Sochi's glittery closing ceremony last night celebrated Russian culture, and no such celebration would be complete without ballet, of course. But leave it to the Olympics to bring Russia's two great—and very competitive—ballet houses together.
We have to hand it to the Russians. Olympic opening ceremonies are always brilliant spectacles, but rarely do they involve appearances by world-class ballet dancers.
Last Friday night, the Sochi opening ceremony offered a smorgasbord of rich, theatrical images, many of them created by Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark choreographer Daniel Ezralow. But the highlights for us bunheads were appearances by Russian ballet sensations Svetlana Zakharova, Ivan Vasiliev and Diana Vishneva.
I have a love/hate relationship with figure skating. Part of me roots for the fact that it's fairly artistic—it's the closest thing to dance I'll ever see at the Olympics. (PS: I'm obsessed with all things Olympics.) On the other hand, I'm always cringing at skaters' lines and sloppy limbs. And then there are the long programs set to music from Swan Lake accompanied by bad, feathery costumes, which are truly hard to watch.