Page last updated at 10:07 GMT, Friday, 27 November 2009

Graphic ballet scenes cut by BBC

The BBC has pulled scenes from a ballet after their graphic sexual nature was deemed unsuitable for broadcast in a pre-watershed time slot.

Eternal Damnation To Sancho And Sanchez depicts a pope abusing an altar boy and strangling a pregnant nun.

The scenes, by Venezuelan choreographer Javier de Frutos, form one of four distinct works in the collaborative ballet In The Spirit Of Diaghilev.

Critics reviewing the extract called it "lurid" and "deliberately offensive".

The Sadlers Wells production celebrates 100 years of the Ballets Russes, founded by the ground-breaking Russian dance impresario Sergei Diaghilev.


The four individual ballets were originally scheduled to run together on BBC Four over the Christmas period.

"When we announced we were showing it, at the time we weren't fully aware of the details of the ballet and had every intention of showing all four acts," a BBC spokesman said.

"Basically, the material isn't suitable for a pre-watershed broadcast."

The remaining three extracts will be shown on 18 December.

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