Ballet = 2011. Part 7

Movie: The Black Swan

Friday night I finally managed to get along to see The Black Swan at Hammersmith Cineworld. (That place is such a dive!) Needless to say I absolutely loved it, although it made me jump a lot more than I thought it would! The dancing, acting and costumes were all superb.

The only thing I want to share with you today is the use of colour in the film. Colour is usually used in films to evoke emotion, ideas, places, and themes. Well it certainly did all of the above in this film! Both in the costumes and sets, colour was used to show Nina’s (Natalie Portman) transition into becoming the Black Swan. The blindingly obvious part of the film that really helped Mark and I to understand the dramatic use of colour was in Thomas Leroy’s, the ballet director, office and home.

‘We assigned some symbolism to the various colors: black represents the darker side of Nina’s character, white is her innocent side, pink represents her childhood, and green conveys envy and ambition.’ From an interview with Matthew Libatique.

The shift in colours of the different outfits Nina wore really helps you to grasp what is going to happen in the scene (whether it’s something which is going to make you jump or not!) which is what I really love about this film. Slowly, as Nina’s character unravels, her colours become darker and more dangerous. The costume designer, Amy Westcott, did a fantastic job!

An Interview with Amy, she says; ‘They were almost cliché in the sense of pink for Nina and grey and black for Lily. And then we carefully worked in some grey into Nina and slowly worked in some pink into Lily, and by the end of the movie, Nina has some black, and it is more black and grey – she almost loses the pink – and Lily is in some white with grey.’

Rodarte were used as contemporary designers to create costumes which would take the film to another level. Beautiful drawings by Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte:

Definitely a must-see.. If you haven’t yet; pay close attention to the costumes and colours!


Also: Another film starring ‘ballet’ staring Emily Blunt is The Adjustment Bureau. She is a ballet dancer who falls for politician Matt Damon. Out 4th March.


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