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Jenny Dalzell on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013
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Well, we made it through Breaking Pointe's second season. Last night's season finale took a select troupe (conveniently, most of the Ballet West dancers who appear on the show) to Los Angeles to perform for a selection of donors at a producer's random patron's giant estate. But one of the best moments of the show came early on, before California: As former BWII member Ian Tanzer loads his luggage into a car on his way out of town, the camera cuts to a window above, revealing new BW corps member Zachary Prentice evilly staring down at his former competition.
I'd like to thank Breaking Pointe for a few more stellar moments like that one. They are, after all, what make this show so...special.
1. Thank you, BP, for never showing a dancer's full body during a variation or pas de deux. You're keeping the public guessing! I applaud your strategy to get people to see live ballet: Never show viewers a complete phrase from head-on, and they'll have to come in person to see what they're missing!
2. Thank you, BP, for encouraging me to find my remote control's mute button. After last night, I'm not sure which would have been worse—a full season of Zach's cattiness or Silver Barkes' cat-like screeching. Why the producers never had her speak with words—instead of sounds—is beyond me.
3. Thank you, BP, for having artistic director Adam Sklute introduce Beckanne Sisk's variation from Esmeralda as the "Fire Gypsy Girl Solo Dance." It almost made up for the fact that we could see none of it.
4. Thank you, BP, for all the flannel, fedoras, beanies, and thick, black-rimmed glasses from Rex Tilton and Josh Whitehead—in this episode and throughout the season. Ballet West guys are just keepin' it real.
5. Thank you, BP, for showing Allison DeBona in comfy mukluks on the beach during the celebratory nighttime bonfire. Those cozy slippers are my favorite studio-to-street warm-up accessory.
6. Thank you, BP, for giving us that final shot (at minute marker 37:32) of BW principal Chris Ruud, alone in the dark practicing pirouettes and punching the air after a frustrating landing. ...You know, if you let go of your center, it will just happen, naturally.
7. Thank you, BP, for Adam's inspirational(?) wrap up. "Ballet can be vicious. The best dancers are usually the most tortured. They destroy their bodies; they fight through insecurities. And usually, they do it alone. Every step of the way is hard. But it's part of our art form, that's part of our lives. Ballet is an all-consuming obsession. But when you're on that stage, nothing else matters."
8. And finally: Thank you, BP, for showing us Zach and boyfriend Scott's true feelings about their pet dog: They really wanted a lamb instead.
Pictured at top: Rexison at the photo shoot for Dance Magazine's July feature. Allison wears this costume for Helen Pickett's But Never Doubt I Love, which you can almost see in Breaking Pointe's season finale. Photo by Matthew Karas for Dance Magazine.