Russian investigators probe viral teen ‘twerking’ video
Russian investigators on Tuesday launched a probe into suspected "lascivious actions" after an online video showing teenage girls at a dance school suggestively shaking their behinds was viewed millions of times.
The YouTube video, called “Winnie-the-Pooh and the bees”, shows a group of girls in striped orange leotards and short black wrap skirts performing on stage at a dance school in the central Russian city of Orenburg.
The video, which was posted online at the weekend, had gained more than four million views by Tuesday afternoon, drawing the attention of the powerful Investigative Committee.
The investigators said they were looking into an incident of “so-called twerking” by “underage girls in revealing outfits.”
Twerking, a raunchy hip-thrusting move from a squatting stance long associated with hip-hop, entered the global lexicon after US pop star Miley Cyrus infamously performed the move at the MTV VMA awards in 2013.
The Oxford English Dictionary shortlisted it as word of the year the same year.
Video of the dance shows it beginning innocently enough, with a performer in a bear costume looking into an empty jar of honey. Girl dancers dressed as bees then surround him on stage as the music switches to a techno beat.
The girls, who appear to be in their early to mid-teens, shake their behinds up and down for two minutes, while having their backs to the auditorium. At one point they perform the move while lying on the floor before ending the number by dramatically ripping off their skirts.
The Kremlin children’s ombudsman Pavel Astakhov, who is involved in the investigation, called the dance move “vulgar and insulting.”
Reached by telephone on Tuesday, the spokeswoman of the investigative committee in Orenburg, Angelika Linkova, told AFP that the authorities were checking the dance performance for indecency, although so far they had not launched a criminal probe.
“Investigators suspect that there are signs of lascivious actions” in the incident, she said, referring to a sex offence against minors which carries up to 15 years in prison.
“Investigators are questioning the managers and the owners of the dance school and identifying the girls and their parents,” Linkova said.
The Kredo dance school could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Media reports said the city authorities have temporarily closed it down.