When someone says that they are addicted to a reality show, there’s almost always a hint of guilt or embarrassment in the statement. Being obsessed with Keeping Up With the Karashians or Duck Dynasty is not something to be proud of. I even get laughed at for watching Say Yes to the Dress whenever I can. There’s a silliness, a triviality to these shows that make them guilty pleasures, rather than just outright pleasures to partake in.
There is no such silliness or guilt in city.ballet, the web series by AOL, produced by Sarah Jessica Parker. It gives us a behind the scenes look into the world of the New York City Ballet. Each episode, running between six to eight minutes, gives us an in-depth look into a certain aspect of the ballet company, from its hierarchy of dancers in its first episode,
to how grueling and difficult dancing Swan Lake really is (not so spoiler: it’s really, really, really, hard, you guys), to the pros and cons of having your significant other your partner in a pas de deux.
I devoured the two seasons, including the two to three minute bonuses, in a span of about three hours. In those short hours, I was in turn nervous, thrilled, fascinated, and horrified (very serious injuries are discussed). However, I was always, always amazed by the sheer talent, commitment, determination, grace, and spirit of all the dancers featured. Because while the series does touch on the dazzling costumes and the all-important shoes, it’s the dancers’ stories that make the series so compelling. Whether it be soloists wondering if they’ll ever be promoted to principals, dancers preparing for life after they hang up the point shoes, or working their way back physically and emotionally after an injury, the men and women of the NYCB will make you feel more in six minutes than the Kardashians have in seven (eight? nine?) seasons.
And of course, there’s all that amazing, wonderful, jaw-dropping dancing, too.