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Starz Orders Gritty Ballet Drama Starring 'Black Swan' Dancer

January 28, 2014 (8:45 am) GMT
Sarah Hay is cast in the lead role on new series 'Flesh and Bone' from 'Breaking Bad' writer Moira Walley-Beckett.

After pirates, ballerinas are heading to Starz next. The network has ordered a new drama series titled "" about a young ballet dancer, who has a distinctly troubled past, as she joins a prestigious ballet company in New York.

The "dark and gritty" show will "unflinchingly explore the dysfunction and glamour of the ballet world." It is created and executive produced by Moira Walley-Beckett, who was serving as a writer and producer on AMC's "".

Starz gave the ballet drama a greenlight after dancer Sarah Hay ("") was cast in the lead role of Claire. "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 Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. "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."

Walley-Beckett adds, "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."

Claire is 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."

Production on the new series will begin early this year in New York City for a 2015 premiere.

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