Recitals have their own awkward charm. The littlest dancers always look adorable; the older ones try so earnestly that with every variation’s successful coda the audience breathes a sigh of relief.
Last night’s “Bunheads” episode managed to make recitals seem more inventive and better danced than any I remember sitting through. Fanny, the reliably lively Kelly Bishop, had created an ecological fable of a supermarket cashier, torn between evil plastic bags (danced by various talented extras) and a wholesome canvas one (the elegant Julia Goldani Telles). Political correctness never looked sillier, but when Fanny’s students gave it their all, the small screen momentarily captured the passion and sincerity that so many dance students show when they finally get up on stage to perform. Most likeable, as always, was Kaitlyn Jenkins as the conflicted cashier, bravely partnering Telles through a few lifts and generally adding a dash of genuine enthusiasm to the entire concept. The premise may have been far-fetched—like “Bunheads” itself—but its love of dance never seemed more real.