The Russian dancer performs Swan Lake on the ice to save the bay

Dancer Ilmira Bagautdinova traded one of Russia’s most prestigious stages for the frozen waters of the Gulf of Finland in a clever protest against a construction project that locals say threatens a unique natural habitat. Braving the freezing temperatures in her pointe shoes and white tutu, Bagautdinova filmed herself performing arabesques and folds on the frozen waters of Batareinaya Bay after reading reports that there were plans to build a grain silo at the site.

The Mariinsky theater dancer posted the video online, adding music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake winks at the swans living in the area about 50 km (30 miles) west of St. Petersburg. “This is a unique natural and historical place where swans nest in the spring, where families with children go on vacation in the summer, where hundreds of fishermen go out on the ice in the winter,” he wrote on Facebook. “All of this is threatened with destruction.”

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Russian news agency TASS reported last year that the company Baltic Grain Terminal planned to start building a 35 billion rubles ($ 477 million) terminal on Batareinaya Bay. Sodruzhestvo, an agribusiness group that owns Baltic Grain Terminal, declined to comment.

The Leningrad regional authority told Reuters it has not issued any building permits to build in the area. Bagautdinova called on the Russians to sign an online petition addressed to President Vladimir Putin asking that the bay be left in its natural state. The petition has so far collected more than 7,650 signatures.

“It was my cry from my heart to save a great place that has special meaning to me, “the 29-year-old told Reuters. Bagautdinova said her family often visited the sandy beaches of the bay in summer and sled there in winter.

“It would be great if after dancing here, construction stopped and we could save this amazing natural place,” Bagautdinova said. “But I don’t think it’s that easy.” ($ 1 = 73.4122 rubles)

(This story has not been edited by our team of editors and is generated from a feed.)

News Highlights:

  • “All of this is threatened with destruction.” Russian news agency TASS reported last year that the company Baltic Grain Terminal planned to start building a 35 billion rubles ($ 477 million) terminal on Batareinaya Bay. Sodruzhestvo, an agribusiness group that owns Baltic Grain Terminal, declined to comment. The Leningrad regional authority told Reuters it has not issued any building permits to build in the area.
  • The Russian dancer performs Swan Lake on the ice to save the bay