Tonight we were watching the Winter Olympics on TV and I was astonished at the really awful Russian ice-skaters pretence at Aboriginal culture. I'm not an expert on ice skating but I know a bit about cultural appropriation and insults. What a dreadful display was the Russian ice skaters take on Australian aboriginal culture. Grossly insulting. No knowledge obviously of traditional dance or even the Bangarra's elegant modern dance. Their costumes were ridiculous, their dance moves a travesty and nothing like Aboriginal dance. The music too was stupid. Who were their dance teachers, their cultural advisers. Extreme ignorance, that's all I can say.
Though I do think it's alright for non-indigenous dancers to mimic a cultural dance, there needs to be respect
and there was none in this display. How the judges could mark them up I don't know!
The Herald Sun
writer is correct in the following words:
Russians Maxim Shabalin and Oksana Domnina win gold for tackiest stunt at the Winter Olympics Josh Massoud From: Herald Sun February 23, 2010 12:00AM
Elders offended over figure skating controversy.
THEIR tacky plastic gum leaves and red loincloths didn't win Maxim Shabalin and Oksana Domnina any Aboriginal friends at the Winter Olympics yesterday.
But the Russian pair look likely to land a medal thanks to the inflammatory routine - and they're not apologising for it.
After provoking fury among indigenous groups at last month's European Championships, Shabalin and Domnina hinted they would alter their costumes for the Games.
When they slid on to Pacific Coliseum for the original component of the ice dancing program yesterday, their facial paint had disappeared and Shabalin wore a lighter-toned brown body suit.
But there remained an abundance of ammunition to offend Australia's indigenous population. nfluential rights campaigner and academic Jacki Higgins said all Aborigines were entitled to feel insulted when they saw the dance last night.
Related CoverageNikki Ashby: Nothing cultural about this act
"I felt deeply insulted that in this day and age ice skaters would dress up like that," Ms Higgins said. It's comedy really. Like people dressing up as American squaws or black Americans with shiny faces. here's theft of intellectual property around this stuff. boriginal Australians would be entitled to feel insulted."
University of NSW global professor Dr Vivien Johnson described the costumes as "ludicrous" and was further insulted to learn the routine had top-scored and put the Russian pair six points clear ahead of today's final routine. Generally speaking, (the dance) is the most sacred and sequestered area of Aboriginal culture and it's not something you can mime on ice," she said. It's ludicrous and disrespectful. What were they thinking? They weren't thinking."
Back stage after the routine, the pair were confronted by reporters. Shabalin acknowledged the original outfits - in particular his chocolate-brown body suit - had caused offence and were "too much". "I don't know why it's offensive, but we had to change it a little bit and make it lighter," he said. Domnina said of the controversial dance routine: "Actually, we were happy about it. It showed that we touched something. No other couple got so much press."
Labels: cultural appropriation, Russian skaters Aboriginal