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By Jenny Dalzell
It's amazing that people—real professionals with whom you have met, spoken, worked, what have you—can be so transformed into characters or caricatures through the lens of reality television. Everything is changed—time, personalities, events, and outcomes. So it's with this in mind that I cover the episodes of Breaking Pointe Season 2.
1. Supplemental/supernumerary dancer Silver Barkes' brash comment “It’s not brain surgery, it’s ballet” must have struck a chord with BP producers, who chose it for the premiere episode’s title. I took great offense when Silver, a loud and proud gal who had been in the corps de ballet for seven years, says it during company class—when the rest of the Ballet West dancers are anxiously warming up, pushing themselves to their limits, and really working for their dreams. Of course ballet isn’t brain surgery; she is comparing apples to bowling balls. But there are obvious similarities in terms of the dedication, commitment, and immense talent required for both careers. To be fair, let’s just chalk this one up to the producers taking her words out of context.
Not only does this statement belittle our art form, it also belittles what the rest of the show is going to be about. So it is quite odd that producers chose this statement to be the theme for the season opener. Boo.
2. I have a feeling we won’t see much of Rex Tilton this season…excepting the copious time Allison DeBona is shown talking about her new/old relationship with Michigan-based med student Jonathan and how she and Rex are never, ever, ever getting back together. But this is probably a good thing. With Rex’s torn foot tendon and his declaration that he wants to be principal, he seems refocused and driven. I wish all the characters that are taking this same route could be highlighted.
3. Allison's deep red lipstick during her camera one-on-ones is gorgeous.
4. Not knowing anything about Allison’s relationship with Jonathan, or the details of his residency in med school in Michigan, it does seem a little unfair that Allison was given an ultimatum—choosing him (plus marriage and babies) or her career. What I want to know is why can’t he move to Utah after his residency? How many years does he have left? Christiana Bennett is right—Allison would be giving up so much. My advice: Lean in, Allison, and let the man come to you.
5. Did BW2 member Ian Tanzer just call the other newbie and BW2 dancer Zachary Prentice fat and short? Sure sounded like it. Basically, Ian, alone with the camera, says “When it comes to Zach, I feel like my advantage is that it’s a very visual profession and Adam [Sklute, BW artistic director] is definitely looking for dancers who are attractive onstage.” Rrreeer. (If you want a spoiler about contracts…just visit the Ballet West website.)
6. Beckanne Sisk and Allison are friends. Hooray! Though this also means the producers will pit Beckanne against another person—Christiana? Zach?—because you just cannot be friends with everyone on reality shows. (See "I'm not here to make friends" parts 1and 2.)
7. All reality TV shows must have characters that drive you bonkers. This season it will be Zach and Silver.
8. Always, always, always follow your doctor’s orders when it comes to recovery. Will Ronnie Underwood’s foot fall off this season? Not sure about that, seeing as he’s still a first soloist with BW. But his infection does look disgusting. And it’s serious.
9. The first 20 minutes and the last 5 minutes of the show took place in company class or were clips from performances. I thought this was a minor improvement from last season. (There is room for more.) But of course, with all this extra dancing time, the moments out of the studio are even more outrageous. Case in point: The party.
10. Seeing clips of next week’s “belly shots” at yet another party—this time with the ladies in bikinis—made me want to get down on the floor and do a few crunches. I mean, did you see Christiana’s stomach? No? You missed it? That’s cause she doesn’t have one.