Monday, August 20, 2012

Which Ballet Show Should You Be Watching?

This summer, we were given the great and precious gift of no less than three shows based on ballet dancing.  How can you decide which one to watch, and then pledge your undying allegiance to?  I'll break it down for you.  My winner is pretty clear (DANCE ACADEMY).  

Breaking Pointe
Rundown:  Reality show chronicling six weeks in the lives of a ballet dancers at a real company, Ballet West
People:  Four practically identical ballerinas, two ballet brothers, one Cooper Nielson look-alike and act-alike
Dancing:  Tons of footage from their real rehearsals, which I found immensely interesting.  When it gets to performance time, we don't get to see the pieces in their entirety, but we definitely get to see enough to tell that these dancers really are super talented.
Bonus:  a really intense intro that makes the dancers look super bad-@$$, both unrequited and requited love (and it's real life, so it's even more heartbreaking), real talk behind the scenes of the business side of ballet
Where you can watch:  Hulu, CW website
Should you watch:  Yes - it's only six episodes, and worth it!

Rundown:   A Las Vegas showgirl marries a rich man who lives with his mother, and goes home to live with them.  He basically immediately dies in a car wreck, leaving Showgirl to deal with Mother-in-Law, who also runs a dance studio.
People:  annoying teenage dancers (one of whom is named Boo. As in, the writers were naming all the characters and thought that Boo would make a great name), Gilmore Girls Grandma, Tyra's stripper sister from Friday Night Lights, lots of "quirky townspeople"
Dancing:  minimal.  I've watched the first three episodes so far, and only seen two real dance scenes.  At this point in the series, I'm not even sure why it's called "Bunheads."  The story seems to revolve much more heavily around Showgirl, and the side plot with the ballet girls seems forced and out of place.
Bonus:  Showgirl is played by Broadway vet Sutton Foster who I find to be quite charming and her delivery is hilarious.
Where you can watch:  Hulu, ABC Family
Should you watch:  Probably?  Maybe?  I'll let you decide

Dance Academy
Rundown:  Tara Webster, backwoods Austrailian girl who lives on a farm with BABY KANGAROOS, is chosen to attend the National Academy of Dance in Sydney and train to be a ballet dancer.  Shenanigans, dream-making, dream-crushing, best-friend-making, stupid-decisions-involving-boys ensue.
People:  Australian teenagers.  In Australia.  And they are awesome.  It's one of those shows where I can't decide which character is my favorite because THEY ARE ALL MY FAVORITE.  (But really, Abigail is my favorite.  Or maybe Kat.  Probably Sammy.)
Dancing:  All the time, all kinds.  These kids love to dance, and they love to dance in picturesque places, like in pastures, and in gazebos, and on docks in front of bridges, and in the forest.  Plus, besides ballet, you're going to see hip-hop, modern, jazz, and even a little bit of tapping!
Bonus:  Australian accents, Tara doing things that are so embarrassing you literally have to turn away from the screen, hip-hop/ballet combos, Australia, they're in Australia, Season 2 will destroy your life, the kids are Australian
Where you can watch:  Netflix, and apparently they also play it on TeenNick?  Plus they are currently filming season 3, so this is the gift that keeps on giving!
Should you watch:  Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!


  1. If you're not wathcing Dance Academy, you're not living. End of story.

  2. and Kat is my favorite because she's Liv.. i sometimes wish she would have gone with that pop star she choregraphed for and had her own spin off show... except I would want the whole cast to join her on HER spinoff show. except Tara. she can stay.

  3. also, i don't think abigail owns a leotard that's not pink or purple pastels.

    ... i don't think Kat owns a leotard.

  4. I have not seen any of these shows, but I'll try to check them out!

  5. Did you know the douchy guy from Breaking Pointe is from Oklahoma? I think I told you that. Well now you know again.

  6. I can't believe I haven't seen any of these! On it and thank you.