Another dancer watches “the Black Swan”

by Henrik on January 9, 2011

So I’ve seen the Black Swan, the movie I was so eagerly waiting for.. And I have to say, in advance, I think I misunderstood…

You see, after reading all the articles on this film, hearing famous people takes on the movie and so on (someone please tell me why it takes two months for a flick to reach central Europe?! It’s embarrassing), I was expecting a thriller that would blow my mind, and show me some world-class ballet while doing it. But as I said, I guess I misunderstood.

the poster for Natalie Portmans famous movie, the black swan, by daren aronofsky

…her make-up was cool, though…

The Black Swan is a good thriller! Not the best I’ve seen, certainly didn’t blew my mind, but it’s a good movie! Portman is great as ever, and really manages to capture the “innocence” (however extremely over-exaggerated, but that’s not her fault) you definitely find in many ballerinas around the world.

My biggest objection to the movie is really in the ballet-backdrop. Now, don’t give me the “oh, but he’s a dancer, he can’t watch the movie objectively, he has to comment on the lack of filming Portmans legs or her bad port de bras or (insert fitting phrase)” or anything down that road. As a dancer, I know how hard my profession is. I know you can’t learn it in a couple of months. I don’t need to see if Portman is turned out or not, it doesn’t interest me. If she could dance ballet like the star her role is supposed to be in the movie, she’d be at the Covent Garden. And Matt Damon would be out doing tactical missions for some secret agency. Not to mention Bruce Willis…

No, my objection is in the way ballet-dancers are portrayed in the movie. Again (maybe it’s because of my bad vocabulary?! After all, us dancers, we rather dance than talk, right?!) I have to use the word over-exaggerated. Ballerina’s don’t wear a bun in the street. Sometimes, they actually do think of other things than ballet, and I have still to meet a colleague that does fouette-turns in her apartment at nighttime. Yes, some directors have a strict regime, and may expect their dancers not to wear warm-ups in class. But everyone stripping as he enters the room? I don’t think so. The sexual harassment part can be found in any workingplace, so also in the ballet world, but I doubt many directors jumps their ballerinas in the wings. It’s just too dramatical.

sex, sexual harassment,

Sexual harassment in the theatre is actually something I have been wanting to write about for a long time. It's just a very hard, complicated and difficult topic to write about…

My point is, if you were to portrayal a lawyer, you wouldn’t want to use ALL the impressions people have of the lawyer, wearing a suit, a briefcase, sleeps with his assistant and so on. Your viewers would be bored, and disappointed when you failed to show them something they didn’t already expect. Because people are familiar with lawyers. They’ve seen that movie. All credit to Aronofsky for choosing a backdrop somewhat different than what we usually see in the horror/thriller section of the videotech. But did you really had to use all of the prejudices? Portman puking, her mom going loco, the pointe-shoe-treatment, the Lily-character (although, Mila Kunis did a fantastic job, she plays really well!) – I could go on forever. I was just waiting for Nina’s super-gay co-worker to show up to make the book complete. When he didn’t, I’d normally say “yay, go Darren, putting in some for the male dancers”. But after watching this parade of prejudices – which, if you think about it, is really just bad research – I can’t help myself but think that it would have been there, hadn’t it been a touchy subject – and you don’t want touchy subjects if you’re going for the masses…

As a horror-movie, I think the Black Swan was absolutely worth the money. No movie I’d see twice in a theatre, but well enough, well shot and viewable. As a ballet-dancer, I’m disappointed. I would even say insulted. But I won’t, because then I would just add in the last of the clichés – that dancers are sensitive, easily-insulted-artist-people. That one you could have putten in there, Darren, that one is actually pretty true!

Black Swan plays in a theatre stageing the ballet The Swan Lake. Know the story?

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

David January 9, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Good review. I definitely think expectations have a lot to do with how we view it. I enjoyed, but yeah, I agree, it played up all the typical ballet stereotypes. Which is kind of crazy. I don’t know how ballet has carried that image for so long. I guess it is a testament to ballet dancers as performers for making everyone think that off stage they must not be human, and are some super-focused person with no personality.

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Henrik January 9, 2011 at 11:07 pm

I never thought of it that way, that the impressions can actually be a “statement” of the level of performance. But when I think of it, I kind of think the same to many artists and athletes, “I’m sure they eat, live and breath what they are doing”. Which is probably true, but they have a life as well, I’m sure :)
I enjoyed the movie, I was just disappointed in the way he presents dancers.. On the other hand, it IS a thriller, I guess a picture of the joys of dancing just somehow would feel a little strange in it all….

