The Dying Swan
, a score to a 1916 Russian silent film made by Yevgeny Bauer
, was commissioned by the British Film Institute in 2002. The Dying Swan
is intriguing because its heroine is a mute.
She turns to ballet dancing after becoming unlucky in love and dances the famous Dying Swan which in turn fascinates an aristocratic dabbler in the arts who wants to catch the essence of death on canvas. He invites her to be an artist's model, and all goes well until her lover discovers her again. She is overjoyed but, going for her final sitting, the painter is angry that her pallor of death has turned to tears of joy, and he murders her.