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Darren Aronofsky Defends Natalie Portman's Dancing In Black Swan

Posted on Mon Mar 28, 2011 05:15 PM PDT

nataliedarrenarondance.jpg

Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky is speaking out about the claims made by ballerina Sarah Lane against his starlet Natalie Portman.

Lane, Portman's body double in the film, told Entertainment Weekly: "On the full body shots, I would say 5 percent are Natalie... 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."

Aronofsky just released the following statement through Fox Searchlight:

    "Here is the reality. 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. What about duration? The shots that feature the double are wide shots and rarely play for longer than one second. There are two complicated longer dance sequences that we used face replacement. Even so, if we were judging by time over 90% would be Natalie Portman.

    And to be clear Natalie did dance on pointe in pointe shoes. If you look at the final shot of the opening prologue, which lasts 85 seconds, and was danced completely by Natalie, she exits the scene on pointe. That is completely her without any digital magic. I am responding to this to put this to rest and to defend my actor. Natalie sweated long and hard to deliver a great physical and emotional performance. And I don’t want anyone to think that’s not her they are watching. It is."

Fox Searchlight also released a statement regarding Lane's comments, explaining: "We were fortunate to have Sarah there to cover the more complicated dance sequences and we have nothing but praise for the hard work she did. However, Natalie herself did most of the dancing featured in the film."

The controversy began when choreographer Benjamin Millepied told the L.A. Times, "Honestly, 85 percent of that movie is Natalie."



Well done, Darren!

 





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