Cultural appropriation. Discuss.

Icetalavista

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After the “Summertime” posts in the Espoo FD thread, I thought I’d start this.

When I think CA, I think of skaters who use other cultures’ music/style without respect. Since their skate bios list their music, it can’t be argued that they aren’t giving credit.

Case in point: Domnina/Shabalin’s Australian Aboriginal program. Cliched and clueless.

But then you have the Aussie team which also did an Aboriginal program, who made an effort to research, consult, and respect the culture.

Case in point: the multiple single/ dance couples whose choreographers think Indian dance is entirely defined by cliched “walk like an Egyptian” arms/hands.

But then you have Davis/White’s Indian folk RD with brilliant attention to detail, and lots of praise from Indians who watched it online.

The “ Summertime” debate is trickier because the tune has moved beyond being associated solely with the musical/opera.

Which brings me to my two questions: are skaters of a given background really just supposed to stay in their cultural silos? No surprise that I think that’s ridiculous. But also- are skaters really supposed to reflect the entire theme of a piece of music when they skate to just one or a few pieces excerpted from that piece?

Really? Discuss.
 

ice coverage

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After the “Summertime” posts in the Espoo FD thread, I thought I’d start this.

... The “ Summertime” debate is trickier because the tune has moved beyond being associated solely with the musical/opera.

Which brings me to my two questions: are skaters of a given background really just supposed to stay in their cultural silos? No surprise that I think that’s ridiculous. But also- are skaters really supposed to reflect the entire theme of a piece of music when they skate to just one or a few pieces excerpted from that piece?

Really? Discuss.

Don't belong to Kiss and Cry, so I don't know what already has been discussed there.
As someone who generally likes to be supportive of U.S. ice dancers (including C/P), I am not on board with this FD.

Per Claire's article:
"Marie-France's vision was New York City, in three different eras," Ponomarenko said. "The beginning is the modern era. Then we go into 'Summertime,' which is the main theme. It's the 1950s [time frame] – a little bit older style, with different movements and expression. Toward the end, we go into the orchestrated version of the piece. That's where we show the 1920s/30s era. So, we have three significant pieces, all [with] a change of character."​

The program uses approx. two-and-a-half minutes of "Summertime" music, and for me, the complete incongruity with the origin of "Summertime" is not a good thing.
(I have more than costuming in mind, but for example, the OTT above-elbow gloves turn me off. Sure, they accentuate Christina's arm movements effectively, but for me, they exacerbate the incongruity.)

ETA:​

To be clear, my response above was in reply to the second of Icetalavista's questions -- which is, "are skaters really supposed to reflect the entire theme of a piece of music when they skate to just one or a few pieces excerpted from that piece?"​
Ponomarenko said that "Summertime" is the main theme of their FD, and "Summertime" is heard for well over half of the program, but I see zero reflection of the origin of "Summertime" in C/P's program.​

In response to the first of Icetalavista's questions -- which is, "are skaters of a given background really just supposed to stay in their cultural silos?" -- my reply is that I remember very well that to their great credit, D/W put so much care and thought into their Indian folk program that it was embraced by the culture/community outside of D/W's silo.​
But I don't think it is a given that every skater would be as responsible as D/W.​
 
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chameleonster

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I don't have access to the Kiss and Cry, so I can't be sure what the discussion was and the exact points people raised. Cultural appropriation is different from cultural appreciation, as noted above Davis/White's Bollywood was quite good and respectful. When it comes to a song like Summertime, it has long since drifted from the original context in the public consciousness, for better or for worse. It can be quite frustrating how many things have been removed from it's original cultural context, however I personally don't have an issue in this instance. It might be because it's so old, although I suppose that has it's own issues in terms of cultural drift, but also its written by white people and so I don't feel ownership of it in quite the same way. Additionally I feel like Carreira/Ponomarenko trying to perform a Summertime program that's closer to it's origin would almost certainly be a trainwreck so I for one am quite relieved they didn't try!

I don't know, it can be a complex issue but personally it never once occurred to me to be an instance of cultural appropriation until I saw this thread, nor for my friends. This is of course anecdotal and far from a statistically significant sample size, and I certainly cannot speak for every black person in the world! But it doesn't bother me, anymore than programs to Feeling Good, originally from the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd, a song of triumph sung by a character known as The Negro(also written by white people, by the way). The horse has just thoroughly left the barn at this point, and I for one don't have the necessary attachment to try to drag it back in because it's simply not what I associate it with.

