From Black Swan To Kanye West: Breaking Pointe Artistic Director Embraces Ballet For The Masses


Stars of The CW's Breaking Pointe

Will there be high-art snobs who hate the idea of a CW reality show about the lives of ballet dancers? Of course! But Salt Lake City’s Ballet West artistic director Adam Sklute was out to prove them wrong when he let his company be filmed for Breaking Pointe, which premieres this week. “I don’t believe that there should be a strong separation between high art and popular entertainment,” he told VH1 Celebrity. “And in fact, the whole reason for doing this is trying to meld high art with popular entertainment. The more we keep these two things separate, the more we keep ballet separate, and I want it for everyone.”

From the 1960s through the ’80s, Sklute pointed out, ballet was everywhere, and stars like Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolf Nureyev were as widely known as Tim Tebow and Jay-Z. With Step Up, Black Swan, ABC Family’s upcoming series Bunheads (and the YA novel on which it’s based), and even Kanye West’s Runaway video, it looks like tutus and tights are back in the mainstream. What’s different about Breaking Pointe is its down and dirty look at dancers’ lives.

“I think it’s also fascinating to see these people who so many people in the general public only see on the stage, and they don’t even look human on the stage,” he said. “To see them being very real and human is a fascination.”

This being a reality show, “being very real and human” includes having their love lives played up on the screen for all to see. As the boss of a bunch of attractive people in their teens and 20s, Sklute tries to steer clear of that drama.

“It is definitely part of any ballet company, but people’s personal lives are none of my business unless it affects how they perform in the studios and on the stage,” he told us, though he admitted to being wary of mixing business with pleasure back when he was a dancer. “Personally, I never dated anyone or was with anybody who danced, period. That was my own personal life policy. It worked out for me, but everybody is different.”

[Photos: The CW]

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