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Flesh & Bone : An Amazon Prime Original Series


Photo Credit: Starz via thewrap

Flesh & Bone is produced by US Company Starz and aired this year for the first time. Created by Moira Walley-Beckett, we are given a fictional insight into the workings of a top Ballet Company in America; The American Ballet Company.

Paul Grayson, (played by Ben Daniels) once a critically acclaimed ballet dancer, is now the Artistic Director of The American Ballet Company. Upon holding auditions for new company members, he discovers Claire Robbins, played by Sarah Hay. She provides new inspiration for him and creates a ruckus in the upcoming season. Jealousy and spite riddles these dancers and the parasites of loathing are soon awoken by Claire’s presence. Mia, played wonderfully by Emily Tyra, has her own demons to battle as do many of the other dancers.

The wonders of Flesh & Bone partly come from the enticement of darkness that could exist in such a ‘perfect world.’ Each character we meet throughout the series has a very defined story, the director, producer and actors have clearly worked hard to create strong back-stories that will have you addicted.

With hiccups of destruction, pirouettes of turmoil and jettes of passion creating a concoction of intoxicated interest. Combine that with the general bitching, glamour and indulgence expected of the glittering world of glamorized dance and you have a show that dance lovers like myself cannot resist. Even for those not already smitten with the ballet world, there are still moments that will delight you and others that will disgust. (And there are snippets that will do both.) This is an insight into the dark potentials of a ballerina’s world.

The set and costumes felt very real throughout and I felt that the designer and cinematographer worked really well together to create a living atmosphere.

While the entire program is dramatised, there is an element of realism and truth behind a lot of the stories told here. Kiira says to Claire that “You don’t just dance Prima, you have to live it,” and in such a competitive industry, where we know a darkness does exist backstage, you know that there is an element of truth there.

The stories of each individual are far from predictable, while there are moments that are, the general gist is not. Claire has an influence over people that she is unaware of and actually causes a lot more problems than one would think humanly possible, yet it is displayed with such realism that as a viewer you believe it.

The show clearly has a feminist motif and actively promotes the idea of female power, but almost taking it to an uncomfortable point. For example, in regards to Claire’s influence on men, I felt very uncomfortable with the implications that this along with her past was in any way her fault. I felt that while we should be showing how powerful women can be, we should not be promoting the idea that women ask to be abused.

But do not let that deter you. I would absolutely recommend giving this series a shot. If you are a dance or theatre lover, than you absolutely have to! If not, I would still suggest watching it and who knows, perhaps you will discover an interest for ballet.

You can watch the pilot free on Amazon, plus the entire series is available on Amazon Prime Video.

Written by Nikica Markot

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