Dance on TV

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Going mainstream – it’s the big conundrum of the dance community. How does a dance company appeal to a larger audience and enter into the realm of pop culture without compromising the art?

Every dancer has his or her own opinion about reality competition shows, such as So You Think You Cand Dance and Dancing with the Stars. And movies like Black Swan definitely ruffled some feathers (pun intended). But whether you love it or hate it, dance is gradually finding its way into the mainstream market.

This summer, several stations are jumping on the dance band wagon, bringing America both scripted and unscripted dance on TV: Ovation TV presents A Chance to Dance, a new season of SYTYCD, ABC Family has Broadway’s Sutton Foster starring in Bunheads (no relation to the Sophie Flack novel), and the cwTV goes behind the scenes at Salt Lake City’s Ballet West in Breaking Pointe… Now, enter Dd, a bunch of dancers still working and thriving in the real world of dance and full of opinions about these programs.

Ballet West dancers Christiana Bennett & Christopher Ruud in The Nutcracker, Photography by Luke Isley

Yours truly will kick off the Dance on TV segment of Dd – starting on Thursday May, 31, 2012, with the premiere of Breaking Pointe, I’ll recap the good, bad, and ugly of the show and open the discussion for all to contribute to the debate.

About the show:

“This project is a wonderful opportunity for Ballet West and the dance world,” says Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute. “When the BBC approached us, their idea was to create the antidote to the movie ‘Black Swan..My hope for BREAKING POINTE is that we can set the record straight about the dance world. I want to present the real joys and heartaches – dramatic, yes, but not with overblown and exaggerated stereotypes.”

How Dd will play a role:

I’ll tweet live during the show and post my thoughts the following morning. Admittedly, I’m looking forward to seeing just how “real” it is and hope our readers will feel compelled to voice their opinions as well.

On June 10, 2012, Dd-er Kristin Storey will tackle the ABC Family melodrama Bunheads and, on August 17, 2012, contributor and co-founder Candice Thompson will open up the discussion about BalletBoyz in A Chance to Dance.

Here’s to a summer full of dance!

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Showing 5 comments
  • candice

    So looking forward to this Steph! Love how right away the trailer is diving into the art vs. sport issue. Also, am I the only one taking issue with the logo? Why does it look like this foot is sickled?

  • stephanie

    No. You aren’t the only one irked by the sickled foot. Clearly, a dancer was not consulted when designing this logo.

    Speaking of sickled feet and dance going mainstream. I’d love to see some thoughts on the new Nike Arc pointe shoe.

  • matthew

    The sickled foot is all I’ve been hearing people talk about! It’s not just you Candice!

  • candice

    It is ridiculous that they can’t even be “real” with the logo. And as far as those Nike’s go….where to start? I mean, sure, they seem fine if you have no interest in the actual aesthetics of pointe work. They seem more tailored to some new SYTYCD contemporary jazz hybrid pointe routine. One I am not eagerly anticipating. But this venting is coming from someone who only wore Freed’s and has never been a fan of those Gaynor Minden tennis shoes either! So, take my opinions with a grain of salt.

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