“Which Life Do You Want to Lead”
I hadn’t planned on recapping Breaking Pointe seeing as I had committed myself to True Blood and The Newsroom for the Summer but I think its really worth a look by anyone that has searched for an honest reality show about beautiful young people doing something notable (I totally get that this is a wide net to cast). Given the show’s anemic ratings and struggles (which I still equate more to being a CW Summer Show than the show itself), I figured Id help out and recap the episodes. At a 6 episode season, this is not really putting myself out too much. Strip off your shirt, strap on your shoes and lets dance.
Since we are told at the start of each episode that the BBC had access for 6 weeks inside Ballet West’s ranks and the show is scheduled to run for six episodes, lets just assume each week’s episode will cover a week of that time. Picking up from the pilot, a week has passed since contract offers were given out (or not, in the case of Katie) and not surprisingly, the two Rons have still not returned their signed deals. This episode marked the introduction of other dancers in the company though mainly as asides and not as featured “characters” in the show. Nevertheless, it was nice to see other faces; reminds you that this is an actual working dance company.
Ronnie (Underwood, if you’re into last names) is hedging because he is feeling slighted. After performing principal roles in the past and apparently having been a principal in other companies (his bio lists the Oregon Ballet Theatre), Ronnie feels that he should have been made a principal with this contract renewal and not just “First Soloist,” a role which I admit sounds totally made up by Adam (Sklute, the Artistic Director), meant to appease Ronnie’s ego. I am not privy to the inner-workings of a ballet company but Ballet West has two principal women and two principal men (according their website) so perhaps the lack of promotion had more to do with symmetry than anything else? That Adam didn’t have a woman to promote to principal as well? Of maybe, he just hasn’t paid his dues to BW (the four principals have all been at Ballet West for at least 8 years). Any dancers out there, please feel free to comment on this theory. Ronnie takes his troubles to the masses and Tom (Mattingly) and Adrian (Fry) tell him to stop being stupid and re-sign cause he’s a dancer with a job offer (this is a paraphrasing but I took it as looking gift horses in mouths kind of advice). Still not convinced, Ronnie speaks to his sister and on her recommendation, he finally decides to renew his contract. There is also much talk in the episode about Ronnie’s way with the ladies and how he is not nearly as lecherous as his touchy feelingness may seem.
Ronald (Tilton, brother of Rex, dater of Katie) is on the fence because while he is has Ballet West with his brother, his lady love is in the wind and will be dancing somewhere next season, just not at BW. His story is very tied with Katie’s who spends the episode auditioning for and getting a job offer from the Boise Idaho Ballet Company. Katie (Martin)’s episode was spent at the audition (with a nice territorial contest over which part of the barre was free) and returning to SLC and spending time with Ronald. These two are faced with decisions and ultimately Ronald pulls the trigger and decides to remain in Salt Lake City. This comes after much soul searching and a trip to San Francisco, arranged by Rex, for a Tilton family reunion (the other 3 dancing Tilton siblings are in San Fran, two in school and one in the ballet company), complete with awesome dance parents including a dad who has no idea how he produced so many children into ballet. I loved the Tilton parents, they should have a show. Ronald seems pretty committed to both Ballet West and Katie so I am optimistic about his chances for happiness.
Rex (Tilton) and Allison (DeBona), are still having relationship problems and Rex is still sucking in class because he’s so distracted by said problems. Rex and Allison are the Ross and Rachel of this show with neither really getting what the other wants because the other is alternating on what they want. For example, Allison tells us that she’s been burned in love before with a non-dancing boyfriend and that dance and true love are a tough mix since dance itself is like a relationship partner. The end result is that she seems willing to let Rex into her life at home on the couch but erects a wall in the studio that Rex just doesn’t understand (for her, its a business and pleasure thing, I think). BUT, and this may be editing, but there are some flashes of jealousy when Allison spies Rex being all flirty, giggly with his Petite Mort dance partner. So, we need to think about the problem of trying to have things both ways. Dance and love are about to heat up in a big way, especially for Allison, with casting coming down on the new productions, including Petite Mort, the “erotic” ballet I will discuss briefly below. ms. DeBona gets the line of the night with her sad faced realization that she (and her roommate, Katie C. (Critchlow)) need to forgo ice cream in order to fit into the petite mort “booty shorts”. She also gets the award for DIY project idea of the month with the conversion of their formal dining room to a stretch room.
Christiana (Bennett) and Beckanne (Sisk) really have nothing going on this episode though we officially see Christiana’s husband, Christopher Ruud (one of the principal males), and Beckanne is trying to balance success in the ballet company and not making everyone hate her for a rocketing career.
We were introduced this episode to the start of rehearsal and casting for the production Petite Mort. From a New York Times review from 2004, “”Petite mort” is a French euphemism for orgasm, and Mr. Kylian’s ballet ”Petite Mort” (1991) features six couples and six fencing foils. The assertive choreography often treats the battle of the sexes as a duel, yet there are moments when the women enter wearing stiff, long dresses, which serve as reminders of decorum. These dresses are only frames; the women easily step out of them, and the dueling resumes.” Basically, we have lots of beautiful dry humping an euphemistic penis swordplay and it looks awesome. I wish I could have seen this performed live this past Spring. To say anything more probably gets into spoilers so lets see how the season plays out.
Breaking Pointe airs on Thursday nights on The CW, at 8pm (EST). Check it out because your other choice is Fox’s Take Me Out. Ick!