"Breaking Pointe" Season 2, Episode 7 Recap

"Breaking Pointe" fans have gotten used to The CW exaggerating Ballet West's backstage drama. Sometimes, the tortured plot lines are simply laughable (that Beckanne-Chase-Zach lover's quarrel, anyone?). But in capturing the company's opening-night anxieties in last night's episode, it was finally spot-on.

 

Since it's the end of the season, many dancers feel like they have something to prove onstage. Rex successfully pushes through his foot injury to show Adam he has what it takes to be a principal (though I wonder how far that pushing set back his recovery time). Ian, unfortunately, breaks his finger during dress rehearsal, and has to spend what was supposed to be his last performance with Ballet West watching from the audience. Christiana attempts to keep her personal life from interfering with her dancing, and she berates herself for briefly coming off pointe into a plié—yet in reality, she performs beautifully, and her mistake is so graceful that the plié simply looks like part of the choreography. Throughout it all, Allison waits to see if Jonathan, her boyfriend in Detroit, will finally come watch her dance. At first, it broke my heart when we learned he didn't. But I'm actually thankful—a cad like that doesn't deserve to steal a dancer in the prime of her career away from ballet.

Latest Posts


Complexions Contemporary Ballet's Tatiana Melendez Proves There's No One Way to Have a Ballet Career

This is Pointe's Fall 2020 cover story. Click here to purchase this issue.

Talk to anyone about rising contemporary ballerina Tatiana Melendez, and one word is bound to come up repeatedly: "Fierce." And fair enough, that's a perfectly apt way to describe the 20-year-old's stage presence, her technical prowess and her determination to succeed. But don't make the mistake of assuming that fierceness is Melendez's only (or even her most noteworthy) quality. At the core of her dancing is a beautiful versatility. She's just as much at ease when etching pure classical lines as she is when boldly throwing herself off-balance.

"Selfish choreographer that I am, I want Tatiana to stay with Complexions for all time," says her boss Dwight Rhoden, Complexions Contemporary Ballet's co-artistic director and resident choreographer. "She has a theatricality about her: When the music comes on, she gets swept away." Not too shabby for someone who thought just a few years ago that maybe ballet wasn't for her.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

The Anatomy of Arabesque: Why Placement and Turnout Are Key to Achieving This Crucial Position

Audition for any school or company, and they'll likely ask for a photo in arabesque. The position not only reveals a great deal about a dancer's ability, but it is also a fundamental building block for more advanced movements, like penché or arabesque turn. Beyond technique, it can be the epitome of grace and elegance onstage, creating unforgettable images—just try to imagine Swan Lake or Balanchine's Serenade without an arabesque.

Yet many dancers are unsatisfied with their arabesque lines, and students frequently ask how to improve their extensions. (Social media posts of dancers with extreme flexibility don't help!) In an attempt to lift the back leg higher, dancers may sacrifice placement and unknowingly distort their position in the process. How can you improve the height of your back leg while maintaining proper placement and turnout? We talked to a few experts to better understand the science behind this step.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov in "Coppélia" (1976)

Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov share the unique experience of having danced at both American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet during their careers. The two overlapped at ABT in the mid-'70s, where they developed one of the best-known partnerships in ballet. They were both celebrated for their dynamism onstage; however, in this 1976 clip of the pas de deux from Coppélia, Kirkland and Baryshnikov prove they are also masters of control.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks