Flesh and Bone: Season 1 (2015)

Season 1
Flesh and Bone

Critics Consensus

Its nuanced female relationships makes Flesh and Bone a realistic portrayal of a professional ballet company, though it suffers from a lack of levity.



Critic Ratings: 37


Audience Score

User Ratings: 189

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Air date: Nov 8, 2015

Premiere of a drama about a troubled young dancer who lands a job with a prestigious ballet company in New York City, where she deals with a mercurial artistic director with whom she has a history.

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Air date: Nov 15, 2015

Claire's efforts to sever ties with her brother hit a snag when he comes looking for her; Paul hires a cutting-edge choreographer; and an aging prima ballerina schemes to remain in the spotlight.

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Air date: Nov 22, 2015

Despite financial woes, the show goes on as the new choreographer inpires the troupe, but irks Paul. Meanwhile, Claire looks into the strip club and Bryan arrives in town.

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Air date: Nov 29, 2015

Claire tries to eliminate Bryan from her New York City life, while getting more involved in the strip-club world. Mia's pains continue and Ross is in tune with Paul's insecurity.

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Air date: Dec 6, 2015

Claire and Kiira compete to become the face of the troupe's season; Mia fears her eating disorder is causing serious damage; and Sergei's interest in Claire is becoming clearer.

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Air date: Dec 13, 2015

As Thanksgiving nears, neurotic Paul has the dancers on edge, while Claire heads home to visit her ailing father and Bryan, whom she hasn't seen since their frightening encounter in New York.

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Air date: Dec 20, 2015

Opening night approaches and Paul is faced with setbacks that he blames on Toni. Meanwhile, Kiira comes to an important decision; and Romeo makes a prophecy that disturbs a seriously insecure Claire.

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Air date: Dec 27, 2015

In the Season 1 finale, Kiira makes a decision that throws opening night into disarray; the spotlight is thrown on a surprised Daphne as Claire soars to artistic heights and Romeo's prophecy comes to the fore.

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Flesh and Bone: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

A drama miniseries that follows Claire Robbins (Sarah Hay), a troubled young dancer who lands a job with a prestigious ballet company in New York City, where she deals with a mercurial artistic director with whom she has a history.

Cast & Crew

Sarah Hay
Patrick Page
Sergei Zelenkov
Emily Tyra
Mia Bialy
Kar Will
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News & Interviews for Flesh and Bone: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Flesh and Bone Season 1

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (24)

Flesh and Bone, from Emmy-winning Moira Walley-Beckett, is watchable and often captivating.

Nov 9, 2015 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Portentous and pretentious, Starz's new prestige drama Flesh and Bone, about the cutthroat world of ballet, could have been watchable had it fully embraced the camp into which it occasionally pirouettes.

Nov 9, 2015 | Rating: D+ | Full Review…

Unfortunately the end result is a cast of supporting characters that fall flat without the proper development, and a lead that never quite opens up to the audience.

Nov 9, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

To be fair, there are some beautiful dance sequences with graceful moves that are gloriously lit, complete with soaring music, but on the whole, Flesh and Bone tries oh so hard to be dark and moody and brooding that it overloads on those elements.

Nov 9, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

There is rivalry, sexual harassment and pole dancing. A schizophrenic homeless man sometimes seems like the most well-balanced character. All this is frequently hard to watch, but also impossibly addictive... breaking away proved difficult.

Nov 9, 2015 | Full Review…

At eight 60-minute-long episodes, it's hopelessly and frustratingly padded. Walley-Beckett's point is still hard to discern, but whatever it is, it's not worth the time.

Nov 6, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Outside of the dancing, thereÂ's very little about this show that is especially pretty, and yet it still makes for riveting television.

Nov 10, 2015 | Full Review…

Fledgling actress Sarah Hay shines as a troubled young ballerina on the cusp of stardom.

Nov 10, 2015 | Full Review…

All in all, there's a lot to recommend here, especially if the world of ballet fascinates or remotely interests you, but possibly even if it doesn't that much.

