A performer was killed in an onstage accident at the Bolshoi Theatre in Russia

10October 2021

A performer was killed Saturday during a performance at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, pictured here in a May 2020 photo.

YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images

YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images

An actor performing at Moscow’s famous Bolshoi Theatre was killed in an accident on Saturday, the venue announced on social media.

The man was identified as 38-year-old Evgenia Sergeevich Kulesh.

“We express our deep condolences to family and friends,” the theater said in a statement translated from Russian. “The time and place of parting will be announced later.”

According to the BBC, video shows Kulesh being crushed by a piece of the set during a scene change, as his fellow performers frantically waved their arms to get the crew to lift the structure off the actor.

The accident occurred during a performance of Sadko, an opera by the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, multiple outlets reported. The Bolshoi cancelled a performance of Sadko on Sunday.

Theater officials closed the curtains in the moments following the accident and called off the show shortly after, Russia’s state-backed news network RT reported.

Forensics experts were dispatched to the theater and the Russian Investigative Committee said it was looking into the accident, the network said.

The Bolshoi is no stranger to tragedy. A former dancer was sentenced to six years in a penal colony for orchestrating an acid attack on the theater’s artistic director in 2013. Also that year, a veteran violinist died after falling into the Bolshoi’s orchestra pit.

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