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  1. #1

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    Australian elders decry Russian 'Aboriginal' ice dance

    Australian elders decry Russian 'Aboriginal' ice dance


    The pair unveiled the dance at the Russian championships in December

    Indigenous Australian leaders have expressed outrage at an "Aboriginal dance" routine by Russian ice dancers Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin.

    The Russian world champions perform in dark-skin bodysuits adorned with leaves and white body paint markings.

    Indigenous leader Bev Manton has decried the "ripping off" of Aboriginal culture as offensive and disrespectful.

    The Russian pair, favourites to win gold at next month's Vancouver Winter Olympics, were unavailable for comment.

    They are at the European figure skating championships in Tallinn, Estonia, where they are due to perform the routine later in the day.

    'Sacred dance'

    "From an Aboriginal perspective, this performance is offensive," Mrs Manton writes in an editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald.

    "Our dance, our ceremony, our image - and, importantly, how they are depicted - are sacred to Aboriginal Australians."

    Mrs Manton, chairwoman of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, has urged the three-time Russian national champions to rethink their routine before the Olympics in Vancouver.

    "Interest must be expressed in a way that is respectful. The ripping off of our art and songs is not, and nor is this depiction of my culture," she wrote.

    Ms Domnina, 25, and Mr Shabalin, 27, recently told the figure-skating website, Golden Skate, how they researched the dance.

    "We've watched video clips in the internet of these dances and it is really like this - complete with the leaves around the knees," Ms Domnina said.

    She told the website that her dog Topi, a Yorkshire Terrier, had been instrumental in selecting the music.

    "When we switched on the music for the original dance, my dog started to race around the room like crazy and we understood that maybe this music is what we need. It was really like this, I'm not lying," she said.

    The pair said they had managed to cut down the amount of time they spent applying the "Aboriginal" markings.

    "Usually we are sitting and chanting mantras for five hours and are applying the make-up to each other," Mr Shabalin told Golden Skate.

    "This was at the beginning, but now the time is shorter and we went down from five hours to about 20 minutes."

    The pair, who also won the European championships in 2008, are staging a comeback after being sidelined by Mr Shabalin's knee injury last year.








  2. #2
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    sabang's Avatar
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    Russian elders decry Abo's getting pissed on vodka.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang
    Abo's getting pissed on vodka.
    They don't.

  4. #4
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    Pity, some might see this as an opportunity for cultural global awareness and interest.

    Think Riverdance. Began as a 10 minute filler in the Eurovision song contest.

  5. #5
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    Australian aboriginal groups use every chance they can to complain about anybody "exploiting" their culture. Of course, the chances of an authentic aboriginal ice skating team performing at the winter olympics are small, to say the least!

    You thinkthey would be happy that their culture is being recognized. You can bet they would be if they were getting paid somehow for it...

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    I love the fact that they've used "dark skinned body suits" to make themselves black. It's like a modern Black and White Minstrels Show, on ice.

    If only this could have been incorporated in that Blades of Fury movie, twould've been legendary.

  7. #7
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    Aboriginal culture is not up to much is it? in 20,000 years all they managed was a bit of 'dancing' some pretty awful oral stories, a few instruments and rudimentary painting.They never even got as far as the wheel, lets be honest it aint much to boast about is it? You think they would be happy anyone was promoting what culture they did manage to scrape together. Of all the folk cultures in the world the abo one has to be about the poorest.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazy dog View Post
    Aboriginal culture is not up to much is it? ... a few instruments
    Instruments?

    You mean a noteless hollow piece of wood that you blow into. Nothing else.

    Even mozart would have struggled with that one note cacophone.

  9. #9
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    Aboriginal cuisine : catch it. Kill it. Chuck it in the fire till it's black. Eat it - this applies to everything!

    Ever wondered why there are no aboriginal restaurants?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazy dog
    Aboriginal culture is not up to much is it? in 20,000 years all they managed was a bit of 'dancing' some pretty awful oral stories, a few instruments and rudimentary painting.
    It may be anything up to 80,000 years. Just makes it even more crap.

    I can never understand why 'we' have to preserve 'culture' like this. It's like saying we should preserve the use of donkey drawn carts (although that's way more advanced than Aboriginal culture).

    If it's redundant, then it should be allowed to die a natural and dignified death.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    If it's redundant, then it should be allowed to die a natural and dignified death.
    Trouble is in these days of multiculturalism and 'diversity' celebrating all cultures tend to be looked on as equal even when they are so obviously not. I look at oz tv a lot here as there is nothing else in Englsih we get and their pandering to this nonsense is a bit embarrassing. Sure the abo's were treated very badly in the past and they did live without messing the environment up and knew how to live of the land etc but as far as a meaningful enriching culture goes they have nothing much that should be preserved, it's best left to die a natural death.

  12. #12
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    Well as they missed out on 'the great leap forward' in human evolution, it is unfortunately expected.

  13. #13
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    The Russian world champions perform in dark-skin bodysuits adorned with leaves and white body paint markings.
    Aboriginals are right. I demand she take off that offensive body suit and perform stark naked with a few bits of body paint.


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