February 19, 2010

Russian skaters defend stereotypes

Russian figure skaters defend Aboriginal-inspired dance

By Josh Massoud and Glen ForemanCONTROVERSIAL Russian figure skating duo Maxim Shabalin and Oksana Domnina have defended their Aboriginal-inspired costumes, declaring they "like the way they dance and the leaves."

In their first interview with Australian press, the pair also hinted the costumes, featuring brown body tights, white tribal paint and strategically placed foliage, had made the trip to Vancouver.

It had been reported they scrapped the outfits after causing deep offence to Aborigines, but Shabalin hinted that only minor changes had been made after research and a secret meeting with Indigenous Canadians yesterday.

"I don't know about this report (about our costumes being scrapped)," Shabalin said. "Maybe, maybe not."
Comment:  "I like the way they dance and the leaves." Could their understanding of Aboriginal culture be any shallower if they tried?

Obviously, these skaters want to be hammered with criticism until they relent. Okay...if they insist, we'll oblige.

For more on the subject, see Russian Skaters Change Costumes and Russian Skaters Should Rethink Routine.

Below:  "Russia's Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin in the controversial costumes." (Picture: AP)

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