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Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By Bibi_
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 01:05 PM

I came across these pictures on Yahoo. I think it's cool that Natalie Portman will be playing a ballerina. Now I don't know too much about Ballet because I'm just an adult beginner and have only been doing it for a few months, but is her posture correct in this pose? They stress posture so much in my class and it looks to me that she's got major swayback in this pic. What do you more experienced dancers think? Are there any positions or steps where it's ok for your back to sway in ballet? I threw in the other pic in because I think the makeup is pretty neat.

28 Replies to Natalie Portman in The Black Swan

re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 01:13 PM
For 'poses' it kind of depends, because choreography especially in poses (shapes) can override technique. I think this pose could be legit...on a standpoint that she's not swaying her back, she's keeping her torso vertical (as the shape warrants) with her open hips for the wide position.

I don't trust non-dancers to play dancers (does Natalie dance? It doesn't seem like it with that back leg turned in...) so I probably won't be seeing it.
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By Angelinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 01:54 PM
^ I don't think she's a dancer. Something about that pose looks a bit off to me... I don't know why though.

I love thrillers though, so might try to see this film. Plus, I think Natalie Portman is so beautiful...
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By mazie
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 02:12 PM
I think it's hard to tell what she's meant to be doing because you can't see her feet or any of wider picture really. A sway back is sometimes acceptable for poses, even though it's not proper technique as such.
However what really strikes me is her lack of turn out, I think that's what is making the pose look a bit off rather than her back. Again though, without seeing her feet or the context it's hard to tell whether she was meaning to do that or not.
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By melissaga
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 02:38 PM
My understanding is that Natalie Portman started dance at a young age and continued with it. When the initial reports about this moving being casted came out, I remember thinking she was a good choice because she had an actual ballet background of some sort.
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 03:08 PM
Honestly this picture is unappealing to me. In addition to the turned in leg, I think it's her neck/upper back/shoulders. Everything is sort of down and forward. The whole thing looks very awkward. As an actress she'd better make the connection between the body's line as an interpretation of her character or she won't be able to pull it off.

(I'm laughing at myself because I read soooo much into one little picture, I should probably give her a chance, lol!)

:)
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 03:13 PM
Angelina wrote:

^ I don't think she's a dancer. Something about that pose looks a bit off to me... I don't know why though.


I think it's that her weight isn't forward over her leg...she looks 'back'.
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By hummingbird
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 05:25 PM
What's with the black make up on her hands? It looks like gorilla hair.

If she was my student I would be worried about her torso placement, she's pushing her ribs forward, her shoulders are back and her pelvis is tilted back too, that's one of the reasons why she has no turnout.

Also she really shouldn't be facing the side, if she'd been facing croise then a lot of the faults would have been hidden.
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By ballerinepetite
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:08 PM
aside from her posture and lack of turnout, she has a very nice dancer's body! sigh, no fair ):
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By DenverDancer
On Mon Jul 26, 2010 09:21 PM
This pose looks very aggressive to me - maybe that's what she's going for? Have you read the plot synopsis for this movie yet?
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By DanceOfTheHeartmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:02 PM
Natalie and Mila Kunis are both going to be in this movie and Natalie has dance background and still takes class to this day and her boyfriend Benjamin Millepied did the choreography for the movie.

Body doubles are Sarah Lane and Maria Riccieto of ABT.

As for the picture, guys you don't know what she was told to do for this picture, it's actually just a still so it could either be a candid shot or she was in between something, they aren't promotional pictures. They could be pictures of a picture so it didn't matter how she was standing and it might have been shot from another angle.

~brooke~
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By PinkBalletDancer
On Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:04 PM
What is the title of the movie?

XxXPinkBalletDancerXxX
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By skyballet
On Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:19 AM
yeah Natalie has ballet history, but Mila doesn't. she took an 8 week course to get the "basics" and her stunt double did the rest. I don't understand why they don't just hire real professionals instead of people who have no idea what they're doing.
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By Vesserworld
On Tue Jul 27, 2010 06:51 AM
because ballet dancers are not movie actors. don't assume that acting is something any person from the street can do and be good. theatre actors don't always perform so well in movies, let alone dancers...
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By alwaysonmytoesmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Jul 27, 2010 07:07 AM
^ Yeah, it can't be a double standard. Assuming a dancer can act (movie wise, I mean) is like assuming any actor can dance. It goes both ways!
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By BalleTisLife22
On Tue Jul 27, 2010 07:48 AM
^^agreed...you could turn the argument around the other way and have professional actors (which is a studied art form as well) wondering why they would cast a dancer who has never acted in a movie role.