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Linda January 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Hi Henrik!

Guess I am your first commenter :) (or at least until I publish this comment)

Gotta say, as a movie every single person has the right to like it or dislike it, however with this particular movie I have found the reactions coming from dancers to be very interesting. Though I agree that Aronofsky placed every single cliché into one movie/character, at the end he was creating a piece of fiction, a dramatisation and a movie that was HIS, and NOT a documentary. Why should he be held accountable for people’s expectations if he was creating something that was not supposed to reflect reality, but he was constructing something that had to feel “realistic”? Also, if he had made a character that was a twenty-something high-flying Harvard student living with her crazy mum with an eating disorder issue, we would be saying that the character is a poor girl ridden with issues; we wouldn’t be talking clichés and we wouldn’t be questioning why the screenwriter crammed so many problems in one person only.

Being disappointed by the movie because it wasn’t good is very different to being disappointed by the portrayal of dancers on film, but then, given Aronofsky picked an actress and not a dancer for his main character, that alone should say enough about the type of story he wanted to create, and also being an award winning director (and having done The Wrestler which was almost a documentary – he said so himself), it would be wrong to accuse him of being a lazy researcher.

You said: “If you were to portrayal a lawyer, you wouldn’t want to use ALL the impressions people have of the lawyer (…) Your viewers would be bored, and disappointed when you failed to show them something they didn’t already expect”

I disagree with this. People tune to shows like Law & Order, House, Gray’s Anatomy, CSI, and given the ratings of such shows, I think we can conclude that people are not bored and do we believe they give an accurate portrayal of doctors/lawyers/crime scene investigators? Hell no! Just because I am a physicist (and a theoretical physicist on top of it), does it mean I have to feel offended by the depictions of physicists in The Big Bang Theory? Well, I’m not, I actually find them funny and it would be silly to think that all physicists are incapable of social interactions. It might be that lawyers, doctors, crime scene investigators are disappointed with the portrayal of their profession on TV/Film but then again, those shows are dramas and there is creative freedom after all.

Then to your last point:

“As a horror-movie, I think the Black Swan was absolutely worth the money. No movie I’d see twice in a theatre, but well enough, well shot and viewable. As a ballet-dancer, I’m disappointed. I would even say insulted. ”

Well, I think Black Swan was presented as a horror movie by its creator, and as a psychological thriller by the studio. To say Black Swan is a movie about ballet is akin to saying that Indiana Jones is a movie about archeology. Yes, BS has to do with Swan Lake and yes, it includes dancers, but it stops there. You acknowledged that much when you mention the phrase “ballet backdrop”. I don’t think it was ever presented as a ballet movie and dancers should probably give the audiences the benefit of the doubt…I’d think most movie-goers won’t leave the theatre believing dancers are crazy people with mothers that fill their rooms with portraits and have pink bedrooms with stuffed animals all over the place!

Anyway, those are my points. I agree with you though, that BS is not the best thriller out there and personally, could have done with more dancing but I see that was not the main point of the film (and I am biased because any movie that has Winona is a good movie on my book ;) ).

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Henrik January 9, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Lot of good points here!!

I agree that the movie is Aronofsky’s, and I can appreciate that he don’t have to make it realistic. I know a correct portrayal of a dancers life and work isn’t his job, or not necessarily, screen-writers takes freedoms, and I’m fine with that.
You make a very good point comparing the BS to shows like CSI, and you are undoubtfully true about that people don’t necessarily think it gives the correct impression of a real crime-scene investigators life. In fact, I think most people appreciate the drama in the show, although knowing that the actual process is a lot different.
But, unfortunately, my experience tells me something else when talking about ballet. Still, lots of people just has no clue what so ever as to what we’re doing, or how a dancers life is. When they see films like BS, I don’t know why, but I feel they suddenly believe much more of the stuff they see. I know thats not Aronofsky’s problem, but it’s still mine. I still live in a world where, when presenting what I do for a living to someone unfamiliar with it, I get the weirdest reactions. Not as much negative, as just strange. People seem to believe the craziest stuff.. But maybe I just meet the weirdoes?!

That said, I actually ment what I wrote in the first line – I did misunderstand. Or, what I didn’t realize, was the same fact you mention with Indiana Jones (great example, by the way) – that this movie is not a dance-movie. In retrospect, the casting does say a lot. Even though, I was hoping for a movie filled with beautiful dance. Which there wasn’t..

