- The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen
- List of Contributors
- About the Companion Website
- Introduction: Dance on Screen
- An Australian in Paris: Techno-Choreographic Bohemianism in Moulin Rouge!
- A Different Kind of Ballet: Rereading Dorothy Arzner’s Dance, Girl, Dance
- Communities of Practice: Active and Affective Viewing of Early Social Dance on the Popular Screen
- Disciplining <i>Black Swan</i>, Animalizing Ambition
- Gene Kelly: The Original, Updated
- Appreciation, Appropriation, Assimilation: Stormy Weather and the Hollywood History of Black Dance
- Hip-Hop in Hollywood: Encounter, Community, Resistance
- Dirty Dancing: Dance, Class, and Race in the Pursuit of Womanhood
- Displace and be Queen: Gender and Interculturalism in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)
- “It’s Sort of ‘Members Only’”: Transgression and Body Politics in Save the Last Dance
- “The White Girl in the Middle”: The Performativity of Race, Class, and Gender in Step Up 2: the Streets
- Affect-ive moves: Space, Violence, and the Body in Rize’s Krump Dancing
- A Taste of Honey: Choreographing Mulatta in the Hollywood Dance Film
- “He’s Doing His Superman Thing Again”: Moving Bodies in the Matrix
- Girl Power, Real Politics: Dis/Respectability, Post-Raciality, and the Politics of Inclusion
- Denaturalizing Coco’s “Sexy” Hips: Contradictions and Reversals of the Dancing Body of a Chinese American superstar in Mandarin Pop
- Single Ladies, Plural: Racism, Scandal, and “Authenticity” Within the Multiplication and Circulation of Online Dance Discourses
- The Dance Factor: Hip-Hop, Spectacle, and Reality Television
- Defining Dance, Creating Commodity: The Rhetoric of So you Think You Can Dance
- Hatchets and Hairbrushes: Dance, Gender, and Improvisational Ingenuity in Cold War Western Musicals
- Some Dance Scenes From Cuban Cinema, 1959–2012
- “Shine Your Light on the World”: The Utopian Bodies of Dave Chappelle’s Block Party
- Of Snake Dances, Overseas Brides, and Miss World Pageants: Frolicking Through Gurinder Chadha’s Bride and Prejudice
- Monstrous Belonging: Performing “Thriller” After 9/11
- Dancing “Between the Break Beats”: Contemporary Indigenous Thought and Cultural Expression through Hip-Hop
- Dancing with Myself: Dance Central, Choreography, and Embodiment
- Values in Motion: Reflections on Popular Screen Dance
Abstract and Keywords
By paying particular attention to the role of the dancing body in Black Swan (2010), this chapter interrogates the status of virtuosity and performance in a film that insists on the horror of transformation. Swan Lake is significant in dance history for introducing the fouetté turn, the modern mark of female virtuosity in ballet from the late nineteenth century onward. Director Darren Aronofsky relies upon filmic techniques to invoke the dismantling effects of ballet technique, demonstrating how the pursuit of virtuosity narrates a story of the attainment, surpassing, and failure of technique. He does so by drawing upon lowbrow “body genres” (Linda Williams) to depict an otherwise highbrow art form. Black Swan portrays artistic ambition through a ballerina’s (and Odette/Odile’s) erratic transformation from human to animal. Mirroring, doubling, and reversibility (Vivian Sobchack) are tropes for Nina (Natalie Portman) and her alter-ego. Embodied by Nina and Lily (Mila Kunis), self and other perform a necessarily entangled pas de deux, one in which the seemingly perfect image of the other simultaneously haunts and motivates the dancer, a figure for whom psychological control diminishes as artistic control accrues.
Ariel Osterweis is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Dance Department at Skidmore College. She was an Assistant Professor of Dance at Wayne State University from 2011-2014 and earned her Ph.D. in Performance Studies at UC Berkeley and B.A. in Anthropology at Columbia University. At work on her first book, Body Impossible: Desmond Richardson and the Politics of Race, Gender, and Virtuosity in Contemporary Dance, Osterweis also researches Sub-Saharan African dance and the disavowal of virtuosity in mixed-race, feminist, and transgender performance. Publications appear in Dance Research Journal, Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory, e-misférica, Theatre Survey, The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen, and more. Osterweis danced with Complexions, Mia Michaels, and Heidi Latsky, choreographs, and is dramaturg for choreographer John Jasperse and performance artist Narcissister. She is on the Board of Directors of the Society of Dance History Scholars.
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