Again I cannot speak for other black people who may be offended, but personally I think it's fine.
 

~tapdancer~

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Actually quite good replies to this thread, it is a tricky subject. Figure skating is athletic but it also art. I have not delved deep into cultural appropriation as a whole, to me it is another area where people get offended and simply have to speak their minds about it. Like a whole lot of other stuff going on in the world. But anyway, I enjoy very much seeing skaters doing programs that give us a glimpse into other cultures and I find most of it to be appreciation not appropriation as was said in other posts. Yes there are times when it is cringe-worthy. To me it was the costumes that were appalling in the case of the aboriginal dance by D/S. Certainly made them appear clueless as was said about what exactly they were dancing about.

In regards to Summertime, I am just befuddled by anyone taking offense to this and come on, the original novel called Porgy was written in 1925 and Gershwin wrote the opera in 1935 (that was the first time it was performed in Boston). Cultural norms were highly different back during those times, and for myself, I have never checked on how it was received by white and black people during that time from which I can only find out by reading. Honestly, I have never read anything about that opera other than the appreciation for the music. Summertime is a beautiful song and as we have discussed, over time (a long time) it is regarded as such and I can assure that many folks nowadays have no idea it came from that opera unless they are into music and opera. I can recall it being used by many skaters over the years and no one complained that it came from an opera with a dark story. I think it's just weird to think that way about skating programs.

And also, how are we to understand other cultures if we don't dig into what those cultures embrace? What is wrong with that? If I, as a white woman, go to the Bahamas and have my hair braided in that beautiful style, I am not trying to be Bahamian or appropriate their culture. It's simply appreciation and besides it's fun! Or learning the hula while you're in Hawaii. Look, I understand that there are many cultures who have true horrors in their past and even into the present. For there to be a problem with figure skaters wanting to express their artistic side with a culture different to their own, I see no problem and no reason to be offended by that. I find it to be beautiful.
 

chameleonster

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Also, I haven't seen the thread, but are people seriously advocating for Carreira/Ponomarenko's FD be more faithful to the story it comes from?? Arguing C/P shouldn't skate to it all, while I don't really agree, at least makes some sort of consistent sense. But do you REALLY want two well off white people trying to accurately portray a story centered on black poverty??? I genuinely cannot think of a way to stick closely to the musical/opera that wouldn't be at best ten times more offensive and appropriative, to me the very suggestion is FAR more troubling than Christina donning opera gloves to portray an entirely different story. An absolute nightmare of an idea.
 
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PRlady

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In the Espoo women’s SP thread, it was mentioned that Eva-Lotte Kibius’ music is Baiana. A poster from Brazil told us that is a Black area there and the song is about/reflecting Black street culture but written and sung by a white group.

I’m first grateful to FSU’s posters for continually expanding my horizons. It sounds like this music is typical of all the Black music in the US in the ‘50s and ‘60s that was covered by white singers, who got the money and fans. And I’m pretty sure a young Estonian skater would know none of this unless her team researched and told her.

I love fusion music. I have an album by Alabina, a French/Israeli/Spanish group who typically sing in Arabic and Spanish. I listened to Club desBelugas for years and just found out they’re actually German. But I just don’t know who’s appropriating what.

Perhaps there should be an RD year in ice dance where every team is required to dance to music in another language/ culture/dance style than their own. (Yeah for mixed teams like O/P that means Finnish AND Japanese is off-limits.) No rock for the Americans, no ballet for the Russians and so on. I think the results would be interesting, and would take CA out of the equation.
 

~tapdancer~

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Also, I haven't seen the thread, but are people seriously advocating for Carreira/Ponomarenko's FD be more faithful to the story it comes from?? Arguing C/P shouldn't skate to it all, while I don't really agree, at least makes some sort of consistent sense. But do you REALLY want two well off white people trying to accurately portray a story centered on black poverty??? I genuinely cannot think of a way to stick closely to the musical/opera that wouldn't be at best ten times more offensive and appropriative, to me the very suggestion is FAR more troubling than Christina donning opera gloves to portray an entirely different story. An absolute nightmare of an idea.
I think it was just one poster but that poster was persistent about C/P skating Summertime and being white people. Which in my mind is just an absurd argument.
 

