“Breaking Pointe,” Season 1 Episode 5

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

It’s opening night for Ballet West.

“This is it, this is what you’ve been waiting for,” said Christiana.

“You’ve been great, so just do it, and enjoy,” Adam told the dancers, 24 hours before first cast and 48 hours before second cast went on the stage.

It’s Ronnie’s first opening night with Ballet West, and Adam thinks it will help him earn the promotion he wants. He believes Beckanne will bring down the house. He knows he has given a lot of responsibility to Allison, but thinks she can pull it off. He only hopes that Rex is focused enough to make it through with Christiana, an older and more experienced dancer, as his partner.

Courtesy of Buddytv.com

So, performance day superstitions? Christiana has a pre-performance routine with food. Beckanne enjoys shopping. Ronnie refuses to get sucked into a routine.

“Everybody’s really tense,” Adam said. “I’m really tense.”

Rex’s and Allison’s families are there to see them perform, which Allison said just ads more pressure. Allison is still nervous about her tempos.

Ronnie’s solo in “Paquita” is a hit.

“It’s what I live for,” said Beckanne of her solo. Adam liked what he saw.

Courtesy of Buddytv.com

Allison was not pleased with her solo’s tempo.

Next up, “Emerlands.” Both Christiana’s husband and Adam were very proud of her performance.

Then, “Petite Mort.” This one freaks Adam out “the most.” This one has props. But everything went well…tonight.

“Overall I was so happy with how opening night went. I was pleased with my dancers, and the audience loved it,” said Adam. “Tomorrow, second cast, we do it again.”

Adam believes second cast is challenging because every changes roles. Allison will be dancing in Christiana’s role, which is really stressing her out. Beckanne will be dancing second cast as well because the dancer she shared the role with for “Paquita” is injured. Christiana and Rex are dancing the leads in “Paquita.”

Everything goes well until “Petite Mort.” Rex fell.

“It’s just not a fun thing to fall onstage,” he said. “But I still had to go one…I couldn’t let it get to me.”

“Falling happens onstage. What’s important is how the dancer gets up,” Adam said, adding that he was proud of the way Rex handled himself.

Next week we get a glimpse of what’s going on with Ronald and Katie…and closing night.

Tune in next Thursday at 8/7c CW for more “Breaking Pointe” and watch full episodes online here.

“Breaking Pointe,” Season 1, Episode 4

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

“It’s there last chance to get it right before opening night.”
The last week of studio rehearsals is finally here. “Emeralds,” “Petite Mort,” and “Paquita” are about to grace the stage. Sleep and dance, as Ronnie put it.

The dancers are getting excited.

“It’s what I live for,” Beckanne said.

“I live to perform,” Ronnie said.

Courtesy of Social.entertainment.msn.com

Rex is feeling the pressure – especially with Allison hanging around.

The music director being in the studio only adds to the stress. He needs to figure out the pace and tempos for the ballets based on the dancers’ movements. Allison is not pleased with how the director has been conducting her opening. But, as one of the dancers put it, you don’t want to make the conductor angry.

“I just want to get it right,” Allison said.

The younger dancers are keeping it light and fun, but the older dancers are getting stressed.

Adam is most worried about “Emeralds.” Less rehearsal time has been dedicated to this ballet; but he has great confidence in Christiana as his lead. Allison has Christian’s role in the second cast.

Costume fittings are here this week as well, and boy do they look beautiful. Allison is being ballerinazilla though, aggravated at everything, including the costume fitting.

Photo Credit Erik Ostling

It’s time for Rex and Allison to talk. Rex is confused; he loves Allison, but knows she’s not returning his love. Allison is still getting over her previous relationship and knows she’s not in a place to commit, but feels like she needs Rex. They will always be friends, but will it ever be more than that, neither of them know.

“They both need to focus,” Christiana said. Rex is her partner for second cast in “Paquita.”

“What you thought you were comfortable with in the studio can be your biggest problem on stage,” Christiana said when they started stage rehearsals.

“I always get really nervous,” Adam added. It’s the first time the guys are rehearsing full prop for “Petite Mort” on stage, and having some issues. Tempos are causing problems as well, for both Rex and Allison.

“I’m getting a little tired of her,” Adam said of Allison. He does not think she is being professional. She’s crying and making faces and he can’t take much more of it.
“I have no patience for a bad attitude. Period.”

Next week? It’s time to shine in the spotlight. Tune it at 8/9c to the CW.

“Breaking Pointe,” Season 1, Episode 3

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

Tonight on the CW’s “Breaking Pointe” it was drama as usual: the ugly side of ballet, “the side nobody ever sees” the tension, the stress and drive for perfection, and, of course, the romantic problems. And this all unfolded during rehearsals for Ballet West’s upcoming performances.

