PARIS – The Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques released their annual study of the leading causes of death in France yesterday, and for the 168th consecutive year, jealous ballet understudy has topped the list.
“Basically any time the cast of a ballet show is announced, we have to get ready for a murder investigation,” said Phillipe Dubois, the Director-General of the Police Nationale. “Sure enough, within a week the lead of the ballet is dead and we go and arrest the understudy, usually in a dramatic scene on the opening night of the ballet.”
The Paris Opera Ballet had to cancel every single one of their performances last year because all of their prima ballerinas had been murdered and all of their understudies were incarcerated, serving life sentences.
“I know I shouldn’t have,” said former ballet understudy Veronique LaPierre from a French prison. “But when the only thing standing between you and your lifelong dream is this tiny woman and you can easily collapse their windpipe with your pointe shoes, well, that’s a temptation that is too hard to resist, no?”
Despite warnings from leading ballet companies to not accept leading roles, there were still over 254,679 deaths by jealous ballet understudies in France in 2017, up from 241,899 the previous year. The mortality rate has increased despite the fact that the French government poured $200 million Euros into understudy awareness last year, and placed clear warning labels on all tutus sold in French convenience stores.
While jealous ballet understudy was the most common cause of death in France last year, many other causes of death were listed by the study including ennui, scarf strangulation, smoking related illnesses, the discovery of a spouse’s fifth lover, bicycle-related baguette impaling, guillotine, and tuberculosis.