I’m all for behind-the-scenes peeks at the world of ballet, for moments that show dancers as humans rather than superhumans. But the dancers of “Breaking Pointe” are just so much more compelling when they’re dancing—when we can see them for the extraordinarily talented artists they are, rather than the pretty normal people they are.
The show’s been struggling to get the dancer/human balance right since its first episode, and last night’s show seemed to be heading in the right (read: dancier) direction. Casting decisions are always stressful; casting decisions for a major Ashton ballet, as determined by a crisply authoritative British répétiteur (can we keep Wendy Ellis Somes on as a regular cast member? She’s great!) are triply so. After Beckanne’s seemingly effortless success last season, it was refreshing to see her deal with the same casting frustrations all dancers face—even the most talented.
I also loved the multiple scenes of company class, a realistic depiction of ballet’s daily grind. “Breaking Pointe” is on to something: Most of ballet’s drama happens in the studio. And when it comes to drama, I much prefer the tense whispered asides in the class scenes to the staged confrontations in non-dancey settings.
(Bonus: We only had about five minutes of “dancers party too!” time at that cabin—and for that, we thank you, “BP.”)