Vagabond

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After the “Summertime” posts in the Espoo FD thread, I thought I’d start this.

When I think CA, I think of skaters who use other cultures’ music/style without respect. Since their skate bios list their music, it can’t be argued that they aren’t giving credit.

Case in point: Domnina/Shabalin’s Australian Aboriginal program. Cliched and clueless.
The music Domnina and Shabalin used for that program was not actual Aboriginal music or even an arrangement, as claimed in their ISU biography. (Sorry, I am not going to conduct a thorough search of the Archives to find the pertinent post, but maybe someone else will.)

are skaters of a given background really just supposed to stay in their cultural silos?
Could you define "cultural silos"?

Regardless of how you define it, though, the absurdity of blanket proscriptions is immediately obvious. Should only French skaters do Carmen programs (because Bizet was French), or should only Spanish skaters do them? Should only Italian skaters do "Turandot" programs, or should only Chinese skaters do them? Should black French skaters do programs to "Summertime"?

And why shouldn't a young woman from the United States skate to this?

Dick Button once said that the whole point of free skating is to interpret the music, and I agree. It is not to interpret a character, though doing so may be part of interpreting the music. It certainly isn't necessary to portray a character to skate well to Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23.

That said....

are skaters really supposed to reflect the entire theme of a piece of music when they skate to just one or a few pieces excerpted from that piece?
For me, the discussion in Kiss and Cry went off the rails at the start when the person who first raised the issue there framed the issue as if Carreira and Ponomorenko were doing a Porgy & Bess program, when, in fact, they were doing a Summertime program. I think I would view their doing a Free Dance to Roll Dem Bones, I Got Plenty O' Nuttin', and Bess, You Is My Woman Now differently. Summertime is a stand alone piece, just as the princesses' dances are (separately and in succession) in Swan Lake.

Things would be a lot easier, though, if skaters did not use lyrics. :shuffle:
 
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kwanfan1818

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The program uses approx. two-and-a-half minutes of "Summertime" music, and for me, the complete incongruity with the origin of "Summertime" is not a good thing.
The program -- costuming and choreography -- is consistent with the Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald smoky nightclub performance of the song, an interpretation independent from the lullaby in the opera.
 

ice coverage

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Also, I haven't seen the thread, but are people seriously advocating for Carreira/Ponomarenko's FD be more faithful to the story it comes from?? Arguing C/P shouldn't skate to it all, while I don't really agree, at least makes some sort of consistent sense. But do you REALLY want two well off white people trying to accurately portray a story about black poverty??? Specifically a story centered on black poverty that plenty of black people aren't wild about themselves? I genuinely cannot think of a way to stick closely to the musical/opera that wouldn't be at best ten times more offensive and appropriative, to me the very suggestion is FAR more troubling than Christina donning opera gloves to portray an entirely different story. An absolute nightmare of an idea.

The program -- costuming and choreography -- is consistent with the Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald smoky nightclub performance of the song, an interpretation independent from the lullaby in the opera.

If chameleonmonster is referring to my post in this thread, I never said that I wanted C/P to attempt to "portray" black poverty or to "stick closely" to the musical/opera.

I should have quoted another thought from Ponomarenko:
"As a group, we created something really special. We believe that this piece is elegant and different from what we've done in the past."​
I think Summertime is a beautiful piece of music.
But especially with lyrics, I do not think the music's beauty is about elegance. For me, it is a bizarre choice for a program that wants to create an OTT (imo) mood of elegance.

Note: I very much like elegant movement in skating, but elegant movement is not tied to formal attire, elaborate hair, etc.
 

chameleonster

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Perhaps there should be an RD year in ice dance where every team is required to dance to music in another language/ culture/dance style than their own. (Yeah for mixed teams like O/P that means Finnish AND Japanese is off-limits.) No rock for the Americans, no ballet for the Russians and so on. I think the results would be interesting, and would take CA out of the equation.
It would certainly be interesting but not in a good way I think. For one thing how would you even measure whether or not a style is different from your own? If someone is say Indian-American, are they allowed to do Bollywood or not? Would the Shibs have been allowed to do traditional Japanese dance? Would the Reeds have been allowed to do rock? Since Carreira/Ponomarenko started this discussion, what are they allowed to do? Her first language is French and he's fluent in Russian, how is this counted? Who is allowed to skate to a kpop song with a rap verse? It only works if you assume everyone in a particular culture or country is the same, which is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.

