Ballets were originally based mostly on the choreography to musical theater, so audiences were expected to follow along with the actors, and this is a key aspect of traditional ballet, even though they were not the same people. In addition to the physical act, choreography also had to include psychological depth. It could be difficult for audiences to accept the fact that there might be a lot of emotional complexity and not just just the physical act and the music. This was part of where Ballet America came from: to provide audiences with the means and tools to engage with the art in new ways and make it more accessible.
And that’s precisely what this show is all about.
The first scene of the show shows a woman in an alleyway doing a somber dance for a person below. In one of the first scenes we see all the people on a small stage. In the second scene the dancers form a circle in front of the stage. In the third scene the dancers form a circle in front of a mirror. The audience is able to see their reflection within the mirror.
The show is a mix of classical and modern styles like “Bachelorette,” “The Color Purple,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and “Django Unchained”. It’s very much like a ballet without the music, but is more than that — these dancers are being told to dance to the music. They are told that they are “not human” and that their job is to “move through the physical world using a dance that uses different physical tools.” The dancers in the show are in a state of spiritual transcendence as they dance through the physical and emotional worlds. It is a metaphor for a spiritual awakening, and the show does a good job of telling it visually.
And it is telling a story. There are allusions to the Holocaust, and to the “Dogs of War,” a poem by Ernest Hemingway that is a metaphor for World War II. The show is in the style of the early 20th Century, and that is what really sets it apart from other shows on the air, like “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night Live.” It goes far beyond just a dance-along to a song or a lyric.
As a dancer that has seen the first two episodes of “Breathe In: The New York Ballet,” I enjoyed being able to see these dancers in a “classic” fashion. It feels like a different set of choreographed elements than