BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- STARZ announced today the involvement of internationally-renowned dancers in the original drama series "Flesh and Bone" (previously announced as an "Untitled Ballet Project") currently in development at the network, from award-winning "Breaking Bad" Writer and Co-Executive Producer, Moira Walley-Beckett. "Flesh and Bone" follows a young ballet dancer, Claire Robbins, 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.
The project will be written 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.
Ethan Stiefel has joined the project as consultant and choreographer on the series. Mr. Stiefel is the artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, the star of the movies Center Stage and Center Stage: Turn It Up and was a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre from 1997 till July 2012.
Joining the cast in key supporting roles are former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, Irina Dvorovenko, current American Ballet Theatre soloist Sascha Radetsky, Ballet Arizona company dancer Raychel Diane Weiner and Emily Tyra ("Boardwalk Empire"). National auditions are underway for the lead role of "Claire Robbins."
"The casting process of finding exceptional dancers to inhabit these roles has been incredibly creative and exciting," said creator and executive producer Ms. Walley-Beckett. "The verisimilitude of the project is of paramount importance to me. I want to be able to capture dance on film with complete integrity, authenticity and freedom. Not only are the dancers we've cast thus far brilliant company level artists, but they're also thrilling, intuitive actors. I'm inspired and optimistic about discovering the perfect 'Claire.'"
As a Co-Executive Producer on "Breaking Bad," Moira Walley-Beckett recently won a 2013 Primetime Emmy® for Outstanding Drama Series. 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 and 2013, 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."
Starz will retain all domestic and international multiplatform rights including television, home entertainment, and digital.
Former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT), Irina Dvorovenko was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and began her ballet training at the Kiev Ballet School at the age of ten. She joined the National Opera Ballet of Kiev in 1990 as a soloist, rising to the rank of principal dancer in 1992. Her repertoire with the National Opera Ballet included leading roles in many of the great classics: Gamzatti in "La Bayadère;" Kitri, the Queen of the Driads and Mercedes in "Don Quixote;" Giselle and Myrta in "Giselle;" Princess Aurora and Princess Florine in "The Sleeping Beauty;" Odette-Odile in "Swan Lake;" the Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Nutcracker;" and the title roles in "Cinderella" and "Paquita." She also performed pas de deux from "Le Corsaire," "Diana and Acteon" and "La Sylphide," as well as the "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux."
Ms. Dvorovenko also excels in contemporary choreography and has danced leading roles in many well-known contemporary productions. She has danced with the Finnish Ballet, the Australian Ballet, the New York City Opera Ballet, the Rome Opera Ballet, Teatro San Carlo in Napoli, Verona Ballet, the Universal Ballet, and with the Stars of the Bolshoi Ballet, and has performed in France, Germany, Spain, Japan, Moscow, Hungary, Finland, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Korea, China, Singapore and Taiwan. She has also appeared in various videos and television specials, including the PBS broadcast of the opening of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, in which she danced the Act II Pas de Deux from "Swan Lake."
Born in Santa Cruz, California, Radetsky began his ballet studies in the San Francisco Bay Area with Ayako Takahashi and Damara Bennett. At the age of 15, he was invited to study in Moscow at the Bolshoi Academy under the renowned men's teacher Pyotor Pestov. After a year in Russia, he studied at the Kirov Academy in Washington, D.C. under Roudolf Kharatian and Andrei Garbouz. He also studied at the summer programs of the School of American Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet School, the Bolshoi Academy at Vail, Colorado, and with Mikhail Baryshnikov at American Ballet Theatre's School of Classical Ballet.
Radetsky joined the corps de ballet of American Ballet Theatre in 1996 and was promoted to soloist in 2003. In 2008, he joined the Dutch National Ballet as a principal dancer, performing roles such as Albrecht in "Giselle," Basilio in "Don Quixote," and the Son in "Prodigal Son." He returned to ABT in 2010. Over the course of his career, Radetsky has danced the works of choreographers as such as George Balanchine, Fredrick Ashton, Michel Fokine, Mark Morris, Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Stanton Welch, William Forsythe, Benjamin Millipied, Kenneth MacMillan, Twyla Tharp, Jose Limon, Antony Tudor, John Cranko, Agnes de Mille, Jerome Robbins, Ann Reinking, Jorma Elo, Hans Van Manen, Jiri Kylian, and John Neumeier. He has created roles in ballets by Tharp, Morris, Welch, Elo, Millepied, Wheeldon, and Ratmansky.
Radetsky is a frequent teacher and performer in ballet galas and festivals throughout the world, and has appeared as a guest principal with companies such as The Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet San Jose, Ballet do Theatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro, and the Mongolian State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet. In 2012, he choreographed "Viragos" for Bucknell University's Department of Theatre and Dance.
Radetsky appeared as Charlie in Columbia Picture's feature film Center Stage, and starred in Mandy Moore's music video "I Wanna Be With You." He has written articles for Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, Shinshokan Dance Magazine, and Newsweek.
Raychel Diane Weiner
Raychel Diane Weiner is currently a dancer with Ballet Arizona. She began her training in Southern California under the direction of Diane Lauridsen and Charles Maple. She spent summers training under full scholarship with Houston Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and was one of 12 dancers selected to train with Ethan Stiefel for Stiefel Stars in Martha's Vineyard. Since becoming a professional, Raychel has had the honor of performing soloist and principal roles with many of the world's leading dancers and choreographers. Some of her most prized roles include: principal dancer in Alejandro Cerrudo's original work "Second to Last;" principal couple in Val Caniporoli's "Lamberana;" principal dancer in Robert Dekkers' "No One Does It Like You;" and principal couple in Trey McIntyre's "Speak," to name a few. Prior to joining Ballet Arizona under the direction of Ib Andersen, Raychel has also been a company member with St. Louis Ballet under the direction of Gen Horiuchi as well as Oregon Ballet Theater under the direction of Christopher Stowell. Raychel is currently a Principal dancer with Post: Ballet in San Francisco under the direction of Robert Dekkers during her off season.
Emily Tyra started her career at 17 with the Boston Ballet and James Sewell Ballet, before moving to New York to pursue a career on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut with Hugh Jackman in "Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway." She has also appeared in "The City Club," "Chaplin," and "Nice Work if You Can Get It," starring Matthew Broderick. She has appeared in HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" and in various awards shows, pilots, independent films and commercials.
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.