The Black Swan Effect

The Saint Petersburg Ballet is currently performing Swan Lake at the Palais des Congrès in Paris. TF1 had a short segment today about the ballet company and Irina Kolesnikova, who dances the roles of the White and Black Swans.

According to the news story, a record number of spectators is being attributed to the “Black Swan Effect.” They interviewed a few people who said that the film, directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassel, had sparked their interest in seeing the ballet. 40,000 seats have been sold.

I don’t know if anyone would call this transmedia. It certainly doesn’t correspond to the Producer’s Guild of America’s definition of a Transmedia Narrative or Franchise, since the ballet is an independent work that’s simply an element of the story. It wasn’t created as a separate storyline, and the production is independent of the film.

Long before the term transmedia was coined, great stories have been capturing the audience’s imagination and introducing them to still other stories and art forms. Call it “accidental” transmedia; it attests to the power of a story to inspire the audience to look beyond a work to its inspiration, and I think this is the greatest form of transmedia there is.

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