Arts

Murder is in Air in the Cutthroat World of Ballet

Who is the Prime Suspect?

By: Brooke Price

Anyone can appear to be a suspect. Credit: medium.com

“Tiny Pretty Things” is a new Netflix show that centers around Neveah Stroyer getting accepted to the illustrious Archer School of Ballet on a scholarship to perform ballet. She soon discovers that she is replacing Cassie Shore, the star ballerina of the school that was pushed from the roof of the school and is in a coma before her arrival.

The show was based on the first book of the “Tiny Pretty Things” series by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton.

As the new girl Neveah learns more about the ballet school, she befriends Cassie’s friends such as June and Bette. She is also determined to learn more about Cassie, the girl she is replacing.

Neveah sleeps in the same room that Cassie did and is roommates with Cassie’s old roommate, June. Neveah, along with the other girls tries and determine what happened to Cassie.

Bette and June see a ballet as their lives. Bette has been training to land a lead role for a long time and lives under the spotlight of her older sister who is a prodigy, Delia Whitlaw. As a result, Bette feels that she must live up to expectations of being a Whitlaw and pushes herself to live up to her sister’s acclaim. 

June is also passionate about ballet and tries her best to secure a lead role as well, however she is yet to do so. Her mother is strict and always wants her to land lead roles. When she gets ensemble roles, her mother doesn’t even want to see her perform. 

The show demonstrates how cutthroat the world of ballet is. The routines have to be perfect and the dancers push themselves to the highest limit to meet these standards. 

Oren, one of the dance students pushes himself too hard and develops an eating disorder after learning that he has gained a couple of pounds. After sustaining an injury to her foot, her most prized possession in the dance world, Bette becomes addicted to painkillers and proceeds to dance on her injured foot so that she could maintain her lead role. 

The students, teachers, and headmistress at the school also harbor their secrets behind closed doors.

The headmistress, Monique DuBois has an ongoing affair with Caleb, a student at the school, which allows him to get some opportunities for ballet. The ballet school is also behind some shady business, where they had wealthy men make donations to the Archer School of Ballet and in return, they would spend time with the ballerinas from the school at the Michi Beach Club. As a result, the school picked out naïve girls from the school to work as waitresses at the club, where they would ultimately be raped by wealthy men.

The actors on the show are also dancers in real life. They perform the dance routines in the show, which is a unique aspect. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Casimere Jollette and Kylie Jefferson, the actresses for Bette and Neveah discussed how it was to be an actress and dancer on the set.

Jollette discussed the exhausting process the cast endured shooting the series. “We fully did all of our dance scenes and we rehearsed four weeks before we started filming. Then in between filming, we’d rehearse for 10 hours on a Saturday and then 10 hours on a Sunday, just getting all our dancing in. I don’t think people truly realize how hard we dancers had to work on the show. It was two jobs. I’ve never been more exhausted, but it was the best experience.”

Jefferson mentioned that she was glad that the directors for the show wanted to cast real dancers. She and the rest of the cast were excited “to make sure that everything was really how it goes —making sure that the technique and the vocabulary and all those things were right. We were very verbal about those things and love that our writers on the show always wanted to collaborate and talk it out and make it better.”

“Tiny Pretty Things” is an intriguing, suspenseful series that explores the world of ballet and what happened to the star dancer, Cassie Shore, and who was the culprit that pushed her from the school roof. The series also ends on a cliffhanger and keeps viewers wondering if there will be a second season.

 

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