Ask anyone in a professional ballet company their opinion on the gimmicks surrounding ballet in the media (read: overdramatic reality shows and thrillers based on every cliché in the book), and they will all share with you some version of this fact: Dancing ballet professionally is dramatic, scary, and full of passion enough on its own. It doesn’t need a script.
That seems to be the thinking behind the newest mini-series on aol.com, city.ballet. Featuring 12 short documentary-style segments, the show gives viewers a behind-the-scenes peek at the life of a New York City Ballet dancer. Each clip focuses on a different aspect of professional ballet, from the shoes to the makeup to deciphering the ranks, all seasoned with honest, straight to the point commentary from the dancers and even ballet master in chief, Peter Martins, himself. The series takes us into the enormous shoe closet (fully stocked with Freed’s customized to each dancers exact bunion size and callus width), into the rehearsals of principle power couple (and real life couple) Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck, and into the physical therapy room where injured dancers seek treatment daily. Finally, a true representation of the professional ballet world has been documented for the world to see. And with long-time balletomane Sarah Jessica Parker as our host/narrator, I don’t think it could get any better!
Although I’ve yet to watch them all (can’t wait to finish them up later tonight), one of my favorite segments features a part of the ballet world that every female dancer knows all too well…the corps de ballet. The video addresses the importance of the often under appreciated corps and its role as the base of the company and the “glue that keeps everything together”. Preach!
Check it out here, and let me know what you think!