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'Swan Lake' is the most difficult thing to portray for a female ballet dancer; it really requires such specific qualities of articulation, agility, strength, and the arm work is something that takes a lot of training.
I've developed into quite a swan. I'm one of those people that will probably look better and better as I get older until I drop dead of beauty.
Being born in a duck yard does not matter, if only you are hatched from a swan's egg.
Hans Christian Andersen
What 'War and Peace' is to the novel and 'Hamlet' is to the theater, Swan Lake' is to ballet - that is, the name which to many people stands for and sums up an art form.
I think it requires a bit of honesty, Swan Lake.
In America, there's a programme called 'The Swan.' They take 12 ugly people and call them 'ugly ducklings.' They spend six months and have everything done - plastic surgery, teeth, everything. And then they have this moment where their family is brought in, and they are revealed. It's scary.
What really matters is that 'Black Swan' deploys and exaggerates all the cliches of earlier ballet movies, especially 'The Red Shoes,' another tale of a ballerina driven mad and suicidal.
I'm going to do 'The Social Network Two: The Electric Boogaloo.' And I have a part in 'Beige Swan.' I'm going to be the lead, but I don't dance. I just do a lot of sitting down. It's too tiring to get up and dance around. That should be coming out in 20-never.
I had seen the ballet of 'Swan Lake' as a child but it was as an adult, when I saw a production featuring Erik Bruhn, that I first noticed how significant a part the ever-present threat of violence played. This juxtaposition of great beauty and grace with a backdrop of pure evil stayed with me for years.
Walter Dean Myers
Now, if you notice how the swan, putting its neck down into the deep water, brings up food for itself from below, then you will discover the wisdom of the Creator, in that He gave it a neck longer than its feet for this reason, that it might, as if lowering a sort of fishing line, procure the food hidden in the deep water.
To this day, people are still talking about the Coral Casino's parties of the '30s, '40s, '50s - complete with antidotes of Errol Flynn's swan dives, Marlon Brando's secret cigar smoking spots, and Ester Williams' Aquacades.
There are no makeovers in my books. The ugly duckling does not become a beautiful swan. She becomes a confident duck able to take charge of her own life and problems.
Last year, when 'Black Swan,' 'True Grit' and 'King's Speech' all grossed over $100 million, it gave studios and independent financiers the confidence to make daring movies and not do the same old you-know-what.
I have had so many great moments, but I would have to say that dancing the Swan in 'Swan Lake' was such a unique and passionate experience for me. It was such bloody hard work, even at that very early age, that I would not want to try to replicate it again now.
The Teutons have been singing the swan song ever since they entered the ranks of history. They have always confounded truth with death.
Sometimes I feel my arm is like a swan's neck - so weak.
The first time the Kirov ballet was seen in America was on Sept. 11, 1961. The ballet was 'Swan Lake.' The ballerina was Inna Zubkovskaya. The place was the old Met, on what must have been one of the hottest nights of the year, and there was no air-conditioning.
'Black Swan' does what Hollywood movies have always done - it spends its energies on getting some surface things right while getting everything important wrong. Darren Aronofsky, the director, applies the same techniques and the same sensibility here as he did with 'The Wrestler,' only with a prettier protagonist.
With 'Black Swan,' the ballerina saga flips its tiara and goes on a hallucinatory bender, a scary acid trip where transfiguration and disfiguration meet.
Slashing its way to the finish line, 'Black Swan' is the first ballet movie for highbrow horror fans for whom ballet itself signifies little to nothing. Those of us who know and love ballet can only look on it with a different kind of horror.
In the heyday of the Oscars, there were electric sparks flying. When Cher went in her fabulous Bob Mackie dress and her Mohawk, and Bjoerk with her swan dress. Then we thought it was bad taste; now I think it should have been the best dress because she stood out.
Andre Leon Talley
From a public perspective, the Grand National is the biggest race of all, and not to have won it yet is definitely a failure. But there's been a lot of jockeys every bit as good and better than me that haven't won it - John Francome, Peter Scudamore, Jonjo O'Neill, Charlie Swan, to name a few.
You cannot dance an arabesque in 'Swan Lake' and 'Nutcracker' the same way.
Technical things are getting more mechanical. Take 'Swan Lake,' the Black Swan pas de deux. Now, my goodness, they're turning not just 32 fouettes - but double or triple pirouettes.
We were the best team in the world: European champions in 1984, we qualified without a hitch and 86 was to be the swan song for a very experienced side.
C. S. Lewis
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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