A Russian dancer collapsed on stage while performing a routine and died — amid a round of applause from the audience who though it was all part of the act.
The 48-year-old children’s dance teacher, named only as R. Khusainov, was performing during a Mother’s Day event in the town of Urus-Martan in southwest Chechen Republic.
In the video taken by a member of the audience by a cell phone camera, the brightly clad figure is seen dancing the traditional Lezginka exuberantly.
The Lezginka is a traditional dance of the ethnic group in the Caucasus region, Lezgins, and is performed by many other people including the Cossack and the Chechens.
The man was dancing while the blue-clad singer Liza Akhmatova sang a Chechen song. However, after a few moments into the routine, Khusainov seemed to stumble and then collapsed onto the stage.
The cast peeking from backstage immediately sensed something was wrong but the crowd burst into applause. The singer, who thought it was a joke, continued singing and twirling, then as the music stopped, jokingly said to the crowd, “Hey, he stopped it.”
Things took a serious turn when she bent to shake Khusainov, but he did not respond. The other cast members quickly ran onto the stage and tried to get to his feet and that’s when the audience realized something had gone horribly wrong.
Paramedics were summoned to the venue but it was already too late for Khusainov. They said the dancer, who had a history of heart ailments, had died from a sudden heart attack during the routine.