Anyhow, I think the “psychological thriller” fits way better than the “horror” (but wouldn’t a rose by any other name…), simply because, well, frankly, I wasn’t too horrified :) Aronofsky is a great director, some of his films are absolutely in my top-list, including the mentioned “the wrestler” – genius. BS for me is far from his best movies, but a good movie indeed.

Thank you for sharing your opinions! I appreciate it! And there is a good thing to this circus as well – at least, ballet is on everyones lips nowadays. All pr is good pr, right?!
H

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Andreas January 9, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Yeah, you may be sensitive but movies over exaggerate very often, that’s the point, a movie can’t be too blurry. black swan sounds so devilish:P

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Henrik January 9, 2011 at 11:10 pm

I think the title is actually really good – it plays on the dark sides of the role of Odette/Odile, and if you see the movie, the role is indeed dark – one might say Black, even… :) And you are probably right, I am a sensitive artist, after all :P

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Seven of Nine Davids January 10, 2011 at 1:21 am

I didn’t see this movie. When it shows on regular cable TV, I will watch it. I really wasn’t in the mood to be dragged through dark chic flick drama this holiday season, even if my support for the movie is vital to the very future existance of ballet. :P

I decided instead to see something cheerful in 3D, “The Chronicles of Narnia. The Dawn Threader” which I enjoyed immensely. I don’t feel bad about this because of all my other support. I support ballet a lot. I buy ballet performance DVDs, ballet movie DVDs, books, performance tickets, t-shirts, calendars and coffee mugs.

Understandably, because it was a ballet movie starring one of the most powerful women in Hollywood, all ballet companies wanted to ride the wave of success. I have read that some ballet companies have had a large jump in the number of adults taking ballet.

Maybe one day ballet will be as popular as ice skating and gymnastics and be shown on TV on the weekends. Olympic gymnasts and ice skaters have been on TV on the weekends in the U.S. where they do their thing to dance music … but I haven’t seen any ballets on TV. :(

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Henrik January 10, 2011 at 7:39 am

I don’t really think supporting the “blakc Swan” is the most vital thing you can do for “the future existence of ballet” :) I know you are supporting ballet a lot, I remember your Nutcrakcers, and that, my friend, going to the theaters, is the way to really support – and enjoy ballet!!!!
Obviously, the ballet world, and the online dance-blog community for that matter (yep, that includes me as well) wants to ride the wave. I don’t write about every new movie in the cinemas. If I did, my blog would have had hell-of-a-lot more readers, but wouldn’t at all be about what I am interested in – dance. But when given an opportunity…

The day Ballet is featured on TV as Ice Skating or gymnasts (Not to compare the three – Ballet is art!), I will be a very happy man. I know we are far from it, but one can hope?!
Thanks for your thoughts!
H

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Jørgen January 10, 2011 at 1:59 am

A very good rewiev, Henrik! One should think that you have learned something about writing rewievs from somebody… :-) !! Do you remember that I was skeptic after having seen the trailer? I think I can “know a louse from the way it moves” (english translation of a norwegian saying)

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Henrik January 10, 2011 at 7:42 am

Thank you P! :) One may sure think that, yes… (both my parents are journalists, so I guess thats where I picked up the habit). Translations of Norwegian sayings rarely works in english, but I get it – knowing the original saying :) Gid

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Jørgen January 10, 2011 at 2:28 am

Ps:
1) It’s seldom a person who knows an environment from the inside really likes a film trying to tell a story from that same environment.
2) Be happy to be a sensitive artist!
3) review, of course, sorry for wrong spelling

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Mara January 10, 2011 at 7:42 am

If people don’t know much about something in reality, they’ll always believe at least ‘some’ of what they see in the movies. So I think you’re right about thinking that those who don’t know better will at least wonder if some of those cliches are true.

I think maybe Aronofsky’s been reading to much Edward Stewart ;)

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Henrik January 10, 2011 at 7:46 am

Good to hear I’m not the only one :) I know I’m being overprotective of my little ballet-baby, but unfortunately, my experiences tells me people needs to be feeded with a tea-spoon when it comes to learning truths about ballet…
I really need to do more reading – I know of Stewards book, but I haven’t read it.. Is it any good?

