Dancers need long limbs and willowy figures to make it in ballet, but not if they’re in Big Ballet, a three-episode reality series that premiers May 28 at 10pm on Ovation.
The Wall Street Journal said that Big Ballet follows 18 plus-size British dancers as they prepare to perform the world’s most famous classical ballet, Swan Lake. The documentary-style show captures these brave souls in auditions, rehearsals, and a performance that defies preconceptions of ballet and body shape.
It took five months to turn these amateurs into graceful swans. “We looked like dropouts of Fame at the beginning,” said dancer Christine Longster, 52. “I was in my Zumba clothes.”
Like many reality shows, Big Ballet has a mentor: the former Royal Ballet principal Wayne Sleep, who had his own point to make about size. Standing just five-foot-two, he was the shortest man to join the London ballet company, where he danced for more than a decade.
He sees the series as delivering a message to today’s youth and teachers. “Ballet is not fair,” he said. “Why is it that you have to be a certain size?”
The British production company Rare Day created the series, but Ovation, a cable network devoted to arts programming, said it is considering a longer American version after the three-episode series airs. To read the full story, visit http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303480304579576281797088794.
Ovation, a television network devoted to arts culture, has just announced a national dance competition, “One Dance One Chance” where dance studios or ensembles have a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship and get national television exposure.
Dance groups must have a minimum of three people ages 13 and over. Performance videos must be one to three minutes in length and uploaded by the group’s teacher, professor, instructor, or coach. All dance genres are accepted.
Entries will be judged on creativity, originality, form, technique, and group choreography. Five finalists groups will receive a $1,000 scholarship or grant. The winner will win $10,000, plus a 30-second clip on Ovation. The competition runs until December 1.
For official rules and entry forms, visit www.ovationtv.com/dancecontest.