STARZ On Pointe Expands Original Programming Slate; Network Greenlights New Original Ballet Drama Series 'Flesh And Bone' From Emmy® Award-Winning Writer Moira Walley-Beckett EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY LAWRENCE BENDER, KEVIN BROWN AND JOHN MELFI SARAH HAY DANCES INTO LEAD ROLE
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Jan. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- STARZ announced today the greenlight of its next original drama series, "Flesh and Bone," created by Emmy award-winning "Breaking Bad" Writer and Executive Producer, Moira Walley-Beckett. "Flesh and Bone" follows a young ballet dancer, Claire, 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 glamour of the ballet world.
Acclaimed dancer Sarah Hay (Black Swan) has been cast in the lead role, joining an already stellar cast of world-renowned dancers, including former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Irina Dvorovenko and current soloist Sascha Radetsky, along with Royal New Zealand Ballet artistic director and former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Ethan Stiefel attached as choreographer.
"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 widest range of emotions that Moira has written," says Chris Albrecht, CEO of Starz. "This is one of the most challenging and dynamic characters I have even seen and am thrilled to say we found our 'Claire' in Ms. Hay."
Moira Walley-Beckett stated, "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. I'm very, very excited. Chris Albrecht and the team at Starz have been incredibly supportive of 'Flesh and Bone' since its inception. I can't wait to start filming! NYC here we come!"
Hay will portray young ballerina Claire, 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.
The project will be written by Moira Walley-Beckett and executive produced by Ms. Walley-Beckett and Starz, with Executive Producers Lawrence Bender (Oscar® nominated for Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting), Kevin Brown ("Roswell") and John Melfi ("Sex and the City," "House of Cards," "Nurse Jackie," "Rome"). Bender, Brown and Walley-Beckett all have connections to the world of ballet, which brought them together with Starz on this project. Bender and Walley-Beckett are former ballet dancers, and Brown's family is made up entirely of former ballet dancers, and their story was the basis for the Oscar-nominated film, The Turning Point.
Casting of "Flesh and Bone" by Telsey + Company.
Production is scheduled to begin in New York City in early 2014. "Flesh and Bone" is expected to debut on STARZ on 2015
Starz will retain all domestic and international multiplatform rights including television, home entertainment, and digital.
Moira Walley-Beckett Bio
As a Co-Executive Producer on "Breaking Bad," Moira Walley-Beckett recently received a PGA Award and a Golden Globe Award® and won a Primetime Emmy® in 2013 for Outstanding Drama Series. Previously, she was nominated for a 2013 Golden Globe Award®, two PGA Awards, a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series in 2012, and for the WGA Award for Outstanding Drama Series in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (and currently) 2014, resulting in wins in 2012 and 2013 for her work on "Breaking Bad." Ms. Walley-Beckett was also nominated for a PEN LITERARY award in 2010 for her episode of "Breaking Bad" entitled "Over."
Sarah Hay Bio
Hay has a distinguished background in dance that makes her uniquely qualified to star in the series. Her training began at the School of American Ballet at the age of eight, and she later attended the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Ballet at American Ballet Theatre. She was awarded scholarships for summer programs at Miami City Ballet, Chautauqua, and American Ballet Theatre. Her most influential teachers include Susan Jaffe, Cynthia Harvey, and Nancy Bielski.
In 2010, Ms. Hay was invited by Artistic Director, Aaron Watkin to join the Dresden Semperoper Ballett in Germany, and was promoted to soloist in 2012. During her first year in the company, she was chosen by Stijn Celis to perform the title role in Cinderella. Other principal and soloist roles with Semperoper Ballett have included Swanilda in Balanchine's Coppelia, Marie in Aaron Watkin's Nutcracker, principal dancer in Balanchine's Emeralds the pas de deux with Jiri Bubenicek in Ekman's Cacti, Forsythe's Handel II and Enemy in the Figure, Watkin's Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere and Swan Lake.
Sarah danced as a member of the Corps De Ballet in the Academy Award® winning Black Swan and is among the list of Capezio Athletes.
About the Cast
Ms. Hay joins a cast that includes former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Irina Dvorovenko as Kira; current American Ballet Theatre soloist Sascha Radetsky as Ross; Ballet Arizona company dancer Raychel Diane Weiner as Daphne; and Emily Tyra ("Boardwalk Empire") as Mia.
Ethan Stiefel, the artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, the star of the movies Center Stage and Center Stage: Turn It Up and principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre from 1997 till July 2012 is a consultant and choreographer on the series.
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels (Starz Networks), global content distribution (Starz Distribution) and animated television and movie production (Starz Animation), www.starz.com.
Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies. As of September 30, 2013, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 57.0 million subscribers, including 22.0 million at STARZ, and 35.0 million at ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S. STARZ® and ENCORE®, along with Starz Networks' third network MOVIEPLEX®, air more than 1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, complemented by On Demand and authenticated online offerings through STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, and MOVIEPLEX PLAY. Starz Distribution develops, produces and acquires entertainment content, distributing it to consumers globally on DVD, digital formats and traditional television. Starz Distribution's home video, digital media and worldwide distribution business units distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as entertainment content for itself and third parties. Starz Animation produces animated TV and movie content for studios, networks, distributors and audiences worldwide.