Dancers from the Argentinian National Dance Ballet perform during a protest, against the government's decision to close the Company, near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Dancers from the Argentinian National Dance Ballet perform during a protest, against the government's decision to close the Company, near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Dancers from the Argentinian National Dance Ballet perform during a protest, against the government's decision to close the Company, near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Dancers from the Argentinian National Dance Ballet perform during a protest, against the government's decision to close the Company, near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
A dancer from the Argentinian National Dance Ballet performs during a protest, against the government's decision to close the Company, near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
A dancer from the Argentinian National Dance Ballet performs during a protest, against the government's decision to close the Company, near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Dancers from the Argentinian National Dance Ballet perform during a protest, against the government's decision to close the Company, near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Dancers from the Argentinian National Dance Ballet perform during a protest, against the government's decision to close the Company, near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Dancers from the Argentinian National Dance Ballet tape posters reading hashtags: "No to the closure of the National Dance Ballet (BND)" and "No to the cultural emptying" during a protest in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Dancers from the Argentinian National Dance Ballet tape posters reading hashtags: "No to the closure of the National Dance Ballet (BND)" and "No to the cultural emptying" during a protest in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Dancers from the Argentinian National Dance Ballet perform during a protest, against the government's decision to close the Company, near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Dancers from the Argentinian National Dance Ballet perform during a protest, against the government's decision to close the Company, near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Pointe shoes hang across Alvear avenue near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires, during a protest by members of the Argentinian National Dance Ballet, against the government's decision to close the Company. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Pointe shoes hang across Alvear avenue near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires, during a protest by members of the Argentinian National Dance Ballet, against the government's decision to close the Company. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
A crying dancer is comforted during a protest by the Argentinian National Dance Ballet against the government's decision to close the Company, near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires. Picture:  Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
A crying dancer is comforted during a protest by the Argentinian National Dance Ballet against the government's decision to close the Company, near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Symbolic black ballet slippers hang across Alvear avenue near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires, during a protest by members of the Argentinian National Dance Ballet, against the government's decision to close the Company. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Symbolic black ballet slippers hang across Alvear avenue near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires, during a protest by members of the Argentinian National Dance Ballet, against the government's decision to close the Company. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
A dancer hangs pointe shoes across Alvear avenue near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires, during a protest by members of the Argentinian National Dance Ballet, against the government's decision to close the Company. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
A dancer hangs pointe shoes across Alvear avenue near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires, during a protest by members of the Argentinian National Dance Ballet, against the government's decision to close the Company. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
A dancer from the Argentinian National Dance Ballet performs during a protest, against the government's decision to close the Company, near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
A dancer from the Argentinian National Dance Ballet performs during a protest, against the government's decision to close the Company, near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Symbolic black ballet slippers hang across Alvear avenue near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires, during a protest by members of the Argentinian National Dance Ballet, against the government's decision to close the Company. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP
Symbolic black ballet slippers hang across Alvear avenue near the Culture Ministry in Buenos Aires, during a protest by members of the Argentinian National Dance Ballet, against the government's decision to close the Company. Picture: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP

Buenos Aires, Argentina - Ballet dancers have taken to the streets of Argentina's capital with an open-air performance to protest government funding cuts.

About 80 dancers, choreographers, and other workers of the state-funded National Ballet of the Dance lost their jobs in December under government austerity measures.

Thursday's protesters performed pirouettes to "Swan Lake," blocking traffic but causing onlookers to break into cheers and applause.

President Mauricio Macri came into office in 2015 promising to cut bloated spending and revive Argentina's struggling economy. 

He has tried to reduce the high fiscal deficit by slashing subsidies to utilities, ordering layoffs and reducing spending on some social and cultural programs. But the measures have stoked labour unrest.

AP