I do want to emphasize that you must apply a certain level of caution depending on the scenario, and it may be better to err on the safe side. You should tread especially carefully when it comes to portraying stories that are very embedded in a different culture's history, and I see a ton of programs that go from lazy to straight up offensive, and folk themes strike fear into my heart every time its raised in ice dance. You should put effort into what you're trying to portray, and casually going in to something assuming you know all about it is a hole a lot of even well meaning people fall into. But there's a lot of music that's just...music, and isn't appropriative at all unless you're actively going out of your way to be an ass about it. And honestly it's not like every performance of Summertime is a performance of Porgy and Bess. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong weren't performing in Porgy and Bess, they were singing a song from it in a completely different context.

If chameleonmonster is referring to my post in this thread, I never said that I wanted C/P to attempt to portray black poverty or to stick closely to the musical/opera.

I should have quoted another thought from Ponomarenko:
"As a group, we created something really special. We believe that this piece is elegant and different from what we've done in the past."​
I think Summertime is a beautiful piece of music.
But especially with lyrics, I do not think the music's beauty is about elegance. For me, it is a bizarre choice for a program that wants to create an OTT (imo) mood of elegance.

Note: I very much like elegant movement in skating, but elegant movement is not tied to formal attire, elaborate hair, etc.
I wasn't referring to you in that instance, I was merely asking if this was something people were actually saying in the Espoo FD thread, since I don't have access to it. Anyway, I appear to have misunderstood you a bit, while I personally like it with lyrics, I just don't really think it has much to do with cultural appropriation, which is why I got confused when you brought it up here. I do understand thinking it's jarring and doesn't work however.
 

~tapdancer~

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The program -- costuming and choreography -- is consistent with the Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald smoky nightclub performance of the song, an interpretation independent from the lullaby in the opera.
Exactly. It was a FD to Summertime not Porgy and Bess (as Vagabond pointed out). The team that did the FD to "Stand Up' which is a powerful song...if one didn't know that the song came from the movie about Harriet Tubman, would anyone assume that from their FD? I wouldn't. Nothing in their costumes or choreo would have clued me in on that.
 

Wyliefan

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I was involved in the argument in the competition thread (though I will admit I probably wouldn't have gotten so vehement about it if I hadn't been in a really foul mood over C/P losing bronze). As I understand it, the complaint from two posters (neither of whom has joined this thread yet) was that C/P shouldn't have made a sultry dance out of a song from an opera about Black people dealing with drug addiction, disability, and abuse. I countered, and others countered, that (1) the song in the opera was originally a lullaby that did not touch on any of these issues, and (2) it had become a jazz standard that was often sung, by both Black and white artists, in the same spirit in which C/P used it.
 
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MsZem

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This is not a comment on C/P, who do represent the US - but I am uncomfortable with the idea that skaters/artists should be wary of cultural appropriation as it is understood in North America, no matter where they come from. The power structures and societal dynamics are simply not uniform, and what might be cultural appropriation by someone from a dominant culture when it involves an American skater is not the same for a French skater, or a Japanese one (both countries with a colonial past).
 
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PRlady

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Believe me, my idea was floated out of a tired mind, end of crowded holiday weekend. Of course most people are a blend of cultures and a lot of music is, too. I do feel sorry for those with Latin heritage, though, since every few years we sit through 50-plus RDs with very inauthentic look and feel.
 

Icetalavista

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Thank you all for the great discussion. In answer to the question re what I mean by “silos”, I would say: the group of people most closely associated with a given piece of music. Bollywood is clear: Indian. Summertime isn’t: White guy writing about Black people. And then you have those “silos” which are mixed by definition: Brazilian music mixes African, Portuguese, and Amerindian.
 

Vagabond

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Thank you all for the great discussion. In answer to the question re what I mean by “silos”, I would say: the group of people most closely associated with a given piece of music.
Who has the right to make the determination as to whether a great piece of music is specific to one culture or universal?

The Nazis banned Jews from teaching Goethe and banned German musicians from playing jazz because such things were not culturally appropriate. Is there any meaningful difference between that and arguing that a French-Canadian woman and a Russian-American or even Russian Singles skaters should not perform to Summertime ? That's what the other poster did in the Kiss and Cry.