Nov 9, 2015 | Full Review…

Flesh and Bone may not focus solely on ballet, but it's still an artistic achievement in both performance and execution.

Nov 9, 2015 | Full Review…

This drama is uncommonly wise in the ways a naive, frightened young girl might feel, and how she might be able to stretch and grow once ridding herself of some past baggage.

Nov 9, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Ironically, given its fleet-footed subjects, Flesh and Bone is one of the most ungainly dramas to come along in quite some time, letting far too many of its narrative spinning plates come crashing down after eight protracted hours.

Nov 8, 2015 | Rating: 4/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Flesh and Bone: Season 1

  • Aug 28, 2020
    I was excited after the 1st episode. After that it was downhill. The heroine should have had way more backbone, grit, toughness and survival skills. She didn't. In the 1st episode we learn that Claire had a disturbing past with an abusive brother who was way too much into her. I thought, great! That would have, should have been the crucible which formed a very tough, self reliant fighter... somebody who could deal with her art director at the American ballet company who was a narcissist, and extremely abusive person towards his dancers.What we get here is an oldy moldy hackneyed theme of women being used and abused. She was easily manipulated and it was just plain nauseatingly. You could tell it was directed by men.
  • Jul 15, 2019
    I feel like I wasted my time with this show. I thought it was going to get better. Maybe even be an allegory for sexual assault or the rich versus the poor but it didn't make it's point. It was gross and disgusting her falling in love with her brother. There are better ways to portray something and this just fell flat.
  • Jul 28, 2018
    Bizarre, dark, and basic. Good dancing
  • Aug 07, 2017
    I keep watching this for the ballet sequences and the dance story but the narrative of ths series constantly diverges into melodramatic soap and gratuitous sex scenes. This show is so badly written I was dumbfounded to discover the same person wrote the Ozymandias epiosde of Breaking Bad.
  • Mar 22, 2017
    Love it! Ballet 5 stars
  • Jun 26, 2016
    Elegant, mysterious, well acted and brilliantly danced.
  • Jan 18, 2016
    This slickly-made mini series has beautiful actors, excellent photography, fine direction, and some nicely staged ballet. But the soap opera storyline is preposterous and to call this "a realistic portrayal of a professional ballet company" is ignorant and insulting to the ballet world.
  • Jan 10, 2016
    It's Awesome - if you like ballet in anyway you will like Flesh and Bone
  • Jan 03, 2016
    I have always found the Starz tier cable network to be an amazing source of original content. Like most of the upper echelon of the cable programming lineup, Starz began his existence providing subscribers with hit movies and unlike some of the early competitors, the network featured notably recent films. Over the last few years they have enhanced their reputation by featuring original content is television series that have distinguished themselves with shows that take the audience to strange and exotic locations. Warnings were able to experience the Salem witch trials the 16th-century or hunt for treasure of board a pirate ship one of the most popular series to ancient Rome gladiator sport to death for the amusement of the upper class and common folk alike. No matter where one of the a series takes you can be certain that it is going to be an exciting experience some of the most intriguing characters of you have ever followed on television. This is a series, ‘Flesh and Bone’, which will take its viewers into the highly competitive world of ballet. I was immediately captivated by the raw fiercely cutthroat nature of this form of artistic expression. It depicted the level of brutality that combines masochistic drive for perfection in your art with the willingness to sabotage any other performer in your troop threatens the advancement of your status. Many ways the tropes and archetypes used in this series there were striking resemblance to the classic sports movie. An underdog the trouble past the enormous talent get the shot for the big time in addition to overcoming everything are stacked against him also has to know the members of his team greeted him with little more than animosity. Instead of a baseball uniform or boxer’s trunks these highly trained professional athletes are very leotards and toe shoes. The point is driven home with one of the first scenes of the opening episode that shows a dancer meticulously preparing her ballet slippers bending them burning the tips ensuring they have the right combination of flexibility in substance to make the move she’s about to perform seem effortless and beautiful. Claire Robbins (Sarah Hay) has always wanted to be a ballet dancer. Now at 21 years of age circumstances of the life and forced her to dare to make drastic changes. The first time we see Claire she is a Pittsburgh apartment bedroom hastily throwing clothing and some belongings into a suitcase. Matt is brutally