This week dancers were for parts in “Paquita” and everyone wanted the leads. Adam brought in Elena Kunikova, a “Paquita” veteran, to get them to push for perfection. Rex was extremely stressed about getting a lead.

“His (Rex’s) biggest drawback is that he’s incredibly insecure,” said Adam. He put Katherine and Christiana up for the female lead. Then it was Beckanne against Allison for a role. Everyone wants to be first cast.

“For a dancer, a leading role is what they live for…they’re all trying to be the best…they can be,” Adam said.

But Ronnie wasn’t worried – he was going to hang out with his sister and get his tattoo touched up. He opened up a little bit about his family and childhood. He was really into racing as a kid; his father is very supportive of his dance career.

Adam went back to make his decisions.

Katherine and Ronnie were chosen for the principal lead, first cast. Christiana and Rex, second. Beckanne, first cast, lead role. Allison seemed overwhelmed: she is in all three ballets for the season. Adam isn’t concerned – he wants her on stage opening night and knows she can do it. Elena’s advice? “Just dance.”

 

Beckanne/Courtesy of Blog.zap2it.com

 

Beckanne worried about her youth. She is only 19, way younger than the principal dancers in the company, and her friends are in the corps. The older girls don’t seem to really accept her into their group.

While the girls were out, they touched on body image issues. They believe that no one in the company could possibly anorexic. With all the calories they burn they eat multiple meals per day; they burn thousands of calories during a show. Good to hear. Body images were also brought up in the season premiere of ABC Family’s “Bunheads.” Then sexuality: Thomas, 24, is the only gay dancer at Ballet West. The Allison and the other Katie decide to take him out to find a guy, and they succeeded.

Then back to business. Rehearsals for “Paquita”  started. Allison got more and more frustrated with Adam. She said she feels as though he’s rushing her to perform all of these ballets. Beckanne thinks it’s easy.

“Beckanne is incredibly gifted…she is learning very well,” Elena said.

Leave it to Rex to bring Allison’s spirits up – and cook her dinner. Then (big surprise) we’re back to her not wanting a committed relationship.

So where’s Katie of Katie and Ronald? Hanging out with Beckanne. And of course they’re eating too.

“Dance Magazine” wants to do an article on Beckanne as a rising star in the dance world. Christiana did not seem pleased.

Christiana/Courtesy of Snakkle.com

The dancers relaxed in the hot springs and had a mud war after a long week of rehearsal. They know that next week will be just as tough.  Dancing in the studio is one thing. Dancing on stage with props is another.

Watch full episodes for free online and make sure to tune in next Thursday at 8/9c.

Breaking Pointe, Season 1, Episode 2

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

After the dramatic premiere of “Breaking Pointe” last week, where dancers were on edge about contracts, what could possibly happen this week?

Plenty.

Adam wants his company, Ballet West, to be at the top, and that could depend on who stays or goes.

In this episode, the time arrived for dancers to accept or reject their new contracts.

Ronnie had still had not signed his contract. He went to dancers in the company for advice: they urged him to accept. Ronnie said he feels as though he has paid his dues and deserves the principal position. The girls didn’t seem to want him to go – they like his abs.

Ronnie and Beckanne/Courtesy of sheknows.com

We did get to see the guys let loose at some sports management treatment and Rex and Ronald relax in San Francisco with their family. Ronald’s family loves Katie, whose contract was not renewed, but thinks it would be smart for Ronald to keep his contract.

Romance, flirtation, drama, all were heavy in the air. And so was the stress of rehearsing for the ominous spring program, mentioned but not really paid attention to in the first episode. The company will perform three ballets for the program.

“Petite Mort” is one of these ballets. It’s modern, it’s sexy, and it involves swords, which Ronnie said he thinks represent penises.

The love stories in the ballet must be believable.

Christiana’s husband is also a dancer at Ballet West. She thinks it’s “sweet” when he gets jealous. She believes that all dance partners must have some level of intimacy.

Allison, again, distracted one of Rex’s rehearsals; he remains hopelessly confused about their relationship.

Rex and Allison/Courtesy of ontheritztumblr.com

Allison spoke to fellow female dancers after rehearsal. Some seemed to think that dating someone outside the ballet world gives a “fresh perspective.” But Allison hasn’t seen that. Her partner of seven years believed Allison loved ballet more than him. Perhaps that’s why Allison keeps Rex around.

Katie, back from Idaho where she auditioned for the Idaho Ballet and was offered an apprenticeship, felt horribly uncomfortable at rehearsal. Even though she was let go, she still has several months left with the company. She said she still secretly wishes Adam would ask her back.