Moving on though. I am really excited to see this movie and I hope there is a good bit of ballet scenes in it, but I think this movie is less of a "Dance Movie", like center stage, and more of an artsy thriller.
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By RowdyRoxymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jul 27, 2010 01:14 PM
I thought I remembered hearing Natalie say that she danced, but I had to go back to her Inside the Actors Studio interview.

www.youtube.com . . .

She took 6 dance classes a week up until her first movie, "The Professional".
She didn't mention how much dancing she did after.
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By ex_gang_girl
On Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:43 AM
Hollywood thinks that if you put an actress in a tutu and pink tights, nobody will question whether or not they can dance. Hopefully the movie will be good and Natalie will be convincing as a ballerina.
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By Babi_BRmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jul 28, 2010 01:20 PM
I think the problem with this picture is that Natalie is too "relaxed".
No posture, bad turn out, hips... I don't know where!
She just isn't trying to keep a proper ballet position.
Maybe she doesn't need to, we don't know in what moment this picture was taken, but I think this is why it looks so weird.

As for actors playing dancers... It's not easy to find a good dancer that can also act. So, there's not better solution than finding body stunts for actual actors... Unfortunately...
Or we will end up with something like Center Stage 2, where the lead role was played by half-an-actress/half-a-dancer... for she wasn't good enough in any of those.
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By scottb
On Fri Jul 30, 2010 07:40 PM
You all might be missing the point...this is not a movie about dance...it is a psycho thriller done by the same director who directed RoboCop and the Wrestler...Both arguably cutting edge for their direction...

The press release indicates that this is a struggle of the ageing lead dancer struggling with a more youthful and uninhibited dancer...but the catch is whether or not the other dancer is all in her head or not...

So far the initial critics and the movie being picked at some of the premier debut events in Venice hold potential for this movie actually being good...

We will see...
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By Bibi_
On Sat Jul 31, 2010 04:57 PM
I don't think I'd say anyone here is missing the point. This thread started off with a question as to whether or not Natalie's stance or pose is correct for ballet standards. I don't know much, but thought her posture looked off so I decided to ask what others here thought. The movie is not about a ballerina's technique, but the question that started this thread is.
Since you mentioned it,I think the premise of the movie sounds good. I'm sure many dancers go through physchological struggles during their careers. I sure hope this movie is good. Natatlie portman is in it so that's a plus for me.
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By UntoldLies
On Thu Aug 05, 2010 09:03 AM
Wow can we ever not over anylize the bejesus out of something here?
Natalie is not a professional dancer, she is a professional actor. They hired professional ballet dancers as the dance stunters. The 'pose' she holds in this picture can very well be a motion shot. Cut the girl some slack, just because she took 6 dance classes a week up until she was 12 doesnt mean they were all Ballet classes. :P
I am difinitely seeing this movie the day it comes out, I love Ballet, and thriller/horrors, so the combo is fantastic!
And you KNOW there will be some amazing dancing seeing they have ABT dancers doing it! ;)
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By Ras
On Thu Aug 05, 2010 09:19 AM
I admit to always being a little skeptical of dance (namely ballet) related movies in general, especially when actual dancers aren't anymore than extras...

...However, I think that whatever way we can spread a message of ballet to the general public is a GOOD thing. Ballet has been on such a downturn that publicity, such as people seeing it on the big screen acted by big names, can only help.
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By popergerm
On Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:21 PM
Delightfully creepy as the black swan, I have been a big fan of Natalie since the second starwars movie, the Senator she plays looks like my kind of lady kind and sweet yet not afraid to get her hands dirty when necessary.

I has been stated she has a background in dance from her past so I think I shall reserve judgement till the movie comes out, depends on how well the story is put together, and if she can actualy still dance.

the photos in question by the way are from a promotional release I saw the same ones on yahoo entertainment a month ago.
re: Natalie Portman in The Black Swan
By allegro731member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Aug 07, 2010 07:46 PM
Interesting. So far, I have not come across a movie where I liked a non-dancer playing a dancing part. They usually have doubles for anything that involves real skill, but when they have the actors do the simple things, I'm not really fond of it. What movie is this for?
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