Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Aboriginal Costume Misstep: Yay or Nay?Welcome To Australia: Russian Ice Dancing Champions The Winter Olympics in Vancouver are only 43 days away and there is already controversy with one of the top Ice Dancing teams from Russia. Do I even need to remind you of why I love Figure Skating? The reigning World Champion Ice Dancing team, Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin from Russia have had a tough time this year and have not been able to participate in the Pre-Olympic International Grand Prix Events. But that didn't stop the Russian Federation from crowning them the Champs with a score that rivaled the best of the season (How do you say quelle surprise in Russian?) Hey Look We Have Plants Growing Out Of Our Bodysuits! But the real controversy was not about their scores, but about their costumes darlings. In the original dance, skaters are required to use music that is based on a national folk tune. Domnina and Shabalin chose very unusual Aboriginal music, using voices as the instruments. Their costumes were based on Aboriginal Tribal-wear (see above) using white body paint and red cloth "crotch covers". But then their costume designer took some Aboriginal "liberty": For some unknown reason they had leaves planted (pun intended) throughout their costume bodysuits and....wait for it....they also were in what some critics have deemed Blackface. Therefore the controversy. The skating bloggersphere forums have been abuzz over it. I think it's a bit odd and in bad taste. But I'd love to know what the rest of you think--or at least my fellow Figure Skating fans. Yay or Nay? UPDATE: Click HERE to see what I thought about their UPDATED costumes at the Olympics, when I reviewed all the Dance Costumes with Kristi Yamaguchi and Peter Carruthers! LIVE!