Ballerinas and CavaliersSo you think you can dance? Well, it takes more than good rhythm, smooth moves and rubber hips. Ballerinas need steady nerves, thick hides and steely determination. And because no one knows that better than the real thing, former Breaking Bad producer Moira Walley-Beckett cast actual dancers, not actors, in her gritty new behind-the-ballet drama Flesh and Bone.
Sarah Hay, from the Dresden Semperoper Ballet in Germany, plays Claire, a troubled young woman whose quick rise through Manhattan’s fictitious American Ballet Company affects everyone from its aging star (played by former American Ballet Theater principal Irina Dvorovenko) to its arrogant leading man (ABT’s Sascha Radetsky). “It made my job a lot easier,” the show’s choreographer, Ethan Stiefel (another ABT alum), says of the casting. “I mean, look at Sascha. In the climatic dances, he looks like a superhero!” We talk to some of the dancers about their characters and hitting all the right moves…on a stripper pole?