Smitten with Sochi’s Opening Ceremony

As we suspected, the 2014 Winter Olympics’ opening ceremony Friday night was nothing short of sensational. A flashy and mind-boggling revue spanning Russia’s rich history, it had all the ingredients necessary for a Broadway-sized spectacle—multiplied by a bajillion. Special effects? Check. Amazing sets? Check. Wacky costumes? Check. Far-out symbolism that was slightly over everyone’s heads? Check!

Missed it? Here’s a rundown of our five favorite moments (excluding the ever-trending snowflake-to-ring debacle):

1. Svetlana Zakharova. Need we say more? The Bolshoi star appeared during the section representing Russia’s Imperial age with a tribute to Tolstoy’s War and Peace.  Plot line? Didn’t matter—once Zakharova displayed some leg and foot action, the night was complete.

A heavenly pas de deux: Danila Korsuntsev and Svetlana Zakharova. Photo Paul Gilham, Getty Images.

A heavenly pas de deux: Danila Korsuntsev and Svetlana Zakharova. (Photo Paul Gilham/Getty Images via

2. Ivan Vasiliev. Also part of the War and Peace dance break, he broke the mold with this manège:


Swoon. (Gif via Vanity Fair)

3. The human-size hamster wheels plus all the dance and theatrics during the Age of Industrialization section.

Grigory Dukor / Reuters

Not sure what this contraption would make…but all the moving parts were super cool. (Photo by Grigory Dukor/Reuters, via

4. These light-up roller-skaters and sky-bound illuminations:

White unitards are rough. (Photo Ryan Pierse/Getty Images via

White unitards are rough—LEDs make them better. (Photo Ryan Pierse/Getty Images via

5. That moment when we thought it was over, but then Mariinsky star Diana Vishneva appeared and twirled to music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, MOMIX-style (the ceremony’s choreographer, Daniel Ezralow, was one of MOMIX’s original dancers and choreographers):

The whirling Vishneva. (Photo REUTERS/Brian Snyder via

The whirling Vishneva. (Photo REUTERS/Brian Snyder via

Bonus: Team USA’s promenade into Fisht Olympic Stadium. USA! USA! (PS: If anyone has an “in” at Ralph Lauren, I’d love a complimentary USA sweater. Thanks!)


USA! USA! USA! USA! (Photo via


About Jenny Dalzell

Jenny Dalzell is Dance Spirit's managing editor.
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