Postmodernism on Ice

The Winter Olympics features a Russian skaters who dress in animal skin costumes to perform to an "Aboriginal Song." There's more.

Skaters from the Winter Olympics; not the ones in animal skins or the ones coached by a former Stasi informer (Zemistor, via Flickr CC).

So it turns out that tonight at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, in the pairs figure skating finals, Germany will be presented by Robin Szolkowy, whose father is Tanzanian (his mother is German), along with his Ukranian-born partner, Aliona Savchenko. Together they will perform a routine choreographed to the music of the film, “Out of Africa,” which, if you forgot, is based on a Danish writer‘s white colonial fantasy of Kenya.  And, to top it all, as a German friend informed me, Szolkowy and Savchenko’s coach, himself a championship skater, was an informant for the East German secret police. My head is spinning.

I won’t waste any comment on the Russian pair who put on animal skin costumes (think a Broadway fantasy like The Lion King) to perform their “Aboriginal Song.” Australian indigenous leaders objected, but they still continued. They just washed off their face paintings. That’s too easy.

Update: Overall, Szolkowy and Savchenko won the bronze medal for Germany in Vancouver. Domnina an Shabalin, the animal print pair, did not medal.

Further Reading

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