Stepping on toes in 'Breaking Pointe'

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REVIEW

DOCUSERIES PREMIERE "Breaking Pointe"

WHEN|WHERE Friday at 8 p.m. on CW/11

REASON TO WATCH Ballet -- it ain't for wimps!

WHAT IT'S ABOUT The term "breaking point(e)" has multiple meanings in this behind-the-scenes chronicle. Sure, there's the athletic challenge among hard-training dancers in Salt Lake City's up-and-coming Ballet West troupe. Those best at "pointe" get ahead, like Christiana, a 32-year-old principal, and Beckanne, a prodigy at 19, whose talent hobbles her ability to make friends.

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There's also the point at which spirits break, when promotions or even continued employment in the company aren't forthcoming. That's a tough moment for the romantically entangled, like 19-year-old wannabe Ronald and his 23-year-old girlfriend, Katie. And the romantically confused, like Ronald's in-love older brother, Rex, and his object of (spurned) affection, Allison.

MY SAY Just keeping the players straight practically requires a flow chart. On-screen name labels help. But the fact labels are necessary confirms how "Breaking Pointe" lacks breakout characters among these look-alike dancer "types."

The feel is more documentary than "reality" show, which some viewers will appreciate and others won't. Explosive dynamics aren't here. But intensely felt dreams, desires and tears are. Along with lots of cool young guys who actually talk about their feelings! The CW hits their demographic bull's-eye!

Those not in the target demo might be better served next week, when promos tease dancers in swimsuits smearing mud on each other's hot bods.

@Newsday

BOTTOM LINE Any "reality" show about young people actually working hard to achieve something sublime is worth at least a look.

GRADE B-

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