Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Breaking Pointe: A Reality Show About Ballet


Who knew?

What you may ask?

That there was a reality show about ballet?

     Yes, there is. It is featured on the CW channel and follows the activities of Ballet West, headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT.

That I watch reality shows?

     Yes, I do. 

I do because they often give me a glimpse inside something that I more than likely will never do. Example, Tyra Banks' America's Top Model or the one about the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. I will never be in either of those settings as a participant.

I do because I learn something. Often a lot. Example, Top Chef or Next Food Network Star. I have learned about cooking foods and have expanded the types of food I will eat. (And I even cut my finger like those pro chefs do.)

I do especially when it highlights one of the arts. I've watched one about artists either on Bravo or TLC.  One about movie make up artists on Sci-Fi. Music shows: American Idol, The Voice, Sing Off, etc.  And then there are the ones about dance: Dance Moms, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars. 

And this one, Breaking Pointe on CW.

I have really enjoyed watching the dancers dance from a better vantage point than I've ever had. I've enjoyed learning more vocabulary about ballet. I've watched the obvious hard work and, oftentimes, sacrifice it takes to be successful. I've seen the emotions the dancers go through as they deal with competition between each other, as they anxiously wait for casting lists to be posted, or, in recent episodes, as they waited for notification of whether they will be rehired, promoted, or get a contract.

The life of a ballet dancer.

Did you know that 
~ all dancers, regardless of their rank in the company, have a daily class in addition to rehearsals?
~ the dancers are at the musical mercy of the orchestra conductor during a performance? If the conductor is not consistent with the tempo or takes it too fast or slow the affects the dancer's ability to move gracefully and flawlessly.
~ dancing is a passion that the dancers must do in order to lead happy, contented lives?
~ the ballet dancers must not only give performances to win the funding of patrons, but also schmooze with patrons to motivate them to offer more funding?
~ the dancers' feet take such abuse that they have bruises on their toes nearly all the time.
~ ballet tells a story, not only with the big, obvious movements but also the little nuances indicated with  the tilt of the head or the shape of the arm.

Yes, the show has the seemingly prerequisite amount of drama and romance, but I try to look beyond the TV intrigue to the life as a ballet dancer.

This post was prompted because I just read a blog describing how Ballet West is coordinating the construction of a new dance facility as well as a renovation of it performance venue. This venture will cost $13.5 million.  Ballet West has the cash in hand.

Ballet West, according to the blog, services 100,000 dancers and teachers in its area.


Can many, if any, other arts programs make this claim?

Very few, I imagine.

Has the company sold itself out to a reality show?

I don't think so. I believe someone in arts management was clever enough to market the company for this venture which has not only enabled it to raise/earn the necessary funding for their rehearsal/performing spaces, but also bring the art of ballet into more homes.

So, there's a little something you may not have known about me.
I'm not ashamed to say I watch reality shows, especially those that bring art in one form or another to the attention of the American public.
Dance on!

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