Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis. The plot revolves around a production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet by a prestigious New York City company. The production requires a ballerina to play the innocent and fragile White Swan, for which the committed dancer Nina (Portman) is a perfect fit, as well as the dark and sensual Black Swan, which are qualities better embodied by the new arrival Lily (Kunis). Nina is overwhelmed by a feeling of immense pressure when she finds herself competing for the part, causing her to lose her tenuous grip on reality and descend into a living nightmare.
Tamara Rojo, world-famous ballerina and artistic director of English National Ballet, takes us backstage as she prepares for one of classical ballet's biggest challenges, the dual lead in Swan Lake. It is the ultimate role for any dancer, requiring her to play the completely contrasting characters - Odette the White Swan and Odile the Black Swan. With unprecedented access, the disarmingly candid Rojo reveals her insights on the role's physical and psychological challenges. Through demonstration and masterclass, she reveals how to read the choreography of some of Swan Lake's most famous scenes. Along the way Rojo gives us a glimpse of Swan Lake's history - its genesis through to 21st-century incarnations. She looks back at some of the greats that inspired her and leads the way forward, coaching the next generation of rising stars. This film celebrates Swan Lake as an evolving and living work of art - the ultimate classic.
Swan Lake tells the timeless tale of redemption through love. It is probably the best-known, best-loved of all the classical ballets, and, for the prima ballerina who dances the dual role of Odette and Odile, the supreme test of the dancer's craft.