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Mara January 20, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Definitely worth reading. The writing was quite good. But…and it’s a big big but…full of all the exact type of cliches.
Overbearing, control freak mother.
Eating disorders.
Unhealthy obsession.
Everyone bitchy and hates everyone else.
The main character, however, seems to be the only truly stable person.

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Henrik January 20, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I don’t know if going raving mad, killing yourself and so on, qualifies for truly stable person in my book :) But yes, it’s full of cliché… Anyway, I think, as a movie, it’s ok, I especially like the shots and the lightning! :)

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Mara January 21, 2011 at 9:31 am

What?! No. LOL!! Not Natalie Portman. I meant the main character of the Edward Stewart book.

I just don’t understand why, if people argue that BS is not ‘about’ ballet, but rather just another thriller that happens to involve a psycho who happens to be a dancer, and therefore we shouldn’t be overly sensitive about the cliches…why then is the entire ballet world constantly promoting it? I don’t get it.

Do chainsaw suppliers promote Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

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Henrik January 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Lol, haha – now I get it :) have to read that book, alright :)

Finally – some good point in this (silly) discussion – totally true. Chainsaw suppliers probably DONT want to be associated with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, so shouldn’t ballet want to be associated with the Black Swan – technically speaking!!!

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Kirsten January 10, 2011 at 8:28 am

I can’t comment on the actual content on the movie because it wont screen in New Zealand until the very end of January. =’(

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Henrik January 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I know, it’s so stupid that the movies take so long to “get around”. Be sure to drop me a line once you seen it, will you? :)

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Kirsten January 29, 2011 at 2:31 am

It was good. There was not enough ballet as the boy I had talked into seeing it with me liked it more than I did! As it wasn’t a ‘ballet movie’ (an example of a ‘ballet move’ would be Centre Stage or La Danse – Le Ballet de l’Opera de Paris) it didn’t encourage too many misconceptions about dancers. Nina seemed to vomit when nervous rather than vomitting up what she ate. Overall, I think it was a very clever twist on the normal psychological thrillers and that people should really stop complaining about the cliches which they chose to see.

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Henrik January 29, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Well – I still feel there was a cliché or two too much in there. But we’re all allowed our opinions, right!?! As a psychological thriller, I think the movie just wasn’t intriguing enough – I didn’t ‘feel’ it.. But again, that’s just me…

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Leo January 11, 2011 at 11:40 am

Unfortunately I am in the same boat and I am eagerly awaiting this movie’s release in Australia at the end of the month.

It’s interesting to hear your review before I go into it, it is a very hyped movie and I hope that when I see it, it will live up to its Oscar Nominated hype. I love Natalie Portman as an actress and its a fiction based around the ballet world (very loosely from what you seem to say) which I love seeing.

What I am curious about is the level of ballet portrayed given that these actresses probably only trained intensively for months rather than the ridiculous years that a professional dancer does. Sure there’ll be some hollywood magic in there but I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they do ballet some sort of justice.

I’ll be sure to post my review of the movie in my blog once I get a chance to see it :)

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Henrik January 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm

The movie doesn’t really present any dancing, therefore the level is limited to what you can get out of the dancing-scenes. And basically, ithe focus is mostly at the main actresses – none of which are dancers.
I think the point Linda makes is crucial – this is NOT a ballet-movie. It is a psychological thriller with a ballet backdrop. And for what it is, it’s a good one :)
Looking forward to reading your review when you get to see it! H

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jenniferc January 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm

My ballet teacher (past Beijing Ballet principal) & another ballet teacher (past ABT company member) were so frustrated with Black Swan–like you, they felt it just reinforced ballet stereotypes. My teacher spoke about how her healthcare providers, once they find out she used to dance, assumed that she’s mentally unstable!

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Henrik January 17, 2011 at 11:03 pm

I know, it’s terrible really, how much people believe stereotypes when it comes to ballet dancers. In my experience, way more than other groups…
Glad I’m not the only one feeling this way, although, obviously, the best would be if it was only me… If you get me.. ?!

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Jørgen January 29, 2011 at 12:35 pm

The hype of this movie has started in Norway, premiere Feb. 4. A whole prime-time tv-show about it coming this week. Honestly: do we or don’t we have something to look forward to?

