Russian investigators have decided against launching a prosecution over a controversial “twerking” dance by a group of teenage girls, saying the performance was not erotic.
A video of the 14 to 19 year-old girls wearing short skirts and leotards and shaking their bottoms during a dance school performance caused uproar when it emerged last month, and has since been viewed more than 25m times on YouTube.
Nine of the performers were minors and many observers considered the dance – called “Winnie Pooh and the Bees” – overtly sexual.
The dance studio in Orenberg in central Russia was closed down temporarily and Pavel Astakhov, Russia’s children’s rights ombudsman, called the performance “vulgar” and “insulting”.
Russia’s Investigative Committee, the state body tasked with investigating crime and carrying out prosecutions, said at the time that it was launching an investigation because there were under-age girls involved who were wearing “revealing clothes”.
However, on Monday officials from the committee’s Orenberg branch announced they had decided against prosecuting dance school employees or parents.
“According to the conclusion of specialists in choreography, all the movements are elements of the ‘twerk’ style, and the dance does not contain elements of erotica or pornography,” a spokesman for the committee told Tass, the news agency.
“In the process of a check no evidence of depraved acts in relation to minors, illegal preparation of pornographic materials or negligence was established.”
Three young women were jailed for minor “hooliganism” in Russia three weeks ago for filming themselves performing an “erotic” dance in front of a Second World War memorial.
Margarita Radetskaya, a 19-year-old student, was put behind bars for 15 days, while Yana Kutakova, 24, and Yekaterina Shcherbedinskaya, 26, were given a 10-day sentence each.
The women danced in front of the Soviet-era Malaya Zemlya memorial near Novorossiysk on the Black Sea coast.
Prosecutors said they had taken up that case in order to protect a “monument of military history and culture”.