Figure-skating + “Aboriginal dance” + Vancouver Olympics = ???

As many of you have already seen, or heard, an ice-skating duo performed a controversial “Aboriginal dance” in the Vancouver Olympics on Saturday, 20 February. For a video of the performance and Tom Reilly’s article from The Age following their performance in Saint Petersburg in February, click here.

Astonishingly, they took the same routine to Vancouver, despite receiving advice to modify their costumes and music to be less offensive. Review, “Russian ice dancers’ routine should have been iced,” by Leslie Thompson of the Calgary Herald, here.

Bev Manton, chairwoman of the New South Wales Land Council was quoted by The Australian newspaper as saying, “Aboriginal people for very good reason are sensitive about their cultural objects and icons being co-opted by non-Aboriginal people – whether they are from Australia or Russia,” and “it’s important for people to tread carefully and respectfully when they are depicting somebody else’s culture and I don’t think this performance does.” Indeed.

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