I mentioned this monstrosity in a previous post. Here you see the “reality show” formula at its worst: fake shaming, fake competition, fake drama, all ending in a fake cliff-hanger.
Add to that student dancers who are not ready for any kind of limelight. All the kids appear deficient in basic classical technique, so how is it helping them to spend their days in 6th position, executing a free-for-all edition of “modern dance,” (actually as I said earlier, it bears more resemblance to high-school drill team garbage), if they are aiming to be classical dancers? And the boys can’t partner, or at least what they’re being asked to do is way beyond what they can manage.
There’s always yet another stupid team competition (are we dancers or are we cheerleaders?); we have that lousy choreography where people march around in lockstep for a bit and then throw themselves by their stomachs (and why does it look exactly the same as the previous lousy choreography they did, when the subject is ostensibly so different?). And of course because there’s magically a new competition every two weeks or so, they have to be in an eternal rush to have new dances and costumes for each competition, just like Dance Moms! (Note: most real ballets take at least a month to choreograph and prepare, and are rehearsed to the point of exhaustion.)
Meantime back in the real world, I have to point out that this is nothing like
This documentary simply shows life at an elite ballet school with no detectable added drama. It assumes ballet life is interesting enough on its own. It doesn’t reek of a bunch of writers sitting around a table throwing out ideas like, “let’s have Arielle just dying for love of Jason, but then she finds out he really wants Josh, and meantime they’re all worried about their next big competition and whether Mr. Ballet Master is going to let them dance anymore if they don’t get a good score from the judges…”
To sum it up, nothing depicted in “Joffrey Elite” prepares the kids for life in a ballet company, so what’s the point?
The point of ballet school is clear when you watch the SAB documentary. This is the way ballet backstories should be portrayed on TV: just tell the truth. It’s quite dramatic enough.
P.S. the Joffrey Ballet must cringe at the “Joffrey Elite” series and the inevitable confusion it will cause. How do I know? Look at the website of the Joffrey Academy (the actual school of the Joffrey Ballet, as opposed to the Joffrey Ballet School). See anything there that tells you they may be trying to distance themselves from all this? Yes.