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Thread: How is men's figure skating viewed in Russia?

  1. #16
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    Thanks, Sky! I always thought that the folk dancing tradition might have something to do with Russia's enjoyment of related dance arts such as ballet and figure skating. Not only is there the idea that dancing is just as much a "guy thing" as sports, but many dances are done in rather ornate traditional ethnic costumes, which can predispose people to think that men wearing brightly colored clothes are entirely masculine (--and I agree).

    By contrast, America's sensibilities come from uptight Anglo-Saxon puritans, who thought that dancing was not just unmanly but scandalous, and that emotional displays (except for anger, of course) were for--well, not for men, anyway.

    I can also see that the southern tier of Russia might be entirely different from Slavic Russia; most of it is influenced by Central Asian traditions. (In fact, most of southern Russia is in Central Asia, come to think of it.) I imagine that many of the southern cultures' folk dances aren't even partner dances, as they are in Slavic Russia. Men and women dance separately.

    Once, years ago, the Moisiev folk troupe came to the U.S., and my mom took me to see them. We were both transfixed by the foot-tapping music and the virtuosity of the dancers. I was a little kid, but I've never forgotten that exciting dancing. On a related topic: wasn't Katia Gordeyeva's father a member of a folk dance troupe?

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky_fly20 View Post
    next time I'll go to the US, I will raise placards/ disturbing images of the rape women victims in Iraq and bombed children in Afghanistan
    sounds like a fair exchange, US is hosting Olympics or bidding in Oklahoma was it ? I bet I'll be labeled a terrorist and blacklisted forever

    I bet the US wont dare send this same people at the World Cup in Dubai
    where the gulf states are planning on implementing a lie detector for expatriates to determine who are homosexuals then to be deported
    response will be dead silence
    You would be perfectly at liberty to protest atrocities by the US that are happening abroad, in a peaceful way, in the US. And the US isn't going to throw you in prison or deport you for expressing your views. Freedom of speech/right to protest and all that, especially if what you're protesting hold truth. And there are people who protest Afghanistan and such. However in Russia if you peacefully protest anti gay laws or even suggest gay people are normal, you will get arrested except during the Olympics when Putin and the IOC want to pretend that everything is fine and dandy ... everybody put on your fake non-homophobic smiles for the international cameras!

    Also, that lie detector test to weed out homosexuals is stupidity at its finest... as ridiculous as when Ahmedinejad suggested that "Iran has no gays".

  3. #18
    Tripping on the Podium
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    No, men's skating isn't considered sissy or all-of-them-are-gays. Most famous Russian male skaters are married or even have reputation of womanizer. Some men may talk of figure skaters like "oh yes, he's a skater, women love him by default". And that is true. Girls will find you very interesting if you are in that sport - for them it means brave, strong, music loving and charismatic.
    Russians will more likely think a ballet dancer is gay, than a figure skater. They have sort of a stereotype that show business, esp. pop singers are gay, but not sportsmen.
    Note Sergei Voronov's FS costume (designed by his girlfriend, btw) is what Russians call gay. They don't like it.

    Also... please, don't be angry at me, I'm just trying to explain...
    Some Russians are really negative about homosexuals. But others, and I think the biggest part of them, don't like the idea, but may be OK with that side then it comes to the person; For example, many Russians like Freddie Mercury a lot, cause he was such a soulful singer, and that is what matters. Or Sir Ian McKellen. Or Stephen Fry. They respect Johnny Weir for his achievements in sport, though they laugh at his outfits. And believe it or not, some consider him very brave, besause he dared to come out and not hide who he is. Coming out in America is brave, imagine how brave and insane it seems in Russia.
    To give some formula, being gay is considered a flaw, but if you are a great person and you are great professional, it may be ignored.
    Remember in "The Fiddler on the Roof" one character tells Tevye - "You are a great man even though you are a Jew", same can be here. Nice person, even though homosexual.
    Fine example: in Russian cover of "Living Next Door to Alice", a company of people is described, there are words
    Here with us are Shura and Sergei,
    He's a great guy, even though he's gay,
    And Borya and Kolya today
    Are somehow dressed in a doubtful way.

  4. #19
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    Thanks, mielikki.

