Saturday, January 23, 2010



Only blacks may dance black dances?

Report from Australia:
"Aboriginal elders have accused Russian world figure skating champions Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin of stealing an Aboriginal dance idea and causing serious cultural offence. The Russian pair, favourites to win gold at next month's Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, unveiled an Aboriginal-themed dance at a performance in St Petersburg three weeks ago. The performance included ceremonial dance steps and dark bodysuits adorned with indigenous painted swirls in white, red loin cloths and eucalyptus-style leaves in bunches.

"It's very offensive," Sol Bellear of the New South Wales state Aboriginal Land Council said. "We see it as stealing Aboriginal culture and it is yet another example of the Aboriginal people of Australia being exploited. "It's been absolutely stolen without our permission and without consultation of the relevant dance groups within Aboriginal Australia."

Domnina, 25, and Shabalin, 27, were world champions in 2009 and European champions in 2008, as well as three-time Russian national champions. They recently told the ice-skating website Golden Skate that they created the new dance routine as something different after watching Aboriginal dance routines over the internet.

Source

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, Mr. Bellear does have a point. Of course, the dance could also be seen as a tribute to Aboriginals, but that's obviously not how they're viewing it.

Thanks to the insidious virus known as "political correctness", being offended has become a national pastime in many places. But to be fair, in many cases, that offense is not really founded. Perhaps next time, the dancers should do an act that mocks Muslims. Hey, can you skate without your head?

Anonymous said...

I read it was just a bad tribute and that the pair got it all wrong. How could they steal something that fails to represent anything?

Anonymous said...

don't watch it if it offends you. what idiots

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"I read it was just a bad tribute and that the pair got it all wrong. How could they steal something that fails to represent anything?"

A peoples culture and traditions are nothing?

Anonymous said...

The dance video is pretty boring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJGo32BUah0

Anonymous said...

Firstly, it is not an Aboriginal dance - it is merely inspired by Aboriginal (and other indigenous cultures') dance.
Secondly, most people without a victim mentality would take it as a tribute
Thirdly, if compensation were offered I suspect the position would quickly change.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that people want complete tolerance and inclusion yet they want separation and exclusion when it comes to tradition and culture. You can't have it both ways. This really is no different from the acceptable practice of a Black calling a Black "nigger" and then calling a White racist for doing the same.

Robert said...

Perhaps the Aborigines who claim to be offended would prefer to perform the dance themselves on ice while wearing ice skates? Now THERE'S a mental picture!

Anonymous said...

The real issue is about Cultural relativism. If you think you own the rights to your own native culture then the whole world looses. Culture is meant to be shared and exposed. It makes us all richer for it. How it is interpted is subject to a view of enthnocentrism. Art is subject to interpretation. The ice dance is simply just that, art for art's sake. It was not a rip off nor stolen. It just simply was and is a performance and not a overblown statement of ideology.