Gadfly and Bon Vivant
New angle on Domnina&Shabalin's OD kerfuffle?
diclaimer: I haven't been following the controversy about the Russian aboriginal OD too closely, as someone who's had academic and personal contact with indigenous cultural issues (from a non-involved continent) I thought the whole thing would fill me with weariness and despair.
But, a particular thought occurred to me when reading third-hand comments by the Russian side and I don't know if it's been addressed, so I'll bring it up here.
Anyway, some of the comments from the Russian team (sensu largo) have tried to distance themselves from particular aboriginal cultures and can be summed up as (roughly) 'It's not a real aboriginal dance, it's just something we made up'.
My question, then, is : Wouldn't that mean their OD is not following the guidelines set out by the ISU? I haven't read the particular guidelines but the first time the folk theme was used there was a lot of stuff about genuine real dances 'of the people' and IIRC a team or two were told to rework/change their ODs to bring them into line with the guidelines.
It seems to me that non-authentic music with a bunch of made up moves not based on the culture in question is playing pretty fast and loose with the rules, even by Dom/Shab standards. Or am I missing something?
In related news: Is it possible under the rules for them to dump the current OD and go back to their folk OD of 2008? Or is the state of his knees such that that's not possible?
Sorry if this has been discussed earlier but my nerves probably wont' take reading all the back and forth on this issue so far.
Last edited by dorispulaski; 01-29-2010 at 05:26 PM.
Reason: trying to resize this
I'm pretty certain that Doris did a comprehensive look at the OD guidelines in the original thread bringing up the Aboringines offence at Dom&Shabs OD. I just spent 10mins looking but it wasn't in the part of the thread I thought it was.
Maybe some kind soul can link to the relevant post if they find it?
The other thought i've had is - do the judges even care if this team adhere to the guidelines? Didn't they do a waltz last season for the OD that really didn't have anything in common with the theme and yet they did not get penalized for it?
I doubt the judges will do anything.
Unfortunately i didn't get any response in my thread about dance where I was asking about the legality of him lifting her by her belt in the FD. I'm still confused about that.
I think that can simply be talked away to the ISU. In reality, yes they are doing their best to portray a "folk dance", BUT, they have offended the people whose dance they tried to interpret so to save face they'll say - "of course we weren't really trying to portray your dance, it was just a made up dance influenced slightly by your sacred dance, no offence meant" Aside to the ISU: of course this is an aborginal folk dance. Though presumably if that is their story and they're sticking to it, the judges could (and should?) mark them down for failing to execute an authentic dance? But then where do D&W stand with their Bollywood, distincntly not folk OD?
Originally Posted by Mafke
Last edited by antmanb; 01-28-2010 at 08:48 AM.
The sad thing is this: I think all of this talk is ultimately just going to remain talk. However they did it is beyond me - but the judges seemed to love Domnina and Shabalin's OD in Talinn amidst all of this controversy - I don't think they are suddenly going to start penalizing them all of a sudden in Vancouver to be politically correct and respectful. That said, do I think they should get dinged? Yeah, yeah I do. The difference between D/S and D/W's ODs is that the first has clearly offended a cultural group and the latter has not. It's a matter of having a little respect.
Ok, I agree with you about the offence but i disagree about the theoretical penalty. I don't think causing offence is listed in any of the point criteria for scoring dance. You might say it is implied that if you cause offence to the people who actually do the dance you are performing then you cannot be performing in correctly/in the same style or whatever you shoudl be striving to achieve and therefore you should get dinged. But if you're going to make that leap about the implications of the rules and enforce them strictly then i would suggest that D&W are on shaky ground too because their dance is not a folk dance.
Originally Posted by n_halifax
It's the so far usual story with the judging system - enforce the rules, or don't enforce the rules, but at least try to do either one or the other unifmrly for all the skaters, dont' cherry pick the rules that should and shouldn't apply.
It's a hot mess, ant. Yes, Doris has done a great job of laying out the hard facts, dispassionately, in more than one post.
IIRC, Oxade21 has recently informed us that Russian boards carry the information that the Russian federation has announced that they will not be giving political support to D&S, because of Maksim Shabalin's health, which I think refers to his knee problem. The knee problem apparently makes it too hard for them to go back to a previous programme, because of the rehearsal time necessary for that, so Maksim is now between a rock and a hard place.
In addition to the ways you have mentioned, in which the D&S programmes do not meet ISU requirements, there is a comment posted on a site that alleges that permission was not obtained by that team from Sheila Chandra to use the music of their OD. For that comment by stik, see:
It is the first comment, so it is easy to find. Various indigenous peoples' organizations around the world have taken an interest in this affair. Moreover, the Vancouver Olympics are co-hosted by four First Nations groups, i.e., indigenous tribes in Canada, and will take place, partly, on their lands.
I thoroughly believe that Maksim would change the programme if he could, and I am quite certain that he never intended to offend anybody.
I also believe that skaters tend to trust their coaches and choreographers to inform them if anything about their programmes are not compatible with ISU guidelines.
Last edited by Dodhiyel; 01-28-2010 at 12:44 PM.
Well, they may stretch the rules, but so do others. I mean, can you really call the Kerrs OD a folk dance???
Wicked Yankee Girl