‘Black Swan’ director defends Natalie Portman against cover-up claim

Darren Aronofsky insists that '80 percent' of Oscar-winning dancing was her own

Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky has jumped to the defence of Natalie Portman following allegations about her ballet dancing in the film.

The actress won the Oscar for her performance in the dance thriller. Last weekend she came under fire from body double: Sarah Lane of the American Ballet Theatre

Lane claimed to have been the victim of a cover-up designed to help Portman‘s Oscar chances. She suggested that although film bosses said Portman had learned to dance like a professional in under a year, in fact she performed only a small portion of the full-body dance sequences seen on screen.

Aronofsky has angrily reacted in a statement, insisting that Portman performed the vast majority of the sequences herself, reports The Guardian.

He said: “Here is the reality. I had my editor count shots. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie Portman untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math, that’s 80 percent Natalie Portman.”

He added: “The shots that feature the double are wide shots and rarely play for longer than one second. There are two complicated longer dance sequences that we used face replacement. Even so, if we were judging by time over 90 percent would be Natalie Portman.”

Responding to Lane‘s allegation that Portman had been unable to dance in pointe shoes, Aronofsky retorted: “To be clear, Natalie did dance on pointe in pointe shoes. If you look at the final shot of the opening prologue, which lasts 85 seconds, and was danced completely by Natalie, she exits the scene on pointe… I don’t want anyone to think that’s not her they are watching. It is.”