I went to see ‘The Black Swan’ last night. This movie holds many things within it and has a lot to say about the artistic process and its price. The movie examines the world of professional ballet and within the confines of this most difficult and demanding art form, explores the lengths one must go to to uncover their own brilliance.  Where is the line between genius and insanity?

The Black Swan, photo of Natalie Portman as the black swan

Natalie Portman as 'The Black Swan'

While all art form is an expression of the true soul of its creator, ballet it seems to me is perhaps the highest of these.  Why? Because it demands not only technical perfection of the highest degree, but also the ability to express with absolute abandon the core emotion of the piece being danced. The vehicle of expression is the body itself and the performance is inseparable from the the soul.  As with song – true greatness is experienced by the observer when we see the performer totally push beyond the barrier of the self to bring something more which is passed to us.  Like a virus it passes unseen and integrates into our own psyches and becomes part of who we are.

In this case, the dancer must become the Black swan.  We must believe she is.

As an actress I think Natalie Portman gives an outstanding performance.  We are wholly caught up in her struggle.  This is not a movie for the fainthearted, containing disturbing psychological tensions and graphic sexual scenes within it.  So if you haven’t seen it that is something to be aware of.

I would love to read your comments about this film and its exploration of the creative struggle….. to be continued next post.

Pix Credit: http://bit.ly/hnTp8y

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