Royal Ballet principal dancer, Sarah Lamb says, regarding Natalie Portman’s Black Swan - “Unrealistic”. She also shares her experience with ballet injuries, competition and her thoughts on the future of her career as a ballerina.
Lamb is a truly beautiful dancer and you can see with each movement that she makes how much time, work and dedication went into perfecting her craft.
As with any artist, she is fully devoted and passionate about what she does. In this interview, she sheds some light on her journey as a ballerina, and the sacrifices she has had to make.
Natalie Portman’s Black Swan - “Unrealistic”
“Ballet is my life: It’s my calling, it’s my passion, and I know it won’t last forever,” says Lamb, who wears an unglamorous green track suit in her Royal Opera House dressing room.
“I feel like taking it to the absolute maximum.”
About her injuries and the months of recovery, she shares:
“When I had that taken away, when I had that gone, I felt, ‘Who am I? Who is Sarah Lamb?’” “I felt like I’d lost my identity.”
Her initial approach to dance was tremendously intense:
…Viewing ballet as “a riddle to be undone,” she threw herself into it, steered by a strict Russian teacher.
“I almost lost my joy of dancing,” she recalls. “I became so overly aware of everything that I was possibly doing wrong.”
Artistry, she quickly realized, mattered more than technique.
When asked about the movie “Black Swan”, Lamb admits that she could clearly see when the dancing was being done by her friend, Sara Lane, Natalie Portman’s dance double. She goes on to say in the interview that as a whole, beyond it being a ballet movie, that Black Swan was “horrific”.
“I thought it was going to be a cult classic, something people go and watch and dress up for like ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ at midnight,” she says. “Unfortunately, it was received as a plausible and semi-realistic tale, and Natalie Portman was applauded for having become a ballerina.”
(Full interview here).
Don’t miss this amazing video with Sarah’s complete interview and rehearsal.
She also says that she has never allowed the kind of competitive nature seen in the movie to be a part of her life – admitting that her most fierce competitor is herself.
While many in the dancing world were not very happy about the movie, there is no denying that it put the spotlight back on ballet as a profession and as an art. Natalie Portman’s Black Swan - “Unrealistic”…maybe, yes. But nevertheless it did allow a larger audience to be intrigued about the world of ballet.
What do you think? Is it good that the movie at least got people talking about ballet? Let us know in the comments below – and be sure to share this post with others!