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The secrets of 'Black Swan' visual effects -- How did they do it?

January 28, 2011 | 11:39 am

In Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller “Black Swan,” an increasingly imbalanced ballerina, Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), struggles to break free of her inhibitions. Cast as the lead in a production of “Swan Lake,” Nina perfectly embodies the purity and reserve of the white swan but falls well short of finding the aggressive sexuality and passion of its counterpart, the black swan. She is pushed ever harder by the company director to let loose, to go beyond the technical aspects of the dance and find the emotional resonance of the darker character. Yet, through weeks of rehearsals, she never captures it. The night of the show, as Nina’s mental state grows ever shakier, she suddenly breaks free to transform, quite literally, into the stunning and seductive black swan as Tchaikovsky’s score thunders around her.

-- Elena Howe 

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