ETA: The point here is that the original poster argued that Carreira and Ponomorenko shouldn't skate to Summertime, not that they should be prohibited from doing so. Does the fact that the argument comes from the left rather than the right matter?
 
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Vagabond

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Yes, there is a meaningful difference between the actions of the Nazi government and the personal preferences of a poster on a message board.

Wow.
Is the difference meaningful because there is no proposal on the table to ban Carreira and Ponomorenko from skating to Summertime because they are white or because it is coming from the left rather than the right?

The former is a meaning difference, in my opinion, but I am not at all convinced that the latter is.
 

BlueRidge

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Is the difference meaningful because there is no proposal on the table to ban Carreira and Ponomorenko from skating to Summertime because they are white or because it is coming from the left rather than the right?

The former is a meaning difference, in my opinion, but I am not at all convinced that the latter is.
You presumably don't see it this way but it sounds like you are calling @Matryeshka a Nazi.

She's giving her opinion on a message board. There's no equivalent between that and the Nazis. As @Barbara Manatee said.
 

chameleonster

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Okay I think it's time to shut this down because what on earth?? No, a totalitarian government trying to wipe out cultures it considered undesirable has nothing to do with any discussion of cultural appropriation??? It is absolutely wild to suggest that this is an issue of Left vs. Right instead of personal considerations vs. a genocidal government.

I cannot believe this all stemmed from C/P's fairly standard take on a jazz standard. Like I tried to give people the benefit of the doubt but this just does not feel like an argument made in good faith.

If I've learned anything from this debacle it's quadrupling my already firmly held belief that the ISU should never do folk themes ever again because clearly neither skaters or skating fandom can handle this.
 

overedge

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If I've learned anything from this debacle it's quadrupling my already firmly held belief that the ISU should never do folk themes ever again because clearly neither skaters or skating fandom can handle this.

So what should it do instead? Go back to the compulsory dances which are firmly rooted in a very specific upper-class white culture and heterosexual norms? Every kind of dance reflects the culture that it came from.
 

VGThuy

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I think you can have cultural appreciation that, like all art, is open to critique, especially as newer generations review it and see if it holds up to their more modern standards, and then we'll see if their critiques hold up to the next generations' ideas and standards, etc. Critiquing something doesn't automatically mean you're making an accusation of "appropriation". You can argue that more consideration and conscientiousness should have been given, which is always fair in any work of art you view.

Cultural appropriation v. cultural appreciation is a very heated topic, but an important one to have as I feel it'll help guide many creatives and writers on how best to proceed forward when they tackle on new material and study new pieces of art that originate from places that the author did not grow up in. I don't think quick dismissal helps anything, and I also am not arguing that every argument that something is cultural appropriation has merit either. I think this convo can be had rationally.

For me, just thinking about the topic of "Summertime" specficially brings up so many competing but also related feelings and issues....

Like, it's clear that "Summertime" has become a standard that has moved beyond the opera/musical somewhat. In the show, it's a lullaby sung by a black mother to her black baby in a story that is very much about a specific African-American experience. It was also written by New York-based creatives of mixed European and Jewish descent with their own storied histories and current realities (at the time and now). The creatives also studied the music from the areas of which they were trying to portray and the language of the communities that they were trying to portray. But then they also used a lot of stereotypical AAVE that white creatives tend to hear the most and made mistakes that every outsider without proper consultation (and not just one chosen person) would make. The musical is considered a classic, and it's also a very 1930s New York-era creation when people were bringing the American musical to new heights and creating their own American-grown "operas".​

So I get why feelings would be heightened about this sort of thing from all sides (I won't say "both" because I refuse to think this only has "two" sides)...

  • Those who love art and don't want to see artists feel stifled or censored or policed;
  • Those who get tired of works by certain types being lauded while so many more "home grown" works are ignored and not fully appreciated by critics who also seem to come from certain backgrounds with their own biases;
  • Those who are afraid of censorship (whether state sanctioned or not) because silence can lead to death or worse;
  • Others who argue that people only care about censorship when it deals with certain entitled people's ability to be offensive (and why do they want to portray black people or use racist words towards blacks so badly) when other communities are quite used to self-censoring themselves out of fear of violence or losing their jobs, etc.;
  • That the irony is that people are using anti-censorship to censor actual communities who are providing critique and are arguing for a change in thinking and behavior.

