Starz Is Developing a 'Gritty Ballet Drama,' and We Will All Probably Watch It

Illustration for article titled Starz Is Developing a Gritty Ballet Drama, and We Will All Probably Watch It

If you've ever watched Breaking Bad and thought "Hmm... this could use some more pliés!" — get ready. Kill Bill producer Lawrence Bender and Breaking Bad co-executive producer Moira Walley-Beckett are developing a show for Starz (with a z!) about the troubled lives of professional ballerinas. If you thought it was all tutus and tiaras, you're in for a world of pain.


Sounding more Black Swan than Bunheads, the show is described thusly:

The untitled entry centers on a young female ballet dancer named Claire with a troubled past who joins a ballet company in New York. The project, which is described as dark and gritty, will explore the dysfunctional underbelly of the ballet world.


Uh, we've already seen Center Stage, thankyouverymuch. However, if there's something that can compete with the drama of a young Cooper Nielson, we should all open up (second position?) to the possibility this new show could be great.

If you've never listened to the Nerdists Writers Panel podcast, you should check it out. There are lots of good episodes, and on one a while back, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan talked about how Walley-Beckett sent in a spec script of Breaking Bad for him to read. This is apparently really unusual, because you don't want to give a series creator an episode of their own show to tear apart. Kinda like how you never, but never, sing a Whitney Houston song — just go home, you cannot compete with the queen. However, in this one instance, Gilligan loved it so much, he brought Walley-Beckett onboard. The guts it took her to hand over that script and be like, "Here, I did this better than you can, so hire me." Damn, girl.

If this show is half as brave as she is, it'll be one to watch.

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There is no way I won't be watching this. I would add to this article though: If you loved Center Stage, get your butt to Netflix and watch Australian YA show - Dance Academy. It's like Center Stage only the dancers are a little younger and the main character has great feet and excellent turnout, just poor training. Also, baby kangaroos, and Fran from Strictly Ballroom is the ballet teacher. And there are, I think 52 half hour episodes so it should keep you occupied for a while.

In addition, Netflix has a documentary called First Position that I have been watching in between house cleaning chores and love it so far. It's about young dancers competing in the Grand Prix ballet competition.