The “Bunheads” Fairy Tale

 In true ballet fashion, “Bunheads” owes a lot to the enduring power of fairy tales. A Broadway princess (Tony Award winner Sutton Foster) wakes up in a town called Paradise (a nice dash of magical thinking there) to find herself in the shelter of a ballet studio run by a fairy godmother—okay, actually godmother-in-law. The princess escapes from a Las Vegas past that separated her from ballet—her first love—to a kingdom of niceness and sincerity.

 

What makes “Bunheads” an unusual ballet fairy tale, maybe even a truly postmodern one, is the absence of a prince. The new husband who brought the princess to Paradise is dead by the end of the first episode. The few men, like the attractive teenage boys at the ballet studio on whom the camera never lingers, seem merely incidental. Even the handsome stranger Foster met in last night’s episode, a mysterious billionaire, offers advice rather than romance. The princess must solve her own problems, understand her own dreams.

 

Luckily, she is surrounded by an engaging corps of prima wannabees, all trying to help each other in and out of class while learning ballet. Youthful versions of Foster’s jaded dancer, they strive and dream of becoming ballerinas. And who knows, all that enthusiasm might just be catching. For “Bunheads,” the real question is whether the princess will fall back in love with ballet.

 

Latest Posts


Getty Images

Class of 2020, These Ballet Stars Have a Heartfelt Video Message Just for You

Congratulations to this year's graduating seniors!

You might not have had the chance to take that long planned-for final bow, but we're here to cheer you on and celebrate all that you've accomplished. And we've brought together stars from across the ballet world to help us; check out the video to hear their best wishes for your futures.

To further fête all of the ballet grads out there, we're also giving away 100 free subscriptions to Pointe... plus, one lucky bunhead will receive a personalized message from one of ballet's biggest stars. Click here to enter!


#TBT: Antoinette Sibley and Brian Shaw in "The Sleeping Beauty" (1963)

The charming and exuberant Antoinette Sibley became a principal at The Royal Ballet in 1960, when she was just 21 years old. Sibley dazzled alongside many danseurs during her career, including former principal Brian Shaw, a bravura dancer known for his virtuosic turns and jumps. The two were a natural cast for The Sleeping Beauty's Bluebird pas de deux, captured here in this 1963 film.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/27/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks