“BREAKING POINTE” RETURNS TO THE CW WITH NEW DANCERS AND NEW DRAMA
The Second Season Will Feature Returning Favorites and New Faces Going Toe-To-Toe as the Competition Heats Up On and Off the Stage
May 29, 2013 (Burbank, California) — The CW Network’s critically-acclaimed docu-series “Breaking Pointe,” which follows the world of ballet through exhausting rehearsals, gorgeous stage performances and behind-the-scenes drama, returns on Monday, July 22 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) with new dancers and a new production.
The second season of the show will follow the inner workings of Salt Lake City’s elite ballet company, Ballet West, showing what really goes on when the curtain closes. Witness the dark side of this seemingly perfect world ─ the jealousy, intensity, and competition. With the long grueling hours, these statuesque dancers work hard and play hard.
Leading the main company once again is Artistic Director Adam Sklute, a former dancer with The Joffrey Ballet. This season he and the dancers tackle their largest and most demanding production to date, “Cinderella.” The competition is fierce as the dancers audition for the life-changing roles of Cinderella and Price Charming. Featured dancers include returning favorites Principal Christiana Bennett, First Soloist Ronnie Underwood and Demi-Soloists Allison DeBona, Rex Tilton and Beckanne Sisk. The new dancers joining them include Corps Artist Joshua Whitehead, Guest Dancer Silver Barkes and Ballet West II dancers Zachary Prentice and Ian Tanzer. Also returning is Principal Christopher Ruud in his new role as Artistic Director of Ballet West II, a two-year training program for young dancers aspiring to dance professionally in the main company.
RETURNING “BREAKING POINTE” DANCERS:
Christopher Ruud, 31
Principal and Ballet West II Artistic Director
Hometown: San Francisco, California
Christopher Ruud joined Ballet West in 1998 and has been a Principal dancer for eight years. Christopher’s mother danced for Ballet West and his father was one of the company’s first male principal dancers. He was recently appointed as Director of Ballet West II, a two-year training program for young dancers who aspire to dance professionally in the main company. Christopher is working on learning how to balance both responsibilities on a personal and professional level.
Christiana Bennett, 32
Hometown: Townsend, Massachusetts
Ballet West’s Prima Ballerina, Christiana Bennett, joined the company in 1999. She trained at the Pennsylvania Ballet, School of American Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Bennett is the recipient of the Coca-Cola Foundation Arts Award and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts award in dance. At 32, Bennett is near retirement, yet insists her time is definitely not up.
Ronnie Underwood, 30
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Ronnie Underwood joined the company in 2011 as a Soloist. Underwood shatters all pre-conceptions of professional ballet dancers. He is an alpha-male and takes pride in breaking the rules. After being sidelined with a serious injury, Underwood is vigorously working to recover and reclaim his standing within the company.
Allison DeBona, 29
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Currently one of Ballet West’s rising stars, Allison DeBona joined Ballet West in 2007 and was promoted to Demi-Soloist in 2011. She trained at The Parou Ballet Company and the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet. She hopes to be a Principal dancer at Ballet West. DeBona is at a crossroads in her life, trying to choose between settling down to start a family or continuing with her career.
Rex Tilton, 25
Hometown: San Diego, California
Rex Tilton joined Ballet West in 2008 as an apprentice. He is currently a Demi-Soloist and has performed several lead roles alongside the company’s principal dancers. Tilton comes from a large family of nine, with six out of the seven children dancing professionally. The stakes have never been higher for Tilton, who suffered a serious foot injury during a performance of “The Nutcracker” last year.
Beckanne Sisk, 20
Hometown: Longview, Texas
Considered to be the future of Ballet West, Beckanne Sisk joined Ballet West II in 2010, followed by Ballet West in 2011. She began her training at the Studio of Creative Arts and, at age 13, was awarded a full scholarship to The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia. Recently, she was handpicked by the Youth American Grand Prix to dance at New York City’s LincolnCenter for its annual gala. Confident and more ambitious than ever, Sisk wants to be crowned “Cinderella” in Ballet West’s upcoming production and to be promoted to Soloist.
NEW “BREAKING POINTE” DANCERS:
Joshua Whitehead, 25
Hometown: Portsmouth, Virginia
Joshua Whitehead was recently promoted to Ballet West after finishing his training with Ballet West II. Growing up in some of Virginia’s worst neighborhoods, Whitehead is the first person in his family to pursue a life in ballet. Although becoming a professional dancer has not been easy, he is determined to find his place in Ballet West and become its first black male Principal Dancer.
Silver Barkes, 32
Hometown: Novato, California
Silver Barkes is a Guest Dancer with Ballet West. After being let go two years ago to make room for a new generation of dancers, she was invited back to dance in this season’s production of “Cinderella.” Like her fellow dancer and roommate Ronnie Underwood, Barkes likes to party and have fun. She also enjoys mentoring the younger dancers of Ballet West II.
Zachary Prentice, 19
Ballet West II Dancer
Hometown: Modesto, California
Zach Prentice is a dancer with Ballet West II. It has not been an easy journey for this young charismatic and openly gay dancer. In his last year in Ballet West II’s two-year training program, the stakes have never been higher for Prentice as he fights for one of the few open spots in the main company.
Ian Tanzer, 19
Ballet West II Dancer
Hometown: Cheney, Washington
Ian Tanzer is a dancer with Ballet West II. He is completing his second year with Ballet West II and has his personal and professional life riding on receiving one of the few coveted spots in the main company, going toe-to-toe with fellow Ballet West II dancer Zach Prentice.
BREAKING POINTE is produced by Adjacent Productions, with executive producers Leola Westbrook (“Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “Taking the Stage”), Izzie Pick Ashcroft (“Dancing with the Stars,” “Strictly Come Dancing,” “Big Brother”), Jane Tranter (“Dancing with the Stars,” “Top Gear,” “Da Vinci’s Demons”) and Matthew Vafiadis (“What Not to Wear,” “Big Brooklyn Style,” “Construction Intervention”).
Judy Yam, The CW
Christine Shaw, Adjacent Productions
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