Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov: Vocalise
Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov were gold medal winning figure skaters who also fell in love, were married, and had a baby girl, named Daria. They seemed to have the perfect life until Sergei, the world champion athlete, collapsed on the ice, and died of cardiac arrest at just 28 years old. The real-life lovers were forever seperated, now like the program they once performed, Romeo and Juliet, they now resembled the fictional, tragic pair. Sergei Grinkov has been gone since 1995, which now seems like a life time ago, but still he has left his mark on the world as one of the best and most romantic skaters ever to grace the ice. In their thirteen years together, as a figure skating team, created many beautiful works of art on the ice.
While each program they did was poignant and beautiful, their program, Vocalise, might be the most iconic. The music used for this piece was composed by Sergei Rachmaninov, which seemed very fitting for Grinkov, who had the same famous Russian name. Marina Zueva, who was the pair's principal, saw a Rodin sculpture, in an art museum and was inspired by the work of art. The particular Rodin sculpture was called, "The Kiss." Marina wondered what would the piece of art would look like if it were able to come to life. Thus, the Vocalise program for Katia, as she is called, and Sergei was born.
The choreography and program were more than steps and jumps. It was complex and almost had an erotic quality about it while still being very tasteful, and very beautiful. The pair that always seemed to breathe as one, seemed even more connected during the performances of this program. The program was performed during the 1994-1995 season, which Sergei Grinkov's last as a figure skater, and as a living human being. Vocalise represented real-life, passionate love that was too young, and deep to die. It represents that great art remains alive and strong despite the fact that the people creating it, is long gone.
Ekaterina, stated after Sergei's untimely death, that the Vocalise performance. Scott Hamilton, who was one of Sergei Grinkov's best friends once said of the pair, that, "their time and their space is seperate from the rest of skating history." Katia and Sergei together, along with this program, will live on as timeless as the work of art, that first inspired it.