'Black Swan' Good for Ballet Ticket Sales
Darren Aronofsky's hit film, "Black Swan," may do more for the arts than earn Natalie Portman a slew of best-actress awards. It may in fact have helped to boost professional dance companies - at least the ones performing the ballet "Swan Lake," which the film is centered around.
To prepare for the film, Portman trained with former New York City Ballet dancer Mary Helen Bowers. That company performs "Swan Lake" each year and this year its two-week run (which will end on Saturday, Feb. 26) sold extremely well, according to City Ballet spokesman Rob Daniels. The company sold out tickets to all nine of its performances in the 2,500-seat David A. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center.
City Ballet is no stranger to pop culture. In fact, Paul McCarthy has written a major orchestral work for the ballet which will be performed at its fall gala on Sept. 22.
Last year, according to Dance/USA, the largest dance companies in the U.S. had an average attendance of 73 percent. Despite the grim depiction of the profession in "Black Swan," the film has raised awareness of the art form and the strenuous athleticism involved in its training - even if only because Portman dislocated a rib while performing the role.
Carrie Culpepper blogs about culture and travel at CultureFix.wordpress.com.