The “Blacking Out” of Sarah Lane
Wendy Perron over at Dance Magazine has been venting a fair bit of spleen (well, insofar as I imagine she ever vents spleen) over how ABT dancer Sarah Lane has been “blacked out” of coverage of Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan around Oscar time. If you don’t know who Lane played, well, she’s Natalie Portman’s body when Portman’s dancing. Anyway, the backstory is over at Perron’s blog, worth checking out. If you’re curious how it was done, well, here’s a video showing the use of digital effects to replace Lane’s face (among other tricks), which is an oddly disturbing artistic concept in its own right. All the conversation about dance and bodies and appearance turns around concepts of identity: the degree to which some people judge dancers for their appearance tends to relate to the degree to which they see the dancer as a physical object rather than a person. So it’s fascinating to watch a film quite literally obliterate a dancer’s identity. Someone tell me some visual artist or dance filmmaker has already played with this concept, because it’s just begging for it.