February 22, 2010

Russian skaters do offensive dance

Aboriginal leaders:  Russian ice dancers' routine still offensive

By Maggie HendricksDomnina and Shabalin toned down their costumes and removed their face paint, but made no changes to their Aboriginal dance.

The dance they did was more likely their interpretation of Aboriginal dance, though they claimed to have done research. Watching the dance Sunday night, one can understand why Aboriginal leaders were offended.

At times, Shabalin led Domnina around by her ponytail. They mugged, stuck out their tongues and mimicked the hand over mouth gesture that was once associated with American Indians. After the dance ended, the crowd gave the Russians what could generously be called a lukewarm reception.
Nothing cultural about this act

By Nikki AshbyTHERE is nothing that represents this as an indigenous Australian dance.

The costumes could be suggestive of traditional cultural dance by the colour red and the white paint possibly trying to reflect ochre on dark skin.

But, it is definitely not cultural dance. It looks to me as though they had googled a few images on the internet and mixed it up with the old school "caveman" image.

The dance is certainly unlike anything I've seen and other than a few complex lifts, the performance didn't really entertain me. It looked wrong on so many levels.
Loin cloths and rubbed noses . . . why would anyone be offended?

By Nicole Jeffery"I am offended by the performance and so are our other councillors," Bev Manton, the chairwoman of the NSW Land Council said.

"Aboriginal people for very good reason are sensitive about their cultural objects and icons being co-opted by non-Aboriginal people--whether they are from Australia or Russia.

"It's important for people to tread carefully and respectfully when they are depicting somebody else's culture and I don't think this performance does."
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Russian Skaters Defend Stereotypes and Russian Skaters Change Costumes.

1 comment:

Rob said...

A comment from Anonymouse:

I saw this spectacle last night and it sucked. I have no idea what they were trying to portray. They made goofy faces, weird strings on the costume were flying everywhere and that silly little white girl kept flippin' her hands through that ratty hair of hers. Yuck!

The articles were right, they got a very tepid reaction. The other dancers received big cheers, applause, hollering and whistling. These clueless little twits only received polite applause not one person whistled or cheered. I never would have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself. I don't think they're going to win this one.