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By Jenny Dalzell
It's the countdown to Ballet West's opening night of Cinderella. Pre-performance jitters abound—hearts break, thumbs break, and wigs fall. Mostly, we see a lot of the backstage hustle and bustle on this week's episode of Breaking Pointe. (Apparently, watching the dancers apply makeup is more interesting to the producers than showing them dance—or at least more affordable.) And although there was a lot of eye-rolling (on my account) while watching the show, there was a lot to love. Precisely, five things to love.
1. The 22 seconds of Prokofiev's score. Holy smokes—you mean Ashton's Cinderella has music?! In case you missed it, roll back the tape to minute marker 10:58 for 12 seconds, and then fast forward to minute marker 25:02 for 10 solid seconds.
2. Silver Barkes' expression when Zach Prentice loses his wig onstage. (See right.)
3. Beckanne Sisk actually talks about dancing when the producers show her Summer Fairy variation. "Whenever I'm performing onstage," she says, "I'm never actually thinking about the choreography. I have to relax and just let my muscle memory take over."
4. The shoulder lift in Cinderella's final act. (I'll admit that this is a "love to hate" element of the episode.) Last week, we heard Cinderella coach Wendy Ellis Somes yell out that the move was a little late. This week, the lift continues to be a cause for concern. First, Rex Tilton doesn't hoist Christiana Bennett up all the way during dress rehearsal, which inspires artistic director Adam Sklute's grand talk about lifts. "Those are the moments that stop the audience's heart!" he exclaims. And then we see Rex and Christiana tensely practicing the lift backstage during the show. Luckily, the lift goes smoothly in the actual performance, and everyone cheers from the wings. Good grief.
5. Josh Whitehead's get-up during notes:
Go, go, Power Rangers!
Next week: Ballet West is invited to L.A., and Allison DeBona experiences some technical difficulties during the closing night of Cinderella. Ruh, roh.