Looping Swans

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It was August 19, 1991, and tanks were in the streets of Moscow. Soviet hardliners were trying to stage a coup against then-president Mikhail Gorbachev. But if you turned on the television in the Soviet capital, you wouldn't see any of that. You'd see – ballet. Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, to be precise. On repeat. It wasn't the first time.

What Swan Lake meant – and came to mean – to Russians living under Soviet rule.

Looping Swans is a Falling Tree production made by Charles Maynes and Cicely Fell for BBC Radio 4.

Photo: Alan Charleston



Bob Carlson


Bob Carlson, Nick White