Let me tell you just that: the Romanian public is so very lucky, having the privilege to live, for the fifth time since 2007, the joy and the enthusiasm of a truly wonderful figure skating gala. “Kings on Ice” comes regularly to Romania, starring a group of elite skaters – and this is definitely a miracle, given the fact that, at this point, Bucharest does not have an ice rink suited for competitions. Actually, it does not have an ice rink at all, the young Romanian skaters having to train, day by day, in a shopping mall.
In spite of all that (or precisely because of that, trying to make a point through their presence…), top skaters like Evgeni Plushenko, Stephane Lambiel or Brian Joubert keep coming to Romania – a proof that the public’s warm response compensates for the lack of skating facilities. Hats off to the organizers (Amphitrion), who keep doing the impossible for us to be able to experience galas like that – this time, the ice installation was brought from Italy – but, to me, this particular edition of “Kings on Ice” was one of those moments that emphasized, more than ever, the need for a proper skating rink in Bucharest. As Evgeni Plushenko puts it bluntly in an interview for Inside Skating, “I have skated everywhere in the world – and I think I have to show the people and also the government that they need to build ice rinks to push figure skating, to bring kids on the ice…”.
by Florentina Tone
With these words in mind, I invite you to relive the best moments of this glowing figure skating gala, at its fifth edition in Romania; and I’ll do more than that, giving you full access, through tons of stories and photos, to the world (and people) behind the show. Do follow me backstage – I was privileged enough to attend the official rehearsals of “Kings on Ice Oympic Gala”. The skaters had a wonderful time in Sala Polivalenta – and so was I. And I’m sure you’ll find this particular joy in my photos.
Fiona Zaldua and Dmitry Sukhanov: sweet tenderness
Old friends: Edvin Marton and Evgeni Plushenko
Doing a recap: Brian Joubert
Practicing his steps: Evgeni Plushenko
Group rehearsal for the introductory part of the show. Brian Joubert, leading the dance
Ari Zakarian instructs the skaters to show a heart that beats – then flies – and Stephane enters the role with a smile
Flying hearts in Sala Polivalenta
Pure joy: Stefania’s smile is contagious
Tomas Verner, having a great time during rehearsals
Tranquility in Evgeni’s eyes
Is her smile wonderful or what? Stefania Berton in Bucharest
A meditative Tomas Verner
Stephane rehearsing his programs for the gala
A love story on the ice: Stefania Berton and her fiancee, Rockne Brubaker – skating together for the first time on the ice of Bucharest
The gala begins with Marie-Pierre Leray
Edvin Marton doing what he does best
…and they’re ON.
Evgeni opens the ball with his “Storm” program
Stefania and Rockne: a beautiful, emotional skate on “Gravity”
Tomas Verner and his “Cowboy” program
Courageous and risk-taking: Fiona Zaldua and Dmitry Sukhanov
The Lord of the Dance: Brian Joubert
Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres in Bucharest
Flying: Marie-Pierre Leray
Standing ovation for Marie – applauded by the young Romanian skaters
A majestic Stephane Lambiel in Bucharest
With this particular gesture, Stephane totally conquered the audience
At the end of part one, some of the young skaters of Romania took the ice. Just look at them: don’t they deserve a proper ice rink?
Annette Dytr from Germany
“Pretty woman”: Stefania Berton
You should have seen Stefania and Rockne in Bucharest, at Kings on Ice Olympic Gala: they were glowing
Tomas Verner fully entered the role: “I’m sexy and I know it”
How is that for a sparkling program for gala?
Marie-Pierre Leray and her beautiful red wings in Bucharest
I gotta a feeling: an energetic routine skated in Bucharest by Brian Joubert, to the delight of his numerous admirers
Alexander Liubchenko and Jean-Denis Sanchis
Once again, Fiona Zaldua and Dmitry Sukhanov and their breathtaking routines
The definition of elegance: Stephane Lambiel skating on “Nessun Dorma”
Edvin and his precious Stradivarius, ready for the Grand Finale
The King himself, skating “The Best of Plushenko”, a truly emotional performance for all of his fans
Flying on the ice of Bucharest; tiny as it was, it hosted a King
An all-in-white Finale of Kings on Ice Olympic Gala
An emotional Stephane, at the end of the show
Wonderful skaters, thank you for the magic!
See you next time; hopefully, in 2015…
…and do come back for more the following days.