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Ballerinas on Tanks Perform ‘Swan Lake’ at Russia’s Army Games

The metaphor is a little on-the-nose. Sergei Fadeichev / TASS

Russia’s flagship “Combat Olympics” featured a peculiar ballet performance on top of tanks.

Videos from the International Army Games 2021 (ArMI-2021) showed two ballerinas in tutus and pointer shoes pirouetting, arabesque-ing and pliéing to “Swan Lake” in a pas de deux with uniformed servicemen.

The male dancers, whom the media identified as Belarusian tank crew, were in full uniform and were notably not wearing black tights.

The tanks had Belarusian flags on the turrets.

Other battle tanks were seen kicking up dust while maneuvering in the background.

The seventh annual ArMI-2021 military-technical games is hosting showcases and demos of an array of new armed vehicles, weapons systems, aircraft and more to a global audience.

The expo at Patriot Park, a military-themed park outside Moscow, is a key event for Russia, the world’s second-largest arms exporter.

The dancers' eyebrow-raising performance takes place two years after a central Russian volunteer military service staged an eccentric International Women’s Day photoshoot featuring armed and camouflaged servicemen posing alongside ballerinas inside an empty metro station.

It also comes days after the 30th anniversary of the 1991 August coup, when “Swan Lake” played on a loop on Soviet televisions as communist hardliners attempted to seize power from Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

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