Sarah Hay, an American member of the Semperoper Ballet in Dresden, Germany, won the part of Claire, a talented, emotionally troubled dancer from Pittsburgh who ends up in a New York City ballet company in Flesh and Bone, a new drama series produced by Starz.
The New York Times said the series starts shooting this spring and has the ballet world buzzing, especially since the cancellations of ABC Family’s Bunheads, and, more recently, Breaking Pointe, the CW reality show about Ballet West.
Creator and writer Moira Walley-Beckett, a producer and writer for Breaking Bad and a former dancer herself, said that the series is a dark drama that happens to be set in the ballet world.
“It’s the journey of an artist and the journey of finding her value as a woman,” she said.
Supporting roles are filled by Irina Dvorovenko as the prima ballerina Kira, and Sascha Radetsky as Ross, Kira’s ballet partner and former lover. Both have ties to American Ballet Theatre and acting experience: Dvorovenko, who retired from the company last year, dazzled audiences with her comic timing in the Encores! production of On Your Toes, and Radetsky, a soloist with the company, starred in the 2000 film Center Stage. Ethan Stiefel, his co-star in that film, is the show’s consultant and choreographer.
Other cast members include Emily Tyra, who plays a feisty dancer in the corps de ballet, and Raychel Diane Weiner as an ambitious, fearless demi-soloist. Walley-Beckett and the show’s producers are striving for authenticity; the series will be shot in New York City and called for dancers who can act. “I want to show the art the way the art is,” she said. “I want us to be living and breathing and sweating with those dancers.”
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