In Russia's version of the internationally acclaimed tv-format 'Dancing on Ice', two competitors in last night's episode managed to shock the world with their act. Tatyana Navka and Andrew Burkovsjy appeared on the ice in striped prisoner outfits, decorated with yellow Jewish 'Star of David' badges - sometimes referred to as a 'badges of shame' to identify Jews during World War 2. Clearly, the duo had found inspiration in the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler's genocide that killed about six million Jews.

The atmosphere at the beginning of the couple's act is very gloomy - with their faced painted pale to add drama - but it quickly gains glee as they start dancing.

The act was choreographed to Noa's 'Life is Beautiful (Beautiful That Way)', a theme song from the 1997 motion picture 'La vita è bella', about an Italian couple whose happiness is abruptly halted when they are taken to a concentration camp. To shelter their son from holocaust-horrors, they convince him that the concentration camp is just a game. This story is copied in the dance.


Tatyana said the duo had nothing but good intentions with their dance, claiming it was an 'homage' to the film referred to above.

She is married to Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for Russia's president Vladimir Putin, and a two-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist. Her partner Andrew is a mildly famous TV actor. But despite their intentions, they shocked the world.

Most displeasure resounded in European press. 'Staggeringly tasteless', the British newspaper Daily Mail concluded. The French audiovisual group France TV they named the act 'enormously offensive', while the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad calls it 'world shocking'.

So far, only BILD has reported the news in Germany, also referring to the dance as a 'shocking' act.

'Mixed responses'

But the couple's routine was also noticed outside of Europe. At the American news giant Huffington Post, journalists mentioned how many found the dance 'offensive' and 'tactless'. The Israelian newspaper Jerusalem Post called Tatyana and Andrew 'disturbing'. Last but not least, Russian media seem to have noticed how social media users showed 'mixed responses'.

Feel free to make your own judgement.

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