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Thread: New angle on Domnina&Shabalin's OD kerfuffle?

  1. #1
    Gadfly and Bon Vivant Mafke's Avatar
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    New angle on Domnina&Shabalin's OD kerfuffle?

    [LEFT][/LEFT]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

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mafke View Post
    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.
    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?

    Ant
    Last edited by antmanb; 01-28-2010 at 08:48 AM.

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    Former figure skater and HUGE figure skating fan. n_halifax's Avatar
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    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.

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n_halifax View Post
    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.

    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.

    Ant

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    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:

    http://turtletalk.wordpress.com/2010...-championship/

    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.

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    Well, they may stretch the rules, but so do others. I mean, can you really call the Kerrs OD a folk dance???

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Shoot. So now DomShabs are in trouble for copyright infringement by Sheila Chandra. Wunnerful. I feel very sorry for them. Clearly, Linichuk did not do her job.

    As to what the rules are, once again, here is the ISU description. Aborigine dances were permitted in both the 2007/2008 season guidelines and 2009/2010 guidelines.

    Here's what this season's guidelines say (from ISU Communication 1567, page 3):

    Any type of folk/country dance music or typical dance of the country can be used. For the chosen type, there are no restrictions on
    the number of musical selections. Although the dance may consist of different musical selections – fast and/or slow- there must be a
    consistent theme based on a specific country or region.
    The arrangement of the chosen music should give a genuine feel for folk/country dance. It should be very distant from the feeling of
    the Grand Ballroom.
    Same examples: Village, Square, Street, Barn dance, Hoedown, Mazurka, Polka, Tarantella, Hula, Hora, Csardas, Kalinka, Gapak,
    Syrtaky, Scottish, Irish, Jig, Reel, Guajira, Cumbia, Jarabe, Fandango, Aborigines Dance, Chinese dances, Lesginka, Country
    Waltz, Flamenco, etc.
    Argentine Tango is not included in the above mentioned Folk /Country dances and is not permitted because the rhythm is used in
    the Compulsory Dances (Argentine Tango and Tango Romantica) announced for the season.
    It is recommended that couples should use their own traditional folk or country music and dances.
    The folk/country dance character and style must be translated to the ice by flow and use of edges.
    Vocal music is permitted. Variations of tempo within one selection of music are permitted. Each selection of music may have a
    different tempo.
    Duration: 2 minutes and 30 seconds
    D&W and K&K get off the hook because their dances are typical of the country chosen (at least they claim that, and back it up. If someone wants details, I'll go into this further. Furthermore the dances , they are doing are far from a ballroom feel, also a requirement.

    DomShabs problems is
    1: The music is not Australian in any sense, other than that a digeridoo was sampled in over the top. Worse, they did not seek permission to use this copyrighted material from the citizen of the UK of South Indian descent, Sheila Chandra, who created it. (It is her fantasy imagining of her own ancestors' music, as I understand it.)
    2. The costumes are close enough to Australian to be offensive, but not close enough to be accurate.
    3. The dance moves are also questionable. Furthermore, the character of the music is not being shown by edge and flow. Also not good.

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    Dedicated follower of the black line Wicked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    DomShabs problems is
    1: The music is not Australian in any sense, other than that a digeridoo was sampled in over the top. Worse, they did not seek permission to use this copyrighted material from the citizen of the UK of South Indian descent, Sheila Chandra, who created it. (It is her fantasy imagining of her own ancestors' music, as I understand it.)
    2. The costumes are close enough to Australian to be offensive, but not close enough to be accurate.
    3. The dance moves are also questionable. Furthermore, the character of the music is not being shown by edge and flow. Also not good.
    Doris, in your opinion, are these things that the judges should mark them down for?

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    Where did you get that info from? She never stated that it's not Australian. The latest interview I read she said that it IS Australian.

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    Gadfly and Bon Vivant Mafke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    whole post
    Many thanks for your concise but on completely on target summary. I feel, if not up to speed, at least much less uninformed than I did.

    I think the lion's share of the blame has to be placed on Linichuk and whoever else was advising them or didn't try to talk sense to them. Talk about living _in_ a place while not understandeing it, how could Linichuk be so clueless regarding what's going to be acceptable to NAmerican audiences?

