7 January 2011 4:56 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

We've heard lots about Natalie Portman's travails as a fictional prima ballerina in Darren Aronofsky's film, but she's just the latest in a long line of doomed cinematic dancers

Warning: contains spoilers

Yesterday's G2 interviews on Darren Aronofsky's ballet film Black Swan made me think about how feature films have incorporated ballet into their stories. Most people will think immediately of musicals, which have a readymade slot in their song-and-dance numbers, or of wish-fulfilment fantasies: Fame, Flashdance, Center Stage, Save the Last Dance and the like. From that standpoint, Black Swan looks like an exception. But look beyond these films and two other genres come to the fore: melodrama and horror.

Over decades and across continents, ballet dancers in feature films have consistently been associated with hysteria, madness, torture, the supernatural and death. Former New Yorker critic Arlene Croce dubbed this a "tradition of morbidity", and certain »

- Sanjoy Roy

Report a problem

Similar News Items

Natalie Portman
Black Swan (2010)
Darren Aronofsky

IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.

See our NewsDesk partners