Good rope routines are
getting immensely rare. In this light, it becomes a neatly folded
rope from her leg to her hand. Almost immediately, she performed a
balance on left leg, as her right leg was lifted to a flexed position
beyond 90 degree. The rope dutifully coiled around her left leg
whilst the entire motion was swiftly effected. Flexibility and
control, clearly demonstrated in this series action, will follow suit as
the routine unfold.
Next, Vitrichenko did a
skipping combination. The variety of step patterns and rapid
changes from scissors to backward skipping and to forward skipping
leaves the audience breathless. As the pulsating music thumps on,
Elena executed her classic move: the rope swiveling around her
lifted leg as she did her balance. Again, great skill and
flexibility is employed.
open rope swing in wheel plane, followed quickly by a sequence of leap
and pivots, matched seamlessly with the beat of the modern piece
"Sing, Sing, Sing". Circling the rope backwards, she
then threw the rope and unleashed one of the riskiest movement in RSG -
the Ralenkova. The Ralenkova requires strength of a single hand
support, the elasticity and full extension of the limbs-- qualities that
Elena possessed and unabashedly demonstrated. Catching the rope
deftly with one hand, Elena threw in a yet another row of small hops and
cross skipping. The choreography is definitely original and
perfect, fitting the sprightly mood of the backdrop music beautifully.
I must admit that
Elena's next move is incredible-- and boy, I do mean incredible.
She did a chain of triple split leaps through the rope, and the
last leap (gasp) even included a back bend and back arch. Several
critics have expressed surprised awe at her high elevation, prodigious
amplitude and long flight time. Best of all, Vitrichenko executed
the gravity defying moves with such ease and beauty. Special
mention should be credited.
A switch split jump,
half spirals with the rope, and a trademark side jump etc. followed
suit. As the piece accelerated, her motions sped up. Be it
the leaps or the wave, Elena's rendering was flowing with absolute grace
and control. Her double-illusion cum single-hand catch was yet
another perplexing move, and so was her cart-wheel chosen to end this
gorgeously superb routine.
In short, Elena's rope
routine defines what is meant as avant-grade when it comes to RSG.
Clean execution, perfect choice of music and multiple fists of risk
thrown in, her '96 rope routine, albeit an unfair low score,
is definitely a lovely display of RSG at its prime.