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Costume in Black Swan

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I am doing my dissertation on 'Costume in Black Swan' and would really appreciate some feedback from ballerinas so I can form some arguments for my essay. It would be fantastic if anybody could take the time to have a look at the questionnaire :) thank you so much!


Have you watched Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Black Swan’?


What did you think of it? Did you enjoy it?


How do you think this modern depiction of ballet compares to old classics such as ‘The Red Shoes’?


There is a very strict colour palette throughout the film, only four colours are used; Black/Grey/White/Pink. Why are pastel colours and muted shades generally associated with ballerinas?


Would you say the costumes were true to life and would be used in a real ballet environment?


In the film the older/retired dancers wear only black clothes. Is this generally a form of unofficial uniform? If so why do you think this is?


Why do you think the colour pink is associated with ballerinas?


Throughout the film the fabrics worn by Natalie Portman’s character ‘Nina’ are very soft, light fabrics; cashmere, feathers, tulle, lace. Are these representative of what real ballerinas wear in everyday life?


In the film Nina lives and breathes dance, she only once wears clothes out that aren’t for training or dancing in, and even this is a vest borrowed from her friend/rival Lily. Do professional ballerinas generally take an interest in current fashion trends or are they too busy practicing and performing?


There is a lot of sexual tension between Nina and the company director Thomas throughout the film, is it fair of Aronofsky to imply that female ballerinas use their sexuality to gain the roles they want?


Aronofsky hints at the problems that ballerinas are stereotypically notorious with e.g. anorexia, bulimia, self-harm, drug misuse, and prima-ballerina behaviour. Do you think this is an accurate depiction of ballet today or does it portray it in a much more sinister light than it needs to be?


Thank you very much for taking the time to answer this questionnaire.



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  • Administrators

Mima, I'm sorry, but we do not allow this kind of research survey on Ballet Talk for Dancers. There is, however, a thread on this forum about the movie. Perhaps some of the things you are looking for might be found there.

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