Back to figure skating and CarPon...it's clear these two don't know what Porgy and Bess is or if they do, that is not what they're going for as explained by Marie-France. They're just going for a jazzy* feeling. As explained above, the song itself has taken on its own identity and people can use the song outside the context of the show. That being said, there's a reason all the best covers were mostly performed by African-American vocalists and those who were closer to the period in which the song was written (special mention to Fantasia Barrino who was from the early 21st Century). If you look at the lyrics, you'll see the connection with the community that Ira Gershwin and Dubose Heyward were trying to portray and what George Gerswhin was trying to capture with his music. Luckily, most skaters don't skate to the song with lyrics but rather the instrumental version.

There is another topic I find interesting and it's something figure skating choreographers do often. Ignoring the original meaning and message of the song to create their own story. Now, whether one wants to argue that you can take the context and origin of the song and separate it from the song now is up to the individual. I think most figure skating fans are ok, especially the vaguer the lyrics are in a song (most songs meant for the radio or dance floor will have vague lyrics).

However, when there's a song that has a storied history and it's about a community that is so specific...I do think it's weird to take away the identity of the song and sort of "white wash" it. But then, I am also super used to solo singers singing all kinds of songs that weren't written for "people like them" and music needs to be shared....cultures need to be shared and appreciated by wider audiences. I think there's a way to appreciate the origin while taking it a new direction.

As for creating a whole new story from the song that was originally written for another context...well...that's iffy, but I don't think anyone is really arguing that's what CarPon is doing here. I think CarPon playing a couple who are in New York and are hearing the song being played and are dancing to it as it instrumental is making them feel some kind of way.

So in the end, whether or not "Summertime" is a piece of music one SHOULD be able to be repurposed and ignore the original context and underrepresented community it was supposed to represent is a matter of opinion and I don't think any feelings are necessarily "wrong" about it. It just depends on how you feel and why you feel it. It's all based on how we see the world and why, I guess.

Now with that long-butt essay above written, I have to say how strange it is that we often have this conversation on this forum that centers around issues that are really touching upon a community who don't really make up a huge portion of the population here, so these conversations tend to go heavily one way. It's also an age thing thing where people from one generation will see things different from another, and we tend to have perspectives that skew a bit older rather than younger. Not saying this is a bad thing, but we aren't really getting the "best" arguments advocating for the other perspectives.


*Jazz is also an African-American created genre (evolved from a huge mixing of different kinds of music genres coming together in New Orleans from the Spanish, Native Americans, Mexican brass, Creoles, Haitians, black slave folklore and spirituals, etc.) but let's not over-complicate things because I don't think ANYBODY is saying only African-Americans should perform jazz (as a whole) as the reason New Orleans was called "The Big Easy" was because it was so "Easy" for white musicians and black musicians and others to perform together and create music.
 

sadya

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I am of southasian descent (India - Pakistan - Bangladesh) and I enjoyed what Davis and White brought at the Olympics. They did their Bollywood dance with class and respect. There have been other skaters with random "eastern" looking movements when doing a program with music from this part of the world, but those movements don't always belong to the same culture of the music they portray. Davis and White were some of the very few skaters who handled this really well.

I loved the SP of Jason Brown at the Olympics. He didn't offend any coloured person as far as I know. Sinnerman skated by him was a masterpiece. I still discover new details when rewatching this routine. That wasn't cultural appropriation either.

Give credit to the culture you take something from to use in your work (or life) and use it with respect and understanding. I love the result of mixing cultures, when well done it gives us great art in dance, music, skating, foods even. I wouldn't want to miss that.

I grew up in the Netherlands with very strict southasian parents. Growing up and in my early adult years, I struggled with this a lot. I didn't completely belong to either culture and both cultures expected me to only belong to them. Nowadays I have a mix of both in my personal life and I love it. In some areas of life they even balance each other out. For example: southasian culture is overly dramatic (not just in movies and tv shows, but in real life as well) and the Dutch culture has both feet more on the ground than southasian culture.

I don't see why people should only embrace one culture in their life and only stick to the culture of their background. For me and many like me, that would be difficult. And no, I'm not saying that people with mixed backgrounds are the only ones allowed to have different cultures in their life and work. If you are from a different culture, but you have a connection with something from another culture, be welcome to connect! If Davis/White and Brown didn't connect with Bollywood and Nina Simone, we'd be missing out on amazing masterpieces.
 

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