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By Nina J P Evans

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dance Dance Dance


After reading an article in The Guardian, about the recent controversy involving the authenticity of Natalie Portman’s Black Swan’s dance performance from double Sarah Lane. A ballet dancer who didn’t receive any recognition or credit directly from Portman herself, who seemed to be thanking everyone in her Oscar speech without a crediting Sarah Lane, no surprises there. Sarah now claims, “she said Portman's face had been superimposed on to her body for the majority of shots.” The director states counting the shots that it’s eighty percent Natalie Portman. Natalie very admirably stressed how hard it was to dance.


This got me thinking of other films such as James Bonds 007 that very typically uses stunt doubles and computer graphic effects to enhance the films possibilities to marvellous effect (without killing off the lead, which is vital in the case of 007, as he never dies) pushing the medium forward. There is never any discredit to Connery, Moore or Craig the Bond actor playing this role. It’s a pity that there’s a shadow of doubt on Natalie’s performance has been cast. And, this is why I enjoyed the performance of master cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Lil Buck, so much more.

The filming entitled The Dying Swan is a very simple affair, but the collaboration of talent reaches new heights. Filmed outdoors suits the street dancers domain, also it suits Yo-Yo Ma, who did a filmed recording outdoors for Joe Wright’s film The Soloist. Alas the sound quality is not perfect, due to background audience sounds, trying to holding their baited breathe in awe. What a beautiful live creative performance merging the cellist solo musician with an LA/Memphis street dancer.  Presented by none other than the inspirational Spike Jonze. The occasion: To bring the arts back into schools—simply amazing. At the end of the film Yo-Yo Ma says to Lil Buck, “Natalie Portman would be proud!”


references:
Natalie Portman on the set of Black Swan. Photo: Ray Lewis
Costumes were designed by Mulleavy sisters
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/apr/18/natalie-portman-black-swan-double
http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/natalie-portmans-dance-double-speaks-blackswan-hollywood-13377710
M.I.A. Paper Planes Lil Buck Memphis Jookin‬ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXbXQLv2xqU
Yo-Yo Ma plays the prelude from Bach´s Cello Suite No. 1‬
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZn_VBgkPNY

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