Breaking Pointe
Survival of the Fittest

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admin: B+ | Grade It Now!
Unnatural Selection

Welcome to Breaking Pointe! I will warn you all now, I never took ballet and my experience with it is pretty much limited to Black Swan and multiple viewings of Center Stage, so I can pretty much guarantee you I'm going to start calling various dancers Jody Sawyer and Charlie From Seattle. Is that all right with everyone? Great.

Okay. We open with a girl intoning solemnly, "Every day since I was three I've dreamt of being a ballet dancer." There are many artistic shots of disembodied feet pirouetting, and then we meet our first dancer: a suspiciously burly fellow named Ronnie with giant blue eyes. Hel-lo, Ronnie. Ronnie does a giant Cooper Nielsen jump move thing and says, "We train more hours than an Olympic athlete." Well, sure, all of you put together.

Another boy dancer: Ronald and his weird little chinstrap beard. Next: Christiana, who I desperately hope turns out to be queen of Denmark. (Or is it Sweden?) Bedazzled Rex. Babyfaced Katie, saying, "There's rivalry... and relationships." I'm just abandoning hope right now for anyone to have the proper grasp of subject-verb agreement. Beckanne, who's wearing a great big pink thing.

The dancers are all voiceovering about obsession and competition and someone asks, "Why do we do it? We do it... to be perfect." We're going to get some heavy duty Little Girls in Pretty Boxes shit sometime soon, right?

And now let's meet Adam Sklute, artistic director of Ballet West. Alex explains that Ballet West is one of the best companies in the country, but he wants to be on top. I hope it turns out that Adam is a retired dancer who stole the prima ballerina from her motorcycle-riding dancer boyfriend! (Well, I'm a little bit right.) Intercut with Adam are shots of the dancers stretching, practicing, and Ronnie with all 87 of his abs. Damn. The title cards tell us that thousands of dancers are competing for 40 spots at Ballet West. The rest of them? Glue factory.

So this is beautiful Salt Lake City. I guess it looks nice, if you don't mind beer that's 2.5 percent alcohol. Beckanne tells us that she was 13 when people realized she had what it took to be a ballet dancer. She's 19 now, and explains with very, very little modesty that most people don't get lead roles till they're 24 or 25 (except for Jessi Ramsey, who was dancing Coppélia at age 11! Why do I remember that?). But not Beckanne, oh no. I detect a hint of Mary Sue about this one.

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Breaking Pointe




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