giving his fist against the door of the bedroom shouting at the top of his lungs as Claire slips out the bedroom window rushing down the fire escape. He manages to catch the next train to New York City and arrived just in time one open audition for a spot in the prestigious American Ballet Company. Like the thousands of other young women in attendance Claire had a ruling long day ahead. As if the emotional strain she is suffering of escaping an abusive home life is also nursing a very bad injury big toe. He is initially about to be dismissed but before she leaves something about her catches the eye of the artistic director of the company, Paul Grayson (Ben Daniels). As Claire finishes her routine, ignoring the pain in her foot you can see a glimmer of something in Grayson’s eyes, a nascent talent with exceptional potential. She is accepted into the company having made no provisions for where to stay in our haste to get into the city she is assigned a room by the company. A roommate is not at all happy to see her, not only does she have to share her with another young woman but is now another performer in the competition for the featured roles in the performances. The pressure is intense on all the dances increasing exponentially as the long days of rehearsal wear on. It is obvious to everyone in the company the Grayson already considers Claire to be a greater potential than anyone else in the group. This only serves to further alienate her from fellow dancers with one rather strange exception, Daphne Kensington (Raychel Diane Weiner). As Claire is leaving one night she notices one of the dances outside smoking a cigarette. Daphne was already considered an outsider by most of the other dancers due to her rebellious attitude. Later find out that she is from the privileged family is a native New Yorker. Daphne takes Claire to a place where she works to experience a different form of dancing; a strip club. Upon Daphne removal of her leotard Claire is amazed by what she sees on her new friend’s body. There’s a colorful tattoo of a peacock that extends down hold upside from roughly under arm all the way to her thigh. The normal pressures surrounding opening a new season are greatly enhanced when Paul announces that he is not going to do one of the traditional ballets the company is well known for. Instead he is having a new ballet composed and he will premiere it with the opening of the new season. He imagines to himself that Claire would have the featured role in this new work of art. Supporting my hypothesis that this miniseries has much in common typical sports movie the various art types of supporting characters are found. Current champion hiding the diminishing prowess and rolling injuries is represented by the current prima ballerina Kiira (Irina Dvorovenko). She is past her crime as far as ballet goes is doing her best to conceal a career ending injury. Each of the younger ballerinas openly praise over her was secretly imagining her falling off the stage and breaking a leg. As part of the new performance, Toni Cannava (Marina Benedict) is brought in as the new choreographer for the dance company. The trepidation over the new material is personified by Toni was a hard taskmaster as one would expect by someone in her position. Aside from the analogy to sports films the themes presented here are so highly reminiscent of the subject very popular during the Golden age of Hollywood; the aspiring star. Young ingénue comes from a small town the big city determined to become a star and is forced to face the realities of life and the unexpected demands placed upon her. Aside from a boyfriend she left back home and overprotective brother, Claire is pretty much allowed to focus on her dancing. Following Daphne’s lead she does go into the strip club as an escape of find yourself getting deeper and deeper into that world. What helps immensely with this show is the fact that most of the cast on newcomers to acting but not professional dance. There is no way to fake the movement and body language of a highly trained ballerina. You could tell that these are actually trained dances not just by how they move during their performances but in the nuances of their movements during regular activities. Starz has also embraced the new means of presentation that is currently becoming more popular; the limited series. There are eight episodes of this story makes it a little too long to call miniseries but much shorter than a regular television season. The advantage to this methodology is that the story does have a definitive beginning middle and end and is no concern by the writers and producers to arrive at some contrivance to carry the story artificially over to the next season. What the network has presented is a occasionally flawed but mostly well-crafted story that will hold your attention in the very first moment already through to the final closing credits.
  • Dec 30, 2015
    I give it 2.5 stars only due to the fact that the ballet scenes are beautiful, out of that this series in not worth it. Boring, it doesn't keep my attention, without the ballet it is a waste of time.

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