RSS
Did 'Black Swan' make ballet 'hot' again?
Performances of "Swan Lake" in London, New York, and Philadelphia are benefiting from the buzz surrounding the Natalie Portman film
 
Natalie Portman's performance in "Black Swan" seems to have enticed audiences back to the theater for "Swan Lake" revivals.
Natalie Portman's performance in "Black Swan" seems to have enticed audiences back to the theater for "Swan Lake" revivals.
Corbis

Black Swan hasn't just been good for Natalie Portman's career. Ballet companies across the country, and overseas, are reporting increased interest from ticket buyers — and are giving credit to director Darren Aronofsky's Oscar contender. Ballet, once "dismissed by many as a high-culture relic in danger of imminent extinction," is "hot" again, due in large part to the success of the movie, says Andrew Edmondson, the director of marketing for the Houston Ballet. Here, some Black Swan-aided box office successes:

1. London's Royal Opera House
The Royal Ballet's latest revival of "Swan Lake" coincided with the British release of the film. That helped generate a buzz, says Roya Nikkhah in The Telegraph, and the ballet even "received enquiries from prospective audience members asking when Portman will be taking to the stage."

2. The English National Ballet
Another British production of the classic ballet also got a Black Swan boost for its scheduled performance next month at the London Coliseum. "The hype around the film has definitely helped us," a spokesman says, as quoted in The Telegraph, "and we won't need to spend as much on advertising as usual on our forthcoming production."

3. New York City Ballet
Tickets for the company's performances of "Swan Lake" sold "unusually fast," says Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times. While the popular ballet was scheduled for this season well before the movie came out, Portman's portrayal of a ballerina undergoing a psychological meltdown may very well have boosted demand.

4. Pennsylvania Ballet
Philadelphia performances of "Swan Lake" have also seen "brisk ticket sales," says Dan Gross at Philly.com. "Black Swan is putting ballet on the tips of people's tongues and attracting people who hadn't previously thought of ballet, which is great," says public relations manager Marissa Montenegro.

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week