CBC Ballet Mockumentary ‘Off Kilter” is On Point

Raise your hand if you’ve ever watched a mockmentary show like ‘The Office’ and thought to yourself,  “wow, that annoying character is EXACTLY like my boss/ friend/ etc”?

Oh good, I’m not alone. You can put your hand down now. Congrats, you’ve completed my BRILLIANT choreography for this blog post.

Off Kilter via CBV.net

Which brings is to today’s topic, the new CBC dance-inspired mockumentary, ‘Off Kilter’. Here’s the basic premise:

The fictional Milton Frank—star of the new mockumentary series “Off Kilter”is a moody choreographer whose tender ego is easily bruised as he attempts to revive his floundering career

What has always been a funny conundrum about these mock shows is how we as the audience are able to laugh when the characters are insecure, insufferable, annoying. The kinds of situations that these idiots put us through in real life are for whatever reason, so funny when seen through the electric glare of our TV screens.

This is definitely the case with Off Kilter, which so perfectly encapsulates the stereotypes that are all too often true in the dance world. I particularly love the bit in episode 1 about which words the egotistical choreographer responds positively or negatively to. Yes, brilliant is in there. Also the sound effects he makes while choreographing.

Beyond the behavior of the characters, which is obviously intended to be funny, dissecting the BRILLIANT (there’s that word again) choreography poses more of a question. Because the show uses real dancers, the execution is quite beautiful. Sometimes the movement looks clichéd as if it’s poking fun of modern choreography and other times I think it’s actually good. Which just makes me wonder, is this part of the joke? Or is this good art? This seems to be the self struggle the central character deals with and one most creators can probably relate to. I know I can. For anyone interested in the creative process and how our creations live in the real world beyond our imaginations and egos, this is a valid question to raise and probably one that is best answered with a sense of humor.

If I’m honest, I see so many of my own annoying habits and idiosyncracies in this fake choreographer. But somehow, seeing it through the mirror of comedy and art makes it somewhat bearable. This show is not only a hilariously accurate caricature of the dance world, but a fun-house mirror that allows us to laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves too seriously.

More dance and video:

Here’s episode 1- The Denial. Enjoy!

And here is a link to the full series/playlist via the CBC YouTube Channel.

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