‘Breaking Pointe’ recap (28 June 2012): ‘Bad Dress, Good Show

A performance is both the product of all the ballet company’s hard work and the foundation for each performers future in the year to come. While every member is expected to do their best during rehearsals, good performances in rehearsals won’t make up for falling apart on stage. “Breaking Pointe” shows snippets of the first cast and second cast performances as well as back stage reactions in the episode “Bad Dress, Good Performance” which was originally broadcast on 28 June 2012 but is still available on-demand on The CW website.

For this season’s performance of Ballet West, artistic director Adam Sklute has a diverse program: “Paquita,” “Emeralds” and “Petite Mort.” We have only 24 hours before the first performance. It’s dress rehearsal with 2,000 people expected in the audience.

Is there anyone who is having problems distinguishing Christiana Bennett and Allison DeBona?  They are visually very similar but personality-wise they are incredibly different.

First cast has Ronnie Underwood in a solo for “Paquita.” He needs to prove himself with consistency. Rex Tilton has to prove he can put up with the pressure and be more confident.

Underwood doesn’t have routines. Christina Bennett has a pre-performance routine. Beckanne Sisk relieves stress by shopping. Rex and  his brother Ronald, greet their brother Ray who came in from San Francisco to see them. Rex Tilton and his maybe-girlfriend Allison DeBona have called a time-out due to the pressure.

We get to see snippets of the performance and Underwood kills it. Beckanne also does well. Don’t get to see the audience’s reaction, but we do get to see other dancer’s react and hear Sklute’s assessment. And there were problem. Debona came off upset and yet she couldn’t get comfort from Rex Tilton.

If you didn’t know what an artistic director does, we now know. Sklute goes back stage during the first intermission and gives props to Underwood. For once, you don’t see arrogance, but genuine joy in Underwood’s eyes. He’s happy that he’s done well and that Sklute also finds his performance.

Christiana Bennett in “Emeralds” is gorgeous and while she puts a tremendous pressure on herself, she doesn’t allow that drama to spread over to her personal relationships (her husband is also in the company) nor to her professional relationships with other company members.

Opening night with the first cast has gone well, except for a minor problem with Allison Debona’s solo which she magnifies, particularly when she goes out with her family. We also learn that the family likes her ex-boyfriend and are not wild about poor Rex Tilton.

Then there’s second cast on the next performance evening. During the daytime rehearsal, Allison Debona is aloof toward Rex Tilton and she’s getting more relaxed in front of the cameras because they have to bleep out some of her comments.

For Sklute, each cast is strong. Each cast has to be strong, but there’s different chemistry.

DeBona has to find something that will set her apart from Christiana Bennet who was first cast lead in “Emeralds.” That’s a lot of pressure as Sklute finds Bennett one of the best dancers in that role.

Christiana Bennett is paired with Rex Tilton as the lead in “Paquita” and that goes well despite the emotional wringer that Tilton is going through with drama queen DeBona.

What happens with Rex Tilton you couldn’t see coming, but if you’re like me, you like him much better than DeBona and yet they both prove they are incredible dancers who have a high level of professionalism in their second cast performances. For Rex’s career, don’t you think he should dump drama queen Allison DeBona? Still adversity does toughen one up and perhaps that is what Rex needs for now.

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About Jana J. Monji

I've written for the Rafu Shimpo, LA Weekly, LA Times, Examiner.com and, more recently, the Pasadena Weekly and RogerEbert.com. I formerly worked for a dot-com more interested in yodeling than its customers.

Posted on July 6, 2012, in TV series, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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