  5. #20
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    As an American I hate saying this, but I find that Europeans (including Russians) are more cultured than Americans when it comes to appreciation of performing arts. I think a lot of athletic American men don't even consider figure skating as a sport to explore because of the gay stigma, wheres in many other places men may choose the sport because it is a natural fit for their body type (i.e. not too tall, lean build, etc.)

  6. #21
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Thank you for an excellent post, Mielikki.

    About Olympic sports that U.S. comedians make fun of, I would say the two-man luge is on top.

    To Sky_fly. A recent poll shows that the war in Afghanistan is now the least popular U.S. war ever, with less than 20% approval among Americans.

  7. #22
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post

    To Sky_fly. A recent poll shows that the war in Afghanistan is now the least popular U.S. war ever, with less than 20% approval among Americans.
    we're getting farther away from the Vietnam War... so that is not surprising. At least the "War On Terror" saw this country salute and support the troops when they came home. I can't say the same about how Vietnam Veterans were (And really still are) treated.

  8. #23
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    A friend and I were just talking about that tonight, Toni. It was shameful the way Vietnam-era soldiers were treated both during and after the war. I guess my memory was inspired by the appearance onstage of Vietnam vets during a singing of Billy Joel's song about the era, "Goodnight Saigon," on the Kennedy Center Honors program this weekend. I realized that though we often see active-duty military and vets taking part at events nowadays, we almost never see vets from the Vietnam era. It's as if we're trying to forget the whole thing ever happened. It's so important to remember to separate the soldiers from the war, whether you support the particular conflict or not.

    Back to men's figure skating and dancing, I'm watching That's Entertainment 2 on the classic movie channel right now. They showed an energetic side-by-side dance duet with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra from the film Anchors Aweigh, with much tap dancing and leaping onto and off furniture. Sinatra came into movies as a teen singing heartthrob, the day's equivalent to a rock star, with crowds of screaming teenaged girls mobbing him. And it was assumed that if he starred in musicals, he would learn to dance. So he learned enough to keep up with Gene Kelly, no mean feat. (I'm sure Kelly toned down his work a bit to accommodate Sinatra.) Their dances together are wonderfully boisterous, usually done either in street clothes or military uniforms, so there would be no mistaking them for anything fluffy. So there were times in American cultural history when dance was considered okay for guys.

  9. #24
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    It's as if we're trying to forget the whole thing ever happened. It's so important to remember to separate the soldiers from the war, whether you support the particular conflict or not.
    I know in the case of some of the men in my family they're almost afraid to say what conflict they were in until they know the people well enough that they know they'll be safe. One of my uncles was messed up enough for being drafted and put on the frontlines (he still has nightmares of the horrors he caused... he has a book written about him and his team called "Easy Target" mom won't let me read it as it gave her nightmares). He came home and his life was constantly threatened (good ol California, Berkley for you ) As much as people want to say Vietnam (the war) was an ugly time for America, the aftermath IMO was much uglier.

    My dad was a coreman with the Marines/Navy and they stayed and took care of the people on the ground as well as the soldiers. Yet according to many still in the Jane Fonda mindset he's still a "baby killer". He delivered a lot of babies while he was over there. Never killed a soul. But he was there on Uncle Sam's dime so obviously he's a murderer. Yeah, I'm bitter.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Thanks, Sky! I always thought that the folk dancing tradition might have something to do with Russia's enjoyment of related dance arts such as ballet and figure skating. Not only is there the idea that dancing is just as much a "guy thing" as sports, but many dances are done in rather ornate traditional ethnic costumes, which can predispose people to think that men wearing brightly colored clothes are entirely masculine (--and I agree).

    By contrast, America's sensibilities come from uptight Anglo-Saxon puritans, who thought that dancing was not just unmanly but scandalous, and that emotional displays (except for anger, of course) were for--well, not for men, anyway.

    I can also see that the southern tier of Russia might be entirely different from Slavic Russia; most of it is influenced by Central Asian traditions. (In fact, most of southern Russia is in Central Asia, come to think of it.) I imagine that many of the southern cultures' folk dances aren't even partner dances, as they are in Slavic Russia. Men and women dance separately.
    Some good points but it should be noted that the south is influenced by indigenous Caucasus traditions, just as much or more than by Central Asia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peoples_of_the_Caucasus

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