people come in from other companies, from all around the world, exposes dancers to different styles, different ways of working, and extraordinary talent. Often, these répétiteur are tough on the dancers, as Wendy Ellis Somes, the répétiteur for Cinderella, illustrates on the show. Répétiteurs only have a certain amount of time to put an entire ballet together, including teaching the choreography, giving corrections, and coaching the dancers. They get to where they are by being extremely efficient and motivated. There isn’t time to hold the dancers’ hands through each step of the process. Being able to count on the dancers is a must, so they hold everyone to very high standards. Reality.
Amazingly, this week there was a lot of reality amidst the dancers’ personal drama. And as I pointed out last week in my article, ‘Breaking Pointe’ Transitions into the American Definition of Reality Television, America is responding to this show in positive ways. Breaking Pointe is exposing new audiences to the beauty and excitement of ballet. Here are a few of my favorite tweets that were sent out last week during the airing of episode two that really illustrates my point.
Feels good to know that ballet dancers are finally getting some credit for all the hard work they put in ???? #BreakingPointe
— Jordan Campton (@jordcampton) July 30, 2013
I have a true appreciation for professional ballet dancers now! ???????????? #BreakingPointe
— Debbie Heiges (@dheiges) July 30, 2013
if you think dance isn’t as physically demanding as any other sport or art form, watch #breakingpointe and you’ll change your mind
— rachel williams (@ratchelwilli) July 30, 2013
I received a lot of positive feedback from last week’s article and I would like to thank you all for that. Here is a tweet that Christiana Bennett sent me after reading my post:
@bexking I loved the article, especially the last paragraph. I can’t thank you enough for speaking for us.
— Christiana Bennett (@Christiana__B) July 29, 2013