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Jenny Dalzell on Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013
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1. Congrats Breaking Pointers, your Facebook and Twitter comments about the show’s downturn may have been heeded! Episode 202 "You Can Feel the Tension" showed markedly more dancing than last week's episode. (Partying was reserved for the last five minutes, when Silver Barkes—surprise, surprise—and Allison DeBona threw a birthday blowout for Ballet West first soloist Liz McGrath.) Breaking Pointe producers also tried something new this time: splicing the drama-filled one-on-ones in between clips of tendus and port de bras of company class. There were a lot of tendus.
2. A new intro! Artistic director Adam Sklute explains the premise of the show, and we see fabulous clips of Christiana Bennett glaring at Beckanne Sisk, both clad in glimmering white tutus. It's got a tiara, a rose, and plenty of long wavy hair, plus gratuitous neck cracking and even a theraband. Drah-ma.
3. It’s snowing! Oh, yeah, because this was taped back in January.
4. Before class, we watch Beckanne (sobering up with a big cup of coffee—I kid, Beckanne! I kid!) and boyfriend Chase O'Connell reminding us of their beef with Ballet West resident gossip, Zach Prentice. What’s best about this scene, however, is that the lovebirds are sitting on the floor. Really, does anyone else do this except dancers? I love that we'll just plop down anywhere, hang out, and inevitably start stretching.
5. This Chase guy must be great, especially since it seems as though Zach and Beckanne can’t deal without his undivided attention and loyalty. And since we haven’t seen him in a dance belt, let alone ballet slippers, I love that we get to fantasize about what he’s like as a dancer. I picture him as an amalgamation of Robbie Fairchild, Marcelo Gomes, and Cloud.
6. BW 2 director Chris Ruud gives Ian Tanzer corrections about placement and turnout in retiré during pirouettes. Ian may be tall and thin, but it's great that we see him working on his weaknesses. (Do you fight with turnout? Read this for a few pointers to maximize your natural range.)
7. BW bro Ronnie Underwood gets pumped about his foot popping for the first time since his injury. (They’re just like us!) His range of motion is coming back and he’ll get to see some good lookin’ ladies in leotards yet again. Huzzah!
8. Cinderella rehearsals! Allison is up for the role of Winter Fairy, comparing her two-minute variation to a full-fledged pointe class. (As you can see in this clip, Ashton's choreography is no joke.) Beckanne isn't exactly nailing her Cinderella rehearsals either, and Allison talks her through it. It’s a nice mentor/mentee moment.
9. Zach visits Allison to get the dirt on her long-distance boyfriend. I really missed Allison’s couches and her snuggly clothes.
10. Allison’s bruised toe. It’s pretty gnarly, but it’s a refreshing break from the bloody toes of Center Stage and Black Swan. I also like Silver’s comment about covering up her bruised nails—or what's left of them—with nail polish...ah, the life of a dancer.
Bonus! The best line of the show comes from Ian while shooting hoops with his brother to blow off steam. He explains why he doesn’t always socialize with the other BW dancers. “How long can you go out drinking every night If you want to succeed? You gotta put your head down; pull the Michael Jordan—six championship rings, two three-peats.* Everybody thinks you're an ass because you don't want to talk to them because you don't have time...It's not that I'm not trying to make friends within the company. I don't have the time, I don't have the energy to look out for anybody else besides myself in this profession...They don't hire people they want, they hire people they need to do this job. I'm going to be what they need.”
Up next: The producers left the smack down—er, rendezvous—between Beckanne and Zach for episode 3 with a “to be continued…” We did learn that Zach’s boyfriend Scott might be fanning these flames. But who cares, because casting will be announced! (Again, you could just think back to what you saw on stage in February.) We’ll also get to see the raw scene between Adam and Josh Whitehead that we included in our July issue. Click here to read what goes down in Dance Magazine's exclusive story about Breaking Pointe’s affect on Ballet West.