Tchaikovsky's birthday brings Swan Lake to Google

Russian composer P.I. Tchaikovsky gets a nod from Google with a ballet-themed doodle.

Tchaikovsky gets a very-Google birthday tribute today, with ballerinas contorting to form each letter in the company's name.

Why are there ballerinas frolicking across Google's homepage today? It's a little birthday salute to P.I. Tchaikovsky.

The Russian composer, who would have turned 170 today, wrote several of classical music's most popular pieces: The Nutcracker, the 1812 Overture, and Swan Lake.

Google chose the latter for today's novelty homepage. With the help of the San Francisco Ballet, Google designed a custom logo made from dancers and a splash of digital paint.

While this is not the first time Google has used photo-realistic images for these doodles, the style departs from its usual illustration aesthetic, such as the painterly Vivaldi violins from a few months back.

Early birds in England may have noticed a different Google doodle this morning. The search engine had started the day with an elections banner. But as news spread that the UK vote was split between the three major parties, Google swapped in Tchaikovsky. The company regularly picks different doodles for across the pond. For example, during Sesame Street's week-long tribute here in the states, England got a Wallace and Gromit homepage. Those Brits do have a taste for cheese.

In Pictures: The best Google doodles

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