Yevgeny Kulesh: SHOCKING video shows actor crushed to death at Moscow's Bolshoi theater
The orchestra abruptly stopped playing as actors began screaming for help, while spectators thought they were witnessing part of the performance
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
MOSCOW, RUSSIA: A Russian actor has been crushed to death during a set change at Moscow's world-famous Bolshoi Theater as it performed the opera ‘Sadko’. As per reports, Yevgeny Kulesh went in the wrong direction during the descent of a ramp and was trapped under it.
As per the Daily Mail, a video that captured the horrific death of Kulesh shows a large backdrop being lowered onto the stage during a performance on Saturday night, October 9, as the 37-year-old actor got trapped underneath and was crushed to death. It is thought that the Russian actor walked the wrong way during the set change and then could not get out of the way of the backdrop in time. The fatal incident was captured on video.
The tabloid reported that the orchestra abruptly stopped playing as actors began screaming for help, while spectators thought they were witnessing part of the performance before the realization set in -- when some on stage shouted "call an ambulance, there is blood". Panicked performers and onlookers attempted to lift the prop and revive Kulesh, but were unsuccessful. Medics reportedly said that nothing could be done to help the actor, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Moscow's Investigative Committee said it is probing the death.
“It was awful,” one witness wrote on Facebook after she was ushered out of the theater. “We arrived at the Bolshoi theater and sat in our seats. Then suddenly, when the scenery went down during the very first scene, someone shouted: ‘Doctor! We need an ambulance quickly, someone fell under the scenery!’ The orchestra fell silent and the curtains were closed.”
The witness added that the audience was told by the theater the performance was stopped due to technical difficulties, but she found out that Kulesh had been killed after speaking to security guards on the way out of the theater.
In a statement issued on Saturday evening, the Bolshoi said: "The performance was immediately stopped, the audience was asked to leave the hall." Former Bolshoi theater actors have condemned the working conditions at the world-famous venue. Nikolai Tsiskardze, a former principal dancer at the theater, told Komsomolkaya Pravda that the company's actors, dancers, and workers suffer frequent injuries, and near-misses as a result of the dangerous working conditions.
“Backstage is hell,” said Tsiskardze. “Dancers damage their legs when sets and staircases fall over. I have been screaming about the problems of the Bolshoi for 25 years. There is no order, no medicine, no ethics. We are all serfs! We must not blame Yevgeny or find a scapegoat.”
It is also not the first tragic incident to hit the world-renowned theater. In July 2013, a senior violinist died after falling into the orchestra pit. Viktor Sedov was a veteran of the opera house's orchestra, having played there for four decades. In 2011, a Moscow court jailed Ballet soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko for six years after he was found to have organized an acid attack on the company's artistic director, Sergei Filin, outside his Moscow flat, badly damaging his eyesight.