Breathtaking moment a Russian ballerina dances real ‘Swan Lake’ on ice

8 March 2021, 16:19 | Updated: 9 March 2021, 17:30

Breathtaking moment a Russian ballerina dances real ‘Swan Lake’ on ice
Breathtaking moment a Russian ballerina dances real ‘Swan Lake’ on ice. Picture: Getty

By Sian Moore

A ballerina does an authentic ‘Swan Lake’ in freezing temperatures, to save real-life swans.

The wintry backdrop of Swan Lake is usually an expertly designed set with frost-tipped props. But for Mariinsky Theatre dancer Ilmira Bagrautinova, her performance of Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet was a little more ecologically authentic.

Taking to the bitter ice on the frozen Gulf of Finland in a feathered tutu and ballet shoes, the Russian dancer pirouetted and twirled before the breathtaking glacial landscape, in freezing temperatures of -15C.

The performance wasn’t just a moment of beautiful ballet, but an eco-activism statement to protect the species that nest in this snowy setting, an area now jeopardised by the potential construction of a new port.

Bagrautinova particularly hopes her performance will save real swans which reside in the bay.

Read more: Ballerina with Alzheimer’s remembers routine to Swan Lake >

#БатарейнаяДляЛюдей #БатарейнаяБезТерминала Уникальное природное и историческое место, где весной гнездятся лебеди, летом отдыхают семьи с детьми, зимой выходят на лёд сотни рыбаков, в лесу оборудованы тропы для квадроциклов и лыжников. Природа в гармонии с людьми. Все это под угрозой уничтожения.президенту-рф-путину-в-в-требуем-запретить-строительство-зернового-терминала-порта-в-бухте-батарейная-лен-обл

Posted by Ильмира Багаутдинова on Friday, February 19, 2021
Mariinsky Ballet dancer performs on Gulf of Finland
Mariinsky Ballet dancer performs on Gulf of Finland. Picture: Getty

The bay, Bagrautinova says on social media, is a “unique, natural and historical place where swans nest in spring, families with children rest in summer, hundreds of fishermen go out on ice in winter, and the forest has trails for quad bikes and skiers.

“Nature in harmony with people,” Ilmira adds. “All of this is at risk of extinction.”

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The beach sits around 100 kilometres from Russia’s second largest city, Saint Petersburg.

Bagrautinova has linked to a petition, which aims to ban the construction of the port in Batareinaya Bay.

Ballerina performs Swan Lake on a literal frozen lake
Ballerina performs Swan Lake on a literal frozen lake. Picture: Getty

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There are dozens of protected areas in the Gulf of Finland, which extends between Finland to the north, Estonia to the south, and Saint Petersburg to the east.

This location, according to the petition, is a “specially protected natural area” where thousands of birds visit on their seasonal migrations, and a variety of rare plant species grow. Nearly 7,500 people have currently signed the petition.