I usually don't pay attention to details such as costume or decorations, so therefore i could care less if they paint teir faces in purple. But what I do care about is the dance and how the music nuances are captured in the dancers moves. And boy were these 2 dances a complate disaster...there is no justification to rob the other russian teams in the first place of an Olympic berth, that is the first thing it came to my mind.
How can you compare this FD on that horrible sound to the lovley FD Faiella and Scali have this year ? I will not mention the Kerr's or Pechalat Bourzat, etc. Any of those dances are miles better. Thiese were caricatures pulled together and clearly Max is in no shape to dance. Period. I hope the judges in Tallin will have some backbone and dump them to avoid the scandal in the Olympics, because the ISU will walk on a very thin ice if these guys will be propped up onto the Olympic podium.
Looks like the only way they can proceed with it in it's current form, is to get an official approval from Australian Aboriginals.
I was about to suggest to leave the dance alone, and to play it safe, that is - to perform to the music from Carmen. But on the second thought, Carmen may be seen as a caricatural portrayal of Gypsy people, created in mid 1880s, when the world was very different from what it is today. So maybe the music is not suited for ODs either.
2) The white Europeans. Around my current location, specifically the Russians, Germans, and the French have the worst reputations for smug, elite, self-serving attitudes by far. Their religion (or lack thereof) seems not to make any difference. Make of that what you will.
I'm still not sure if you've succeeded, because after all the time on this board, I don't know who oxade21 is, and where (s)he is from, but maybe you know more than me.
Not being anywhere near your location (which I assume is Beijing, China?), I can't really say if I agree/ disagree with your take on the people of those nationalities / race. Linking attitudes to a specific nationality/ race may be questionable, but since an attitude is a variable characteristic, a 'state' rather than a 'trait', it's ok with me.
DomShabs are European and like many of the Europeans on the boards, have no idea how offensive blackface is to North Americans. They may be ignorant of the culture, customs and attitudes of the country where they've been living and training for the past year, but no one has suggested that they have deliberately tried to insult or offend anyone with face painting.
Their coach, Linichuk, has lived in the US for at least 15 years and should have known better. She should also have consulted with legitimate Australian advisors as to the choreographic content and music used for the OD. The music is actually Indian in origin, not Australian, and Australians have commented that the dance itself is not Australian aborigine either.
This year, because of Shabalin's probably incurable injury, DomShabs are no longer the great ice dancers they were in the past. So the comments (in addition to the objections to the blackface) have been negative about their skating because their skating is nowhere near what it used to be.
And furthermore, oxade21, you have always exclusively supported Russian pair and dance teams above all others, so you are not exactly the most unbiased observer around. Your "outrage" about the blackface issue has to be taken for what it is.
Last edited by chuckm; 12-30-2009 at 09:22 AM.
One can do a theatrical presentation of another culture without it being an obvious pastiche. One of the finest examples of this was the Anissina-Peizerat flamenco OD. They achieved a remarkable air of authenticity by spending a good deal of time in Spain, absorbing the true feel of flamenco, so that they could later express it on the ice. Pretty much everyone loved what they presented.
Sometimes there is a thin line between an homage and a caricature, but there is no thin line in this case. The new D&S OD is a caricature, that is all.
It is regrettable that some antagonistic nationalistic feelings have intruded into what ought to be an objective analysis of a programme. Even the great Russian choreographer Tatyana Tarasova expressed her reservations about this programme, *as a programme*. Surely we can do the same.
Comparing this "Aboriginal Dance" (quoted from D&S ISU Bio for 2009/2010) to the frequent interpretations on ice of Bizet's "Carmen" is not relevant. "Carmen" is not presented as a Folk Dance/Country Dance. It is simply an opera. This is like trying to compare apples and oranges, and simply serves to obscure the points that critics of the new D&S programme are trying to present. Some critics may be quite fond of D&S, and are concerned to see them presenting this new OD. Personally, I do not like the idea that large numbers of people may be offended by this program, and/or that large numbers of people may even laugh at it scornfully. I do not want to see that happen, period.
It is always important to remember, in the creative process, that there is a difference between originality and absurdity. Not everything that is "different" is different in a good way.
2. oxade, do you believe there is nothing wrong with Shabalin darkening his skin to imitate an Australian aborigine?
3. To use another analogy, if an ice dance team from the Central African Republic (go with me on this one) skated to Germanic music from the 1930's with a Swastika armband on his/her arm, would you feel it was appropriate?
Educate me, then. And don't call me Canada - I'm not representing 32 million people, and seriously, that just makes you ignorant. I'll write my point of view
1. A swastika is a symbol. No one would argue that eight lines arranged as they are in fact offensive in any way. However, the cultural weight of the swastika (which makes it unlikely that people would be ignorant of it, which is a weakness in my argument, I admit) means that people associated it with race hatred, anti-semtisim, the Holocaust, Nazism etc. There's no way around it
2. Darkening of the skin isn't offensive. After all, different shades of skin and altering your look to be another one in and of itself is not offensive. But like anything that's offensive, the symbol and context have to be explored here. And here, it invokes race hatred, minstrel shows, lynch mobs, segregation and the general subjugation of an entire race (Here is the wikipedia article on the subject).
So, can you see where I'm coming from, or is it best that we just don't debate each other as our viewpoints are so far apart?
Fair enough. If you can't see the symbolism of a white guy darkening his skin to imitate an aboriginal man, then we're not gonna see eye to eye on anything. But thank you for taking the time to respond.