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Henrik January 29, 2011 at 9:15 pm

well, I think it is a pretty decent movie, but nowhere close to being fantastic.. A typical rent-out movie for a quiet night at home :) Some really cool effects, though, like how the girl slowly turns into a swan – a pretty nasty one of such :)

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Laivaren February 2, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Henrik: Har lest dine meninger om filmen, og jeg må si at du tar veldig kraftig i. For meg som ikke har noe forhold til ballett fungerer overdrivelsene og stereotypien for å vise en ukjent verden. Jeg tror selvsagt ikke at alle ballettdansere er primadonnaer, og jeg føler at filmen delvis viser dette gjennom karakteren til Mila Kunis. Nina er jo et sært tilfelle, med en tilnærmet psykopatisk mor og nerver som er så tynnslitte at det synes i øynene. Jeg er kanskje den eneste, men jeg forbant ikke oppkastscenene med bulemi – heller som en bieffekt av hennes mentale ustabilitet.

Jeg kan ikke annet enn å lure på hva du hadde synes om filmen dersom du ikke hadde tilhørt temaets miljø…

Personlig mener jeg at stereotypi har en unødvendig negativitet ved seg, og jeg synes folk heller skal omfavne og le av stereotypiske fremstillinger og anmerkninger. Man trenger ikke være så selvhøytidelig. Selv er jeg nerd på flere områder og passer nok inn i en del stereotypiske beskrivelser uten at det gjør meg noe, eller nødvendigvis stemmer med andre nerder.

P.S. sorry at svaret er på norsk – kopierte det samme jeg skrev som svar på din kommentar på min egen blogg.

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Henrik February 2, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Problemet mitt er det du skriver i din foerste linje: ” overdrivelsene og stereotypien fungerer for å vise en ukjent verden”. I og med at den verdenen er ukjent for de fleste, synes jeg det er synd at Aronofski har brukt de fleste stereotypiske framstillinger av ballettdansere – desverre ofte negative – fordi det videre underbygger en innstilling/bilde av oss. Folk har veldig lett for å “tro” paa stereotypier om ting/miljoe de ikke er kjent med, og ikke ser i sitt dagligliv.
Selvfoelgelig er mine meninger/oppfattninger farget av at jeg er danser, og maa selvfoeligelig sees i kraft av det. Jeg synes filmen var ok, foerst og fremst straalende laget, det er framstillingen jeg ikke liker. Men igjen kan man si at en film som omhandler et spesielt miljoe sjelden faar veldig bra kritikk i nettopp det miljoet..

Jeg vil ikke si jeg er veldig selvhoeytidelig, og vitser med meg selv og jobben min hele tiden, noe du vil se om du leser postene paa bloggen min. Men jeg liker ikke å maatte “forsvare” meg eller bekjempe forutintatthet naar jeg presenterer megselv og jobben min, kun paa bakgrunn av den andre personens uvitenhet (ikke ment negativt, men at den personen rett og slett ikke kjenner til det jeg driver med, og baserer sine perspektiv paa nettopp filmer som Black Swan).

Takk for innlegget ditt! Én ting er sikkert, filmen har skapt blest rundt Ballett igjen, og foert til mange gode diskusjoner. Det foerer igjen til at folk blir bedre kjent med kunstformen min, og det kan nok vaere motvirkende mot mange stereotypier. :)

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Laivaren February 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Henrik skrev: Ps: du boer kanskje sette opp traading av kommentarene dine – paa den maaten blir det enklere å svare paa et tidligere innlegg :)

Hvordan gjør jeg dette? Jeg bruker googles blogg: blogspot.

Jeg skjønner hva du mener og ser at du kan ha “problemer” med fremstillingen, men dersom Aronofski ikke hadde tydd til stereotypier hadde det blitt vanskeligere å få frem hva filmen faktisk handler om (stress, prestasjonsangst, seksuell frustrasjon og paranoia/schizofreni). Det er mye sannsynlig at wrestlere føler det samme som deg om The Wrestler. Jeg tror kanskje at mange legger for mye vekt på feil ting – altså fremstillingen av ballettmiljø, istedet for filmens psykologiske handling og virkemidler.

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Henrik February 2, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Jeg tror kanskje at mange legger for mye vekt på feil ting – altså fremstillingen av ballettmiljø, istedet for filmens psykologiske handling og virkemidler

Helt enig. Foroevrig var The Wrestler en mye mer “dokumentarisk” film enn the Black Swan er. La oss ikke glemme at det er en psykologisk thriller vi snakker om.
Naar det gjelder traading er jeg ukjent med Blogspot – proev å soek paa google. kan du legge inn plugins? I saa fall skulle saken vaere enkel..

