News: Black Swan body double row

Tuesday 29 March 2011

'Black Swan' Film directed by Darren Aronofsky. Starring Natalie Portman

Hollywood studio Fox Searchlight denies claims that Natalie Portman only performed a small amount of the dance moves featured in Black Swan

American Ballet Theatre soloist Sarah Lane claims that there has been a ‘cover-up’ about how much of the dancing in the film is actually Natalie Portman,

“Portman’s fiancé and the film’s choreographer stated that “85 per cent of that movie is Natalie”, but body double Sarah Lane said she performed the intricate dance sequences.”
Telegraph, 27 March.11

“the disgruntled dancer is exacting a fearsome revenge. In a series of interviews, Lane has claimed that she performed in 95 per cent of the critically acclaimed dance scenes in the Darren Aronofsky film, in which Portman plays a psychotic ballet dancer.”
Guy Adams, Independent, 28 March.11

Lane insists that only 5% of the full body shots in the film are of Portman,

“I mean, from a professional dancer’s standpoint, she doesn’t look like a professional ballet dancer at all and she can’t dance in pointe shoes. And she can’t move her body, she’s very stiff.”
Ben Child, Guardian, 28 March.11

Darren Aronofsky, director of Black Swan, explains that 80-90% of the dancing in the final film was performed by Portman “I had my editor count shots. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie Portman untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math, that’s 80% Natalie Portman.” Ben Child, Guardian, 29 March.11

Luke Jennings asks, what does it matter if Portman did not do all the dancing?

“Underlying all of this is a clash of cultures: that of Hollywood, with its colossal paychecks, and the pinched, underfunded world of ballet…It seems obvious to me as a critic how much of the movement ascribed to Portman’s character is actually performed by a professional…Portman acted well in Black Swan, but if she has failed to acknowledge Lane’s contribution, she may have acted pretty gracelessly too.”
Guardian, 30 March.11

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