    The best course of action would be to tone down the awful, awful costumes, meet with the first nations reps, apologize profusely while pointing out it's too late in the game to make more than very slight changes and offter to make a donation to the charity of the first nations' / aboriginal leaders' choice (which should come from Linichuk).

    Finally, I think the sub-text of the ISU was "do something colorful and original for TV so the audience doesn't have to watch so many waltzes or tangos" so they're not going to enforce the rules much unless they have to.

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    Custom Title NatachaHatawa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafke View Post
    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.
    That is what I think is the real problem. Aborigines may have been offended, but there isn't the same stir when someone mucks up, say, a Bavarian dance.

    As far as I'm concerned this dance is awful, because it's made-up.

  12. #12
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    The most appropriate penalties IMO, should come in the PCS Interpretation and Timing Mark. It is a requirement for 7.0 and above that the music should be 100% as described in ISU 1567. If the music is 50% as required, 4.0 is the highest that can be given for that PCS component. Frankly, I think 2.0 could easily be defended. With B&A, D&W and V&M all scoring in the high 8's and 9's for that component, that's a big hit against DomShabs, especially since their advantages are likely to be found in the PCS rather than the technical marks.

    Additionally, each element is supposed to show the character of the dance, and any credit given for +trans spins or dance lifts (to be assessed in the choreography mark) are contingent on showing the character of the dance. IMO, DomShabs should not be getting any plus credits for showing the character of the dance, since the dance is an imagined dance, rather than one which has a defined character.

    This dance might as well be the Dance of the Ewoks and Wookies, from the point of view of any kind of following ISU rules.

  13. #13
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    Made-up folk dances seem to be almost a signature for Linichuk..witness the two OD's for the Chinese teams we just saw at 4 Continents..I think she generally just doesn't bother with anything but the most cursory research. B/A's program is much better by comparison..but it comes from a part of the world where the folk dances are better known in general. We've all seen many, many European folk dances , and any choreographer would be on firmer ground with this dance to begin with. I don't know how truly Moldavian it is , but just seeing it without description, you would certainly peg the music as Romanian and the dance and costumes as eastern European..At 4CC, the Zorba thing was a dreadful mash- up of "Greek" cliche , but not remotely resembling folk dance ..the House of Flying Daggers was an enactment of the movie to ,of course the movie score.. she even stabs herself at the end..(sigh)

    There are other dances this year that stretch the folk dance description , but none so egregiously. The Kerr's and P/B's leap to mind, both entertaining ,but maybe not quite folk dance..though both have made some attempt to express the character..And however far those dances transgress, I don't think you can single out their choreographers as repeat offenders..Linichuk , you can.

    I , too , would be interested in knowing the rules about the belt lift in D/S's FD. I thought that was illegal , if only out of safety concerns...

  14. #14
    Dedicated follower of the black line Wicked's Avatar
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    Thanks, Doris. That explains what ice dancers are supposed to do when constructing a dance. There really are a lot of rules, and I know I don't come close to understanding them all. Thanks to your posts I'm getting a little closer.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 01-29-2010 at 05:17 PM. Reason: trying to resize this

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    In an ideal and just skating world, as soon as Linichuk came out with the backpedaling statement about the OD not being "Australian" but instead being a generic aboriginal/prehistoric human dance, the ISU should have gotten on the horn to the Russian Fed (Piseev) and let them know that if this was that team's position, then the dance is illegal according to the rules (must be representative of a country or region), and putting it out on the ice would result in disqualification of the team. Ball then goes back to Team D/S to either re-avow it as what they originally stated the dance was (Australian)--with whatever collateral flak coming from the offensiveness issues--or change the dance or withdraw from competition.

    The use of belt in the FD is preposterous. In the absence of a clear ISU ruling of illegality, the tech panel should be instructed to deduct -1.00 for each and every instance of its use in the FD.

    That's in an ideal and just world. Of course, I think we all already know the ISU--and way too many of their officials--is a tool of the Russian Fed and this team will be allowed to commit attempted murder against Ice Dance, without any penalty. The blatant favoratism is an insult to every other dance team out there.

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