Sarah Lane, Portman’s body double.
I wrote before that I was utterly unimpressed by Black Swan. The predictable plotting, melodramatic acting, and subpar dancing got to me. Now that has evolved into active dislike, thanks to the lack of acknowledgment of the REAL ballerina whose contribution was muffled in an attempt to exalt Portman’s “grueling” ballet training.
Benjamin Millepied, Portman’s babydaddy, stated in the LA Times (see dlisted article for full quote) that Lane “just did the footwork and the fouettes and one diagonal in the studio. Honestly, 85% of that movie is Natalie.” Terrible quote. Footwork, fouettes, and diagonal=only 15% of ballet? What then composes the 85%, pray tell? Arm flapping and looking constipated? Millepied needs to brush up on his basics.
Anyone with a reasonable degree of ballet training could recognize Portman’s dancing for what it was: a non-dancer trying VERY HARD to look convincing as a professional. Which, for the sake of a Hollywood movie, is fine; but let’s not pretend that Portman is some kind of prodigy.
I understand that so much of this is probably the studio pushing its agenda and not the fault of Portman or Millepied per se, but let’s give credit where credit is due. Sarah Lane is the real thing, and Natalie Portman is not.