Curtain up for Starz ballet drama Flesh and Bone

Michelle Clancy | 28-01-2014

Starz has given the go-ahead to its next original drama series, Flesh and Bone, created by Breaking Bad writer and executive producer, Moira Walley-Beckett.

The show 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," the premium network said.

Dancer Sarah Hay (Black Swan) has been cast in the lead role, joining former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Irina Dvorovenko and current soloist Sascha Radetsky. 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," said 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."

According to Starz, Claire, is a beautiful, soulful and deeply emotionally wounded young woman who possesses an innate innocence and fragility while at the same time harbouring 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.

"Finding the perfect 'Claire' has been an almost impossible task," Walley-Beckett said. "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!"

Production is scheduled to begin in New York City in early 2014. Flash 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.