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Kino Club: Black Swan on June 18

Date and time
Thursday, June 11, 2015

Kino Club: Black Swan on June 18

DHC/ART Education is pleased to present the Summer edition of Kino Club, a film series linked to the exhibition Yinka Shonibare MBE: Pièces de résistance.

Kino Club presents an occasion for conversation and exchange on contemporary art and its links to cinema and culture. It is in this spirit that we invite you to the REFERENCE room (451 St-Jean) on four Thursdays throughout the upcoming months for the screening of a movie selected by one of the educators at DHC/ART. Following the projection, we will discuss the film and its links to the exhibition.

For the first screening of this series, educator Amanda Beattie will be showing Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan (2010) in relation to Shonibare’s Odile and Odette (2005). Both films take as their point of reference Tchaikovski’s Swan Lake (1875). The premise of the original ballet is that under the spell of an evil sorcerer, princess Odette must live as a swan by day and a woman by night. The sorcerer then transforms his own daughter, Odile, into resembling Odette during the day, which results in a tragedy involving love and death. Traditionally, the role of Odette and Odile is played by the same dancer, with two costumes: white to represent the innocent Odette, and black to represent the evil Odile.

Shonibare’s response to Swan Lake is to present a piece whereby two dancers – one white and one black – are depicted as mirror images of each other, wearing the same tutu and pointe shoes made of Dutch wax fabric. There is a striking lack of music in Shonibare’s film, which brings to light the sound of the ballerinas’ breath, the movement of their clothes, and the tapping of their pointe shoes on the wooden floor. It is impossible to tell the difference between “good” and “evil” in Shonibare’s version.

Aronofsky’s Black Swan tells the story of Nina, a ballet dancer who has been chosen to play the roles of Odette and Odile in a New York ballet company’s version of Swan Lake.  While Nina naturally fits the character of Odette, she struggles to personify the evil Odile. As the plot thickens with Nina desperately trying to embody Odile, she grapples with reality and pummels into dark waters.

Some themes that will be discussed in relation to these works after screening Black Swan include repetition, colour and its symbolism, sound and identity.

We hope to see you at our first Kino Club of the season on Thursday, June 18 at 6pm! The event is free of charge. First come, first served.

Click here to visit the event page for Black Swan.

Photo: Cross Creek Pictures / Phoenix Pictures / Dune Entertainment / Fox Searchlight

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