Starz is looking to delve into the hidden side of the world of professional ballet with a new project from Breaking Bad’s Moira Walley-Beckett and Oscar-nominated feature film executive producer Lawrence Bender (Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction). The untitled drama will focus on a young dancer at a professional ballet company in New York.

The project promises to look at the dark and dysfunctional underbelly of the world of ballet through the eyes of Claire, who has joined a New York company and has some serious trouble in her past. Although the surface of the ballet world is beauty and grace, it’s also a highly competitive and serious world as well, and this drama seems to be willing to take an honest look at it.

In addition to Walley-Beckett and Bender who are both executive producing, the show will have a third executive producer as well, Roswell’s Kevin Brown. The three all have an intimate knowledge of the ballet world. Both Bender and Walley-Beckett are former dancers themselves, while Brown comes from a family of dancers – in fact, his family was the basis for the ballet film The Turning Point, which was nominated for an Oscar. All of that knowledge should serve the project well, as it’s definitely a world only an insider could have a chance of portraying properly.

This project seems to have a different feel from what Starz is best known for, such as Spartacus and the upcoming Da Vinci’s Demons, and yet still feels like a good fit. Certainly a deep exploration of the darker side of the ballet world is well suited to premium cable, where there is freedom to push boundaries.

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