Chakra Announcements

Ice Dancers Pick 'Govinda' Theme

by Urmila dasi

Posted March 2, 2006

Two world-class figure skaters, Anastasia Grebenkina and Vazgen Azroyan, have picked the famous "Govindam adi-purusham" prayers as their theme music. You can download a video of their performance at the Turin Olympics.

The video requires QuickTime Player to view, available for both Macintosh and Windows from Before viewing it, you'll need to download a copy of QuickTime Player, if you don't already have QuickTime installed. Please watch till the end of the dance -- the Govindam prayers are used both at the beginning and at the end.


Anastasia Grebenkina was born in Moscow, Russia, and has been skating since she was 5. Vazgen Azroyan was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and began skating at age 4. Both switched to ice dancing at age 12.

Anastasia and Vazgen started as a pair in 1996. They took part in and became prizewinners of a number of international competitions (Skate-America, Skate Israel, Golden Spin and others). In 2002 Anastasia and Vazgen entered a new stage of their athletic careers when they started working with coach Alexei Gorshkov and choreographer Sergei Petukhov at Odintsovo Skate Center in Moscow and represent Armenia at international competitions.

Dancing to the strains of the devotional song "Worshipping Govinda," the couple took third prize in the NHK Trophy event at Osaka, Japan in December 2005, their first Grand Prix medal. Canadians Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon earned the Grand Prix gold medal, while Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski of Bulgaria were awarded the silver medal.

Then, at the recently concluded Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, the Grebenkina and Azroyan again performed to the music of Govinda.

Shortly after the Osaka event, Azrojan said: "We are for the first time in Japan, and it's our first medal in the Grand Prix and actually the first Grand Prix medal for Armenia. So we're really happy, and we're also happy with our skating".

Grebenkina explained their choice of music: "When we heard this music we thought it was something unusual, and our coach and choreographer liked it as well. The idea is that frescos of Indian gods descend to earth and start to dance. I think it's an interesting theme, we have unusual costumes, and it turns out to be an exotic dance."

The couple showed well synchronized twizzles (travelling turns), intricate footwork and interesting lifts including a rotational-curve lift with changes of positions and a straight-line lift with him travelling backwards on one bent knee. At the Osaka event, he Armenians were awarded 83.90 points, setting a new personal best for themselves, and collected a total score of 162.64 points.

At the Turin Winter Olympics, Grebenkina and Azrojan placed 20th, achieving a score of 137.99 points. The winners of that event were Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov of Russia.