BY JENNIFER MECKLES
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Natalie Portman thrilled and frightened audiences as the downward spiraling ballerina “Nina” in the Black Swan. She won an Oscar for that performance -- but now, critics are asking how much dancing she really did.
“According to published reports, Natalie Portman is insisting she did the majority of her dance sequences in the film. This comes after her ballet double Sarah Lane claims Portman did 5 percent of those scenes and there is an allusion that Portman is some sort of dance prodigy, she says. Portman says that Lane was only used for the most complicated dance sequences.” (WDIV)
But that double -- real American Ballet Theater dancer Sarah Lane -- was never acknowledged for her dance work. In the film’s credits, she’s simply listed as “hand model,” “stunt double,” and as an extra. The Editor in Chief of Dance Magazine is outraged over Lane’s exclusion:
“Do people really believe that it takes only one year to make a ballerina? ... I think there has been a propaganda of omissions in the media that has reinforced that belief.”
But team Portman was quick on the defense. And one member of her camp was particularly incensed by the accusation -- that report comes from E! News:
“Natalie’s fiance, Benjamin Millepied is defending amid criticism. Her baby daddy -- who pulls double duty as her costar and the film’s choreographer -- cleared the air for the haters in the LA Times -- quote -- 'There are articles now talking about her dance double... Honestly, 85% of that movie is Natalie. It was so believable, it was fantastic, that beautiful movement quality.'”
Lane remained mostly quiet until now under the instruction of the film’s rep -- Fox Searchlight. After learning she was hushed... the Wall Street Journal questions the motives behind Portman’s whole Oscar campaign:
“One charge that Sarah Lane made was that she said -- Fox Searchlight said stop giving interviews during the Oscar campaign. Talk AFTER she’s won the Oscar. That would suggest that they thought, that if people knew she wasn’t doing all the dancing --- they might not give her credit for this terrific performance, that it might take a little bit away from her.”
For the record -- Portman did admit she had some help on the advanced dance moves. FasterTimes says -- Lane needs to give it a rest:
“But no one gets rewarded for asking for recognition, or fair pay... Indeed, squeaky-Sarah will almost certainly not be hired to ‘hand-model’ for another big studio film any time soon."
Finally, Business Insider says -- either way -- this scandal is good for all parties involved.
Portman already has her Oscar, Lane gets her 15 minutes of fame, and of course, the movie:
“The most unsurprising benefit: all of this chatter throws some spotlight back to the movie, which still lingers in a few theaters and comes out on DVD Tuesday.”
So who do you think deserves the credit in these scenes, Portman or Lane? And since nobody really knows who’s dancing -- How about the visual effects editors? After all, they’re the geniuses behind this:
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