This Russian-TV Holocaust-Themed Ice-Dancing Duet Is, in a Word, Indescribable

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Several media outlets have described a controversy surrounding Russian reality-competition show Ice Age's inclusion of a Holocaust-themed ice dance, but the word "controversy" implies viewers have arrived at a coherent cognitive interpretation of the images they have just seen, and it's simply too early for that. Olympic gold-medal skater Tatiana Navka and actor Andrew Burkovsjy performed the dance in concentration-camp-style uniforms on an episode that aired on Russia's Channel 1 this weekend. The Huffington Post identifies their accompaniment as Achinoam Nini's "Beautiful That Way" from the 1997 Oscar-winning film Life Is Beautiful. While the performers are clearly attempting to replicate the film's joie de vivre in the face of evil, the wide smiles, mid-air backstroke, audio of barking dogs and the fact they are on ice skates definitely does not help the performance translate overseas. It might also be noted that Navka's husband is Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson to Russian president Vladimir Putin, but honestly it could be your own mother out there on the ice and the whole thing would remain just as jaw-dropping.