Nina Portman is a ballerina who works for a New York City dance company. Her life is completely consumed by her love for dancing, like any other person who dances professionally.
She lives with her mother Erica Hershey who was an unsuccessful ballerina who as a result is obsessive and tries to live her life through her daughter; as such she exerts an almost stifling control over her. She is chosen by her artistic director Thomas, whom is referred to as the “beast’, and is also known for having sexual relations with his dancers. With a seemingly intimidating and entitling attitude, he makes it clear that he has plans for the innocent Nina. She is chosen by him to replace another ballerina (Ryder) for the opening of their new production season, she automatically is the first choice for the role of the white swan, however, she has a competitor; a newly hired dancer Lily who has also managed to impress Leroy as well. The role requires a dancer who is able to manipulate two characters the role of white swan requires a dancer who displays innocence and grace, and on the other hand, the black swan who displays guile and sensuality. Nina is perfectly suited for the role of White Swan, but Lilly is the embodiment of the black swan. As their rivalry begins, Nina soon begins to connect with her dark side, which proves to be a careless move on her part as it threatens to destroy her. (Pictures, 2010)