This post originally appeared on my blog on Christmas Eve 2010.
Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov's "Vocalise" by Rachmaninoff is poetry in motion.
The exquisite program, choreographed by their long-time choreographer, the talented Marina Zoueva, is based on Rodin's sculptures.
Auguste Rodin, a French marble sculptor created sculptors, such as, "The Kiss," (above) depicting a sensual relationship between man and woman. "The Kiss" was originally called "Francesca da Rimini," as it depicts 13th century Italian noblewoman, Francesca da Rimini, immortalized in Dante's Inferno (Circle 2, Canto 5) for falling in love with her husband's younger brother, Paolo. Having fallen in love while reading the story of Lancelot and Guienevere, Paolo and Fancesca gave in to their passions, and were caught by Francesca's husband, who killed them. In the sculpture, the book can be seen in Paolo's hands, and the lover's lips aren't actually touching, suggesting that they've been interrupted in the midst of their passions.
Gordeeva and Grinkov never had a forbidden-love situation, and rather, they had a fairy tale romance, until Sergei's untimely death in 1995 at the age of 28, but I believe what their program to "Vocalise" represents is just sheer beauty, romance, and passion. If Rodin's sculptures could skate and tell their story, surely, they would look as Gordeeva and Grinkov do in this seamless fusion of art and movement, where sensuality mingles with strength, gentility, and pure love.