Get your popcorn ready! (Getty Images)

There’s a New Ballet Series Coming to Netflix

Pop quiz, dance friends! Select all that apply:

a) You love ballet.
b) You love ballet on TV.
c) You absolutely devoured Tiny Pretty Things, the 2016 YA novel described as "Black Swan meets 'Pretty Little Liars.'"
d) OK you haven't read the book yet but wooowwww does that description sound enticing.

We've got good news for those of you who ticked off literally any of those options: Netflix just ordered a new series based on Tiny Pretty Things, and it's slated to arrive next year. Get your popcorn ready!


In case you haven't yet read the book: Tiny Pretty Things, by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, is a drama-filled portrait of a group of young dancers studying at a prestigious ballet school. While the novel sets the story in Manhattan, it looks like the Netflix show will move the action to Chicago. And the cast features a bevy of gifted dancers, including Daniela Norman (aka Demeter in the upcoming Cats film) and our friend Barton Cowperthwaite.

More info to come as we hear it, obviously!

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Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West

How Do Choreographers Bring Something Fresh to Music We've Heard Over and Over?

In 2007, Oregon Ballet Theatre asked Nicolo Fonte to choreograph a ballet to Maurice Ravel's Boléro. "I said, 'No way. I'm not going near it,' " recalls Fonte. "I don't want to compete with the Béjart version, ice skaters or the movie 10. No, no, no!"

But Fonte's husband encouraged him to "just listen and get a visceral reaction." He did. And Bolero turned into one of Fonte's most requested and successful ballets.

Not all dance renditions of similar warhorse scores have worked out so well. Yet the irresistible siren song of pieces like Stravinsky's The Firebird and The Rite of Spring, as well as the perennial Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, seem too magnetic for choreographers to ignore.

And there are reasons for their popularity. Some were commissioned specifically for dance: Rite and Firebird for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes; Boléro for dance diva Ida Rubinstein's post–Ballets Russes troupe. Hypnotic rhythms (Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel) and danceable melodies (Bizet's Carmen) make a case for physical eye candy. Audience familiarity can also help box office receipts. Still, many choreographers have been sabotaged by the formidable nature and Muzak-y overuse of these iconic compositions.

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