Making my pointe
New year, new obsession: I went to see Black Swan last week, and I’m now reaching levels of interest in ballet unacceptable for a 32-year-old who can’t stand in fifth position for more than 30 seconds.
You’ve probably heard about how star Natalie Portman trained for a year, lost 20 pounds and broke a rib as she prepped for the psychological thriller about a ballerina who starts to lose her mind when she nabs the lead role in Swan Lake. Or maybe you know the mild scandal about Portman being pregnant and newly engaged to Benjamin Millepied, her partner in the film. Or maybe you’ve just been creeped out by the trailers, which are pretty damn spooky. Good reasons to go see it, all.
Me? I’m in love with the clothes. And because it’s lame to dress like a ballerina without actually being a ballerina, I’m now thinking about taking a class or two just so I can rock the look. (Note: This is probably also lame, but in a different way.) Can you blame me?
The design house Rodarte created some pieces for the film, and while I was blown away by the intricate stage costumes, I am lusting after the knitwear Portman wears during the rehearsal scenes. One arm warmer in particular, crafted in Rodarte’s signature open knit, is my favorite. (I can’t find any photos of it online, but it’s very similar in style to the scarf Portman wears throughout the flick.)
For a girl who loves dance movies, something like this is bound to happen every few years. The last time, it was Save the Last Dance, which led to weeks of baggy-pantsed, adult-ed hip-hop classes. When that went well, I convinced my friend, Heather, to sign up for six weeks of beginner ballet.
We had to wear tights. The instructor was insane. I couldn’t do anything right. I don’t even think I attended the final class. And when I texted Heather the other night, our conversation went something like this:
ME: Remind me how much I hated ballet class.
HEATH: Are you thinking about doing another one???
ME: Thinking about maybe.
HEATH: Just remember: leotards.
ME: And turnout. That sucked.
HEATH: I tell myself that no amount of ballet will make me look like Natalie Portman.
That’s true in my case, too. But in the name of shaking things up in 2011, I’ve vowed to try new things. (And old things that I think I hate, just to make sure that I really, truly hate them.) Plus, mixing up workouts keeps me interested, and possibly less injured than normal, and that’s always a good thing. But if you see me in a few weeks and I look like this…
… you may want to gently suggest that my toeshoes are laced a little too tightly.