Leading ballet star Gillian Murphy has criticized Natalie Portman's new movie Black Swan as "shocking" and "disturbing" for its dark portrayal of the dance world.
The film, which is tipped for success at the 2011 Academy Awards, tells the story of an emotionally-disturbed dancer who descends into madness as she vies for roles within a highly-competitive company.
However, British ballerina Murphy, who is a principal dancer at New York's American Ballet Theatre, was horrified by director Darren Aronofsky's harsh portrayal of the industry and insists the film is far removed from reality.
She tells the Los Angeles Times, "I thought the extreme nature that it presented was shocking, but it was intentionally that way... It's very competitive (in the ballet industry), especially to get into a company. I feel that once you're in the company, you have your personal goals to progress and to get more roles, and we are very supportive of each other."
"The mean-spiritedness portrayed in the movie was disturbing to me. That atmosphere and the lecherousness of the director - they have nothing to do with my personal experience."