A dancer filming an exercise routine in front of Myanmar’s parliament has gained global fame after she unwittingly captured the first moments of a dramatic coup in the background of her video.
In the extraordinary footage in capital Naypyidaw, a woman reported to be Khing Hnin Wai continues to work out as black SUVs drive up to a security checkpoint on the road leading to the Assembly of the Union complex behind her. As the upbeat song she is dancing to builds in tempo, the convoy swells almost in time to the music.
The dancer does not appear to know what is happening behind her. She continues – at one stage making small punching motions – as the cars behind her come briefly to a standstill. Then, as she moves spryly side to side, small figures in silhouette can be seen rushing to open the barricade and let the cars through.
At around 3am on Tuesday, Khing Hnin Wai posted again to say that she had filmed many videos in the location before, and that the video was real. She had been filming dance videos outside the assembly for 11 months, she said.
Online the video drew comparisons to the dystopian TV show Black Mirror, or something worthy of contemplation by idiosyncratic cult philosopher Slavoj Žižek. Reddit users have already Photoshopped the dancer in front of other historical moments, including the Hindenberg disaster and the more recent storming of the US Capitol.
In the full video, posted by Khing Hnin Wai to her Facebook, on which she lists her occupation as a physical education teacher, sirens can be heard in the background before the first vehicles appear.
In raids early on Monday morning, Myanmar’s military detained state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior ruling party figures before declaring a state of emergency and taking power. They also cut phone and mobile services in the capital and Yangon.