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Controversy Over Wife of Vladimir Putin’s Spokesman’s Holocaust Dance

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A controversial dance by a top Russian official’s wife has caused ripples among social media users worldwide. The Olympic gold medalist ice dancer, Tatiana Navka, who is the wife of Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, performed a holocaust on ice dance routine that aired on national television – Channel One – on Saturday evening.

holocaust dance

Youtube

Navka wore a uniform similar to the one worn in concentration camps by Jews embellished with a yellow star for the controversial Holocaust dance. Together with her dance partner, Andrei Burkovsky, they appeared on Ice Age, a reality TV show miming shooting each other in a set titled La Vita è Bella meaning ‘Life is beautiful’. La Vita è Bella is an Oscar winning comedy-drama about the holocaust, created by Italian director Roberto Begnini. Posting pictures of her performance did not go very well with most of the public who rose to condemn, some in very strong terms.

The implication of the dance caused many angry remarks on social media, with people terming the performance as ‘mad’. In her defense, Navka retaliated on her Instagram page that the dance was intended to pay tribute to the Begnini.

holocaust dance

Youtube

Among a number of angry outbursts, one of the comments read “The Nazi regime separated families, put them in concentration camps killed them in gas chambers… you make a nice happy smiling dance out of it? Are [you] mad?”. According to The Guardian, a number of other angry tweets were sent to the Russian Embassy Twitter handle.

Begnini, who directed and starred in the film as a Jewish bookshop owner who tries to shield his son from the terrors of Nazi concentration camps with his imaginative techniques, also received immense criticism at the time for using such a painful history for comedic purposes.

Navka hoped that the public would see this dance as a commemoration of the horrors of the Nazi era for younger and upcoming generations and not as entertainment as most had understood it. She explained that the holocaust was not only about the killings that took place in Nazi-controlled territories but also a show of determination by victims featuring how life and human dignity always triumphed over evil. She urged people to appreciate the performance for its art and not as a laughing matter.

The negative comments however did not deter Navka’s husband Dmitry Peskov from stating that he was proud of his wife amid all the controversy, choosing to see the whole incident as a milestone in her career.

Watch the unusual performance below:

What do you think of the controversial Holocaust dance? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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