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ymdf February 7, 2011 at 9:36 pm

To whom it may concern, and also able to read it – look at
http://www.an.no/film/article5476948.ece

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Tania Matos February 18, 2011 at 2:05 am

In so many ways, it was a good and entertaining film, Natalie Portman did an excellent job and obviously worked incredibly hard. I just wish somebody somewhere would take the risk and show us an exquisite classical dancer on screen who can act. The last thing I want to do is to belittle Portman’s performance but if classical dance is ever to become popular within mainstream audiences, perhaps we can blow the cinema audiences away with a real dancer who has trained for more than 15 years and has a wealth of professional experience. Respect for the amount of hard work and training it really takes to reach the pinnacle of this art form is what is needed and seeing is believing. I hope one day these truly gifted and dedicated individuals could be given the opportunity to really be seen and appreciated by the masses……………….. If we can’t get the public to go to the ballet, lets take ballet to the public?!

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Henrik February 18, 2011 at 8:51 am

I agree with you for the most!
To take “ballet to the masses” would indeed do a lot of good – there is really quite much to admire. But if a psychological thriller is the way to go? well, it could be, but Black Swan, in my opinion, is not. With the movie as it is today, I’m kind of glad it’s not a ballet-dancer that is doing the lead. This is simply not a film that wishes to portrayal ballet in any way, good or bad, but the psyche of a disturbed young woman. I choose to see the movie for that, and then, I can enjoy the film, at times, it’s very good!

I agree that a movie with a good dancer as the lead would be cool, and could possibly do a lot for ballet. Anyone know a good and daring film-maker? ;)
Thank you for your thoughts!! H

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Meg March 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I do, but he’s dead T_T Black Swan was a decent movie – not a classic by any means, but good old popcorn theater with a lesbian scene thrown in to attract male audiences. What bothers me most about this movie, aside from the cliches and clever marketing gambits, is how it’s so similar to an animated film called Perfect Blue. From IMDB: “A retired pop singer turned actress’s sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by an obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past.”

interestingly, aronofsky bought the rights to Perfect Blue a few years ago. So for me Black Swan is kind of like a live-action remake of Perfect Blue, except with ballet dancers and not as good.

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Henrik March 9, 2011 at 8:39 am

huh, I didn’t know that about the perfect blue.. Never seen it…
Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

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AJ March 9, 2011 at 7:33 am

Great blog, Henrik! I’m from India and getting to watch a live ballet performance in my city is a rarity indeed! I enjoyed reading your review on this movie… it’s refreshing to see it from the point of view of a real-life professional dancer. Will check in again from time to time. Ciao for now! :)

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Henrik March 9, 2011 at 8:50 am

Thank you, AJ! Glad you enjoyed it! These are of course my own opinions, as a professional, yes, but not any professional dancers view of it. For that, we are too many and too different :)
I’m happy you enjoy the “peek” into my life – please do come back for more! Ciao, H

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Nikki April 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I totally agree with you on this review. For some reason I never got to the theatre to see it. I am A Canadian Dancer The movie has been out for a while but I just watched it in the comfort of my home for the first time a couple weeks ago. I must agree that I’m glad I didn’t waste my money in the theatre as I would have been disappointed. The DOP was great story was a bit confusing and I do not believe it showed the clearest picture of a Dancers life. Kudos on the post keep showing the world Ballet through your eyes :)

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classicalballetteacher April 12, 2011 at 10:40 pm

I love the word ‘dramatical’. Must find way to casually throw into conversation this week.

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Hilde April 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm

I totally agree with the over-exaggerated thing and the prejudices issue. I hadn’t realized that was what I didn’t like from this movie.

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Henrik April 14, 2011 at 8:54 am

Glad I’m not alone on this ;) I realize I’m a bit harsh, but I figured, why sugar coat it?! :P

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Amonte March 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Great blog, Henrik. I came here via a link from a burlesque dancer’s blog. Your blog is even better than she said.

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Henrik March 18, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Glad you like it! :) H

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avesraggiana April 19, 2012 at 7:47 am

I got up and left the theatre about two thirds of the way through the movie, something I’ve only done twice in my whole life.

I came into the movie with inappropriate expectations, and with all the Hollywood hoopla about Portman having trained for over a year, and purportedly doing “most of the dancing” in the movie, I was already predisposed to dislike her and the movie. Should I really be surprised then that I walked out?

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