Sunday, January 26, 2014

Starz Orders Ballet Drama 'Flesh and Bone' to Series

Starz has ordered the ballet drama Flesh and Bone from Breaking Bad alum Moira Walley-Beckett to series after casting Black Swan's Sarah Hay in the leading role.

The drama centers on Claire (Hay), who has a distinctly troubled past, as she joins a prestigious ballet company in New York. The dark and gritty series will unflinchingly explore the dysfunction and glamor of the ballet world. Claire is further described as a beautiful, soulful and deeply emotionally wounded young woman who possesses an innate innocence and fragility while at the same time harboring self-destructive tendencies and a vaulting ambition. She is a transcendent ballerina, capable of reaching the sublime, but her inner torment and aspirations drive her in compelling, unforeseeable ways.

Walley-Beckett will pen the series and executive produce with Oscar nominee Lawrence Bender (Good Will Hunting), Kevin Brown (Roswell) and John Melfi (House of Cards). Royal New Zealand Ballet artistic director Ethan Stiefel will serve as a consultant and choreographer on the series.

Hay joins a cast that already includes former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Irina Dvorovenko, ABT soloist Sascha Radetsky, Ballet Arizona company dancer Raychel Diane Weiner and Boardwalk Empire's Emily Tyra.

Production will begin early this year for either a late 2014 or early 2015 debut.

"From the beginning, we all agreed this project could not go forward unless we found a world-class dancer who had the ability to convey the wildest range of emotions that Moira has written," Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said. "This is one of the most challenging and dynamic characters I have ever seen and am thrilled to say we found our Claire in Ms. Hay."

Added Walley-Beckett: "Finding the perfect Claire has been an almost impossible task. It was truly like looking for a unicorn because the demands of the role are so specific and challenging. I was looking for a beautiful and transcendent ballerina who is not only a brilliant dancer but also a gifted actress, and who also possesses a fierce curiosity and enthusiasm about the brave demands of the work. Sarah Hay embodies the role of Claire just as I dreamt her."