By Maggie Hendricks
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.
By Nikki Ashby
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.
By Nicole Jeffery
"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."