Region:
World
Category:
Society

Top military brass treated to bizarre 'twerking' dance during commissioning of HMAS Supply

  • Top military brass treated to bizarre 'twerking' dance during commissioning of HMAS Supply
    Dance troupe 101 Doll Squadron defends performance at HMAS Supply launch in Sydney Top military brass treated to bizarre 'twerking' dance during commissioning of HMAS Supply
Region:
World
Category:
Society
Publication date:
Print article


Dance troupe 101 Doll Squadron defends performance at HMAS Supply launch in Sydney
A video of dancers twerking in hotpants at an Australian military event has sent the country into a spin.

The scene was incongruous, bizarre and funny. So of course it went viral when it emerged on Wednesday.

But the music video-style choreography - featuring thumps, thrusts and butt shakes - also came under attack. Conservative lawmakers led the chorus of those calling it "inappropriate".

Tabloids splashed headlines slamming military standards. But others found offense elsewhere - projecting shame onto the dancers, and labeling their routine as too "sexualised". (video

That in turn sparked backlash over the policing of women's bodies and women dancing. The dance troupe in the footage, 101 Doll Squadron, complained about the media coverage.

As it also emerged the clip had been wrongly edited by the ABC, the national broadcaster, those voices got louder. So how exactly did this "navy twerking" saga unfold?

101 Doll Squadron were hired by the Royal Australian Navy to perform at a commissioning ceremony on Saturday for a new ship, the HMAS Supply.

However, the event only gained wider attention after an ABC reporter shared a separate video on Twitter - which spliced ​​shots of the women's energetic gyrations with stone-faced reactions of attending military leaders.

His tweet - later deleted - quoted a government MP bemoaning a fall in defense force standards. This framing set off a viral firestorm.

But on Thursday it emerged the footage had been wrongly edited, prompting questions of the ABC, which issued an apology.

The Navy said none of the officials or dignitaries, such as the governor-general, had seen the performance as it had occurred before they arrived. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said "standards have failed" but criticized the ABC's "misreporting".

The Navy has not explained why the dancers were hired.

Video showed the rest of the event continued at a slower pace. It featured the typical pomp and ceremony: brass band performances; formal speeches; ranks of sailors saluting and marching in lockstep. Not as much pizzazz as the dancers.