Natalie Portman is enjoying her time in the limelight. The Queen of Naboo from Star Wars has come of age with her depiction of a disturbed ballet dancer in Black Swan. That the Oscar will be hers is almost a foregone conclusion. But the buzz over the film has also spelt good news for The New York City Ballet which is currently performing Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake at the 2,500-seater David A. Koch Theatre.
According to City Ballet spokesperson Rob Daniels, the tickets to its nine performances sold out very quickly this year. It may be still too early to ascertain how far the ticket sales can be attributed to the success of Black Swan the movie. But once the stats are in, that is a factor that will have to be included. Apparently, people have been calling in to ask when Natalie Portman will be dancing, which is an indicator of how little people are aware of ballet as an art form.
Black Swan the movie features Swan Lake the ballet. Dancer Sara Mearns is essaying the ballet role played by Portman in the movie. Wall Street Journal arts columnist Pia Catton admits that the film has made people better aware of the challenges of professional ballet dancing. Portman’s dislocated rib during training also contributed to the same. Catton also added that a recently published book on the history of ballet, Apollo’s Angels, might have further added to the hype.
Meanwhile, City Ballet has another claim to pop culture. On 22 September, the troupe will be staging Ocean’s Kingdom, an orchestral work written by former Beatle Paul McCartney.