by Catherine L. Tully
Dance lovers everywhere have been anxiously awaiting the debut of the CW’s new series, Breaking Pointe, but the opening episode appears to be more of an introductory piece, rather than a true insider look at the ballet world. As part of the set up, viewers are taken into the studio at Ballet West in Salt Lake City to meet all the players and define their roles.
Looks like we’ll have to wait a little bit longer to get that glimpse…
Adam Sklute is the Artistic Director who decides the fate of the ballet dancers, and as he evaluates them in class and rehearsal, we see much of the dancing that takes place in this episode—which is minimal compared to time spent outside the studio. Despite this, the timing immediately creates drama, as dancers are in the process of finding out whether or not their contract with the company will be renewed for another year.
In-between time spent in the studio, the show follows dancers as they go shopping, sip coffee and dance at a club–all done in a style that is reminiscent of The Hills. It’s polished and well-shot (if a little close up on the dancing at the studio), but a bit light on substance. Still, with this being the first episode a certain amount of back story is necessary, so as the series moves forward, hopefully there will be more depth–and more dancing.
Relationships between the dancers run from the expected (the Principal Artist who is keeping close watch on a talented 19-year-old moving up the ranks) to the less common (two brothers who are in the company together). Viewers go into Sklute’s office and share the joy as one dancer gets promoted—and watch the tears as one is let go. Friendships, dating drama and the “pecking-order” hierarchy are all established here, undoubtedly setting up the storyline for future episodes.
This is a wonderful opportunity for Ballet West to tell the real story of ballet and share what it is like to be a dancer; both personally and professionally. Thus far the show has taken the higher ground for the most part; opting out of the typical reality television ploys of endless petty fights, jarring cuts and senseless banter. Mix in the fact that Ballet West has some top-notch ballet talent and an Artistic Director who is well-respected in the field and the stage is set for something that could be truly spectacular.
We’ll see where things go from here…
Did you watch the first episode? What did you think?
Haven’t seen the preview yet? Here it is: