But what consequences may such a dark film have on perceptions of ballet dancers? Several dancers have come out in an obvious PR move to try to dispel stereotypes of ballet dancers as being cold, masochistic, tightly wound and super competitive. In a December Los Angeles Times interview, two principal dancers in the New York's American Ballet Theatre answer questions about similarities between Nina's experiences in Black Swan and their own experiences preparing for and performing in shows.
While they explain that some aspects of the film are realistic, at points it is clear that Murphy and Hallberg, particularly Murphy, are trying to debunk notions of ballet that Black Swan has perpetuated:
GM: "Most of my colleagues have a great sense of humor... you have to embrace the role onstage and experience what that character is about — very repressed and angry. But does that mean I was a nightmare to live with? Absolutely not ... The mean-spiritedness portrayed in the movie was disturbing to me ... It (dance film The Red Shoes) asks the question of how can a dancer experience and portray greatness onstage and also have a full personal life — and as a woman, have kids and get married. In this day and age, people do it all the time."
This interview and other articles about the Black Swan film clearly show that some in the ballet world are afraid about the impact the film may have on people's perceptions of their craft. Will Black Swan hurt ballet? Apparently not. Tickets for The New York City Ballet and Russian National Ballet at Valley Performing Arts Center productions of Swan Lake have been selling wildly.