A New Podcast From Rococo Punch and iHeartPodcasts Offers a Rare Glimpse Into the Insular World of Ballet and the Complex Relationship Dancers Have with the Art Form and Culture

Season Two of the Award-Winning Investigative Series – The Turning – Set to Launch on January 24, 2023; Listen to the official audio trailer now HERE


Much of ballet culture in America stems from the artistry and experience of world-renowned choreographer George Balanchine, who brought ballet to the next level in the United States, creating an entirely new aesthetic and understanding of movement. Despite his genius, he also controlled — and, some would argue, abused — a string of very young muses, even marrying several of them. He created a culture where a male choreographer could grow dancers into obedient “vessels” to be molded into whatever the choreographer wanted. What was the cost of bringing these ballets to life? How far does Balanchine’s shadow extend beyond himself?  

Now in season two of their investigative podcast series – THE TURNING: Room of Mirrors – Rococo Punch, the independent audio production studio, and iHeartRadio, America’s #1 audio company, team up to follow the lives of former, current, and aspiring dancers as they define their complex relationship with the art form they cannot live without. While the image of ballet in modern America is one of delicacy, beauty and status, underneath this elegant veneer is a challenging culture, one that is far more extreme than outsiders might imagine and more complex than insiders may initially realize. It’s a society founded on the culture of a single male leader exerting his control over young women.

With this new season, host Erika Lantz returns to explore a more nuanced look at an insulated world through stories of the women who set the stage for what we know as ballet today. The dancers open up to her about what it means to fully dedicate oneself to an unforgiving yet intoxicating pursuit, and reveal the physical and mental demands inside ballet.  Lantz looks at cultural scripts around gender, race, genius, beauty, body image, and more. Who created the ballet body and how does it persist in modern dance today? What does it mean to perfect “The Line” in ballet? Having studied ballet for 10 years beginning at age 4, Lantz weaves in her own experience and unique perspective.

Coming off the heels of critically acclaimed podcast shows Welcome to Provincetown and Finding Raffi, Rococo Punch and iHeartPodcasts is set to launch THE TURNING: Room of Mirrors on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.  Already named one of Vulture’s “Most Anticipated Podcasts of 2023,” THE TURNING: Room of Mirrors is distributed by iHeartPodcasts and available on the iHeartRadio app and everywhere podcasts are heard.

About Erica Lantz: 

Erika Lantz is a senior producer at Rococo Punch and the host of podcast The Turning. In the first season of The Turning, her reporting on the experiences of former nuns who left Mother Teresa’s religious order won the Livingston Award for International Reporting, the first podcast to do so. Before Rococo Punch, Erika worked at PRX, WBUR, and APM and freelanced as an independent producer and editor. Her work has aired on Snap Judgment, NPR’s All Things Considered, Here & Now, APM, and the CBC, among others. She aims for musicality and emotional depth in her work, which has won national awards for innovation in audio storytelling, including a National Edward R. Murrow Award, recognition from the Gracies and Third Coast International Audio Festival, and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award for feature reporting.

About Rococo Punch:

Rococo Punch is an independent podcast production company specializing in exquisite sound design and thoughtful content. Current projects range from investigative journalism to game shows to chat-casts. The team developed some of the most listened-to podcasts, reaching millions of people around the world. Among the shows they helped create include the Gracie-award-winning The Turning: The Sisters Who Left, Welcome to Provincetown, Finding Raffi, Queen Of Hearts, Modern Love: The Podcast, and Servant of Pod. Follow @RococoPunch on Twitter and visit www.rococopunch.com for more information.

About iHeartMedia, Inc.

iHeartMedia (NASDAQ: IHRT) is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month. It consists of three business groups.

With its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, the iHeartMedia Multiplatform Group has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. Its leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms, including more than 860 live broadcast stations in over 160 markets nationwide; its National Sales organization; and the company’s live and virtual events business. It also includes Premiere Networks, the industry’s largest Networks business, with its Total Traffic and Weather Network (TTWN); and BIN: Black Information Network, the first and only 24/7 national and local all news audio service for the Black community. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics, targeting and attribution for its marketing partners with its SmartAudio suite of data targeting and attribution products using data from its massive consumer base.

The iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group includes the company’s fast-growing podcasting business -- iHeartMedia is the number one podcast publisher in downloads, unique listeners, revenue and earnings -- as well as its industry-leading iHeartRadio digital service, available across more than 500 platforms and 2,000 devices; the company’s digital sites, newsletters, digital services and programs; its digital advertising technology companies; and its audio industry-leading social media footprint.

The company’s Audio & Media Services reportable segment includes Katz Media Group, the nation’s largest media representation company, and RCS, the world's leading provider of broadcast and webcast software.

Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.