“The thought of leaving just kills me,” she said, crying.

Sometimes long, drawn-out decisions are the most difficult.

In the end, Ronald renewed his contract.

“Not matter what, I’m going to be with you,” Ronald assured a scared Katie. She seemed understanding: dance careers are hard to start and hard to keep.

Next week : who will get the leads?

Breaking Pointe, Season 1, Episode 1

By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh

Dance shows are HOT this summer: “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Bunheads,” (premiering June 11 on ABC Family) and now a new series from the CW: “Breaking Pointe.”

Courtesy of Sheknows.com

The station that has brought us dramas such as “Gossip Girl” and “The Vampire Diaries” promises that there’s more – in the world of ballet:

“Viewers will also see the dark side of this seemingly perfect world; the jealousy, competition and intensity that exist behind the scenes at a professional ballet company. For under the tights and tutus lie warriors, who battle in a gritty world of extreme athleticism, focus and dedication, while hunting for the unattainable…perfection,” according to the CW’s website.

And what professional ballet company is this you ask? The Salt Lake City Ballet Company, Ballet West. Appearing will be Artistic Director Adam Sklute, and his dancers: Principal Artist Christiana Bennett, Soloist Ronnie Underwood, Demi-Soloist Allison DeBona, Demi-Soloist Rex Tilton, Beckanne Sisk, Kathleen (Katie) Martin and Ronald Tilton. For six weeks viewers will get to know them all.

Beckanne, 19, is a frist year dancer who has already had prinicpal parts. Rex, 24, is in love with Allison, 28, who is ok with choosing ballet over love. Ronnie, 30, is a hotrod gear head. Christiana, 32, has worked since age 19, and strives for perfection. Katie, 23, rounded out the cast with Ronald, her boyfriend.

Courtesy of Cwtv.com

But this is no glamour shot. This is an epic cinematic view that brings you right into the dancers’ rehearsals and lives, giving the audience a glimpse of what it is like to be a modern-day competitive ballerina.

“No one sees the sacrifice and discipline it takes to look perfect for the audience. Nobody knows that in order to advance and get the best roles, dancers have to navigate the complicated social politics inside the company. And, no one sees, when the curtain goes down, the drama that bleeds into the dancers’ private lives…until now” said the CW.

Training, injuries, competition, rivalry, relationships and passion were just a few of the topics highlighted in the premiere episode on June 31 at 8/7c. Contract time had come to the company, and with only 40, it was up to Adam to decide who would stay and who would go, leaving everyone on their toes.

“The nature of my work…is to make difficult decisions about the company, and I often have to make decisions the dancers don’t like,” said Adam. “It’s hard on them.”

Christiana wasn’t worried: she would get two years notice if her contract were in peril.

The other dancers said they admire Christiana. Her dedication to perfection is “a lot to live up to” she said.

The other girls seemed to like Katie.

“Good friends like Katie are very hard to find in a company,” noted one of the girls, with another adding she wouldn’t know what to do if Katie had to go.

New artist, corps de ballet, demi-soloist, soloist, principal dancer is the way the ballet company hierarchy runs, viewers were told, and when contracts rolled in, many dancers expected promotions.

Courtesy of Tv.yahoo.com

Christiana’s was, of course, renewed.

Allison was promoted to demi-soloist.

First-year apprentice was given to Ronald, demi-soloist to Rex.

Ronnie wanted to be a principal, but got first-soloist and a pay raise instead. He did not make a decision.

Beckanne had a meeting. Adam praised her beautiful feet, but said he didn’t want to push her too far. However, he decided to move her up to demi-soloist, which he warned would require her to become a role model, at 19.

Katie also had a meeting, and hers did not result in a happy ending but tears. Her contract was not renewed.

That left Ronald with a choice: his love, or his brother. He decided to stay with his brother and to make it work with Katie.

The dancers went to a dance club to blow off some steam, where viewers learned more about Allison and Rex’s relationship, which is rocky, or “tumultuous” said Christiana.

Rex told Allison, “I love you.” Allison basically called him crazy.

With three performances coming up, it was time to push, but Rex was noticeably distracted during his rehearsal. Katie was feeling the pressure as well. While her contract was not renewed, she still had two months to finish with the company, all while looking for other jobs.

“I hate packing,” Katie said, packing for an audition trip to Idaho.

“You’re going to do great,” Ronald said, adding, “I’m going to make it work with Katie, no matter what.”

But will he? Find out next week.

“Breaking Pointe” airs Thursdays 8/7c on the CW.