SOVIET UNION: Scooting Away on Skates

A championship couple defects, Bolshoi style

No sooner had Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet hobbled home, aching from the loss of three dancers who had defected on the troupe's U.S. tour last month, than Soviet prestige was hit by an even more bruising blow: the defection in Switzerland last week of Figure Skating Champions Oleg Protopopov, 47, and Ludmila Belousova, 43. So alarmed were Soviet officials over the rash of recent defections that they canceled a scheduled 28-concert U.S. tour by the Moscow State Symphony. Before the drastic decision was made, the orchestra's U.S. booking agent, Samuel Niefeld, was suddenly summoned to Moscow....

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