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The Best Lyrical Routines in RG from the Period 2013-2016

Updated: Mar 26

Hello everyone,

If I had to describe the era in Rhythmic Gymnastics between 2013-16, some of the words that come to mind are graceful, musical, lyrical. This period of time was a revival in artistry following a long period of time when the sport had lost its way a little bit. I have talked about the origins of RG in another post (read here) but briefly it started in the mid-20th century as a blend between art and sport. At the turn of the century, however, it changed its overall look rather dramatically and its artistic value largely perished. The Code of Points in 2013-16 introduced changes to the sport yet again with a lot of emphasis on artistry and musicality. It was historic in that it allowed for the first time the use of music with vocals and words. This Code of Points gave rise to some of the most expressive and gorgeous routines in the individual competition in the 21st century. That is why I have chosen four lyrical routines to share with you today that I think exemplify that period in RG and bring joy to the eye and the heart. ❤️

Lyricism in Rhythmic Gymnastics

If you google the word lyricism, a few definitions will pop up. While they may differ in wording, they all describe lyricism as a deeply expressive quality. There is no single accurate enough definition because lyricism can be achieved through many different ways. And yet, we easily recognise a lyrical RG composition when we see it. I have attempted to combine different explanations into a single definition that, to my mind, describes best the subtleties of this word.

Lyricism An intense personal quality that expresses deep feelings in an inspired and beautiful work of art.

I like the idea that lyricism is a form of expression. In the context of RG, it is accompanied by music that has a slower pace and sometimes a dramatic sounding. Music is truly the foundation on which a gymnast builds their composition. Music of different genres and origin can belong to this category. Let’s begin with the grandmother of lyrical music in rhythmic gymnastics – the Moonlight Sonata, interpreted in the very elegant Ukrainian style of gymnastics.



Ganna Rizatdinova, 2013, Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven)

Ganna Rizatdinova from Ukraine is an incredibly expressive gymnast that stood out with her emotional delivery. For her interpretation of Beethoven’s most popular piece of music, the Moonlight Sonata, Rizatdinova chose an alternative version with a saxophone solo accompanying the familiar piano melody. The saxophone adds a mysterious, dramatic, and even sensual note to the music and complements well the otherwise slightly sad but very soulful and romantic sounding of this timeless musical masterpiece. I am particularly fond of how the gymnast is apparently moved by the music which suits her gracious presence on the carpet. It is matched by a delicate and tasteful leotard. It is amazing how sleeves can add so much drama to a look in RG, and I find the pastel green colour very appropriate for this lyrical routine. Ganna Rizatdinova was awarded the prestigious Longines Prize for Elegance at the 2013 World Championships in Kiev.



Silvia Miteva, 2013, Concierto de Aranjuez (Joaquín Rodrigo)

Most ball routines in the period 2013-16 were lyrical (honestly, look up any competition!). I chose Sylvia Miteva’s from 2013 because I love the music and I also have a soft spot for expressive use of arms in this sport (something this gymnast is very proficient with). Concierto de Aranjuez is a classical guitar concerto written by Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo in 1939 and performed by famous flamenco musician Paco de Lucía. The Second Movement, known as Adagio, is the most famous part of the concerto. It was written in B minor and evokes quiet sorrow. I think it is a beautiful piece of music and is worth listening to in its entirety (here), as this RG arrangement did not include the build-up and crescendo. In her ball routine, Sylvia Miteva displays high artistic value and appears to have a conversation with the apparatus, as if she confides in it. Overall, the composition is soulful and touching. It speaks of sorrow but also love and perhaps, loneliness. I find that the effect of music can be subjective - what effect did it have on you?



Marina Durunda, 2013-15, Dance of Leaves (Fariborz Lachini)

The clubs are an apparatus usually paired with fast-paced, cheerful or dramatic music, but very rarely lyrical music. However, Azeri gymnast Marina Durunda accomplished the ‘impossible’ in her clubs routine in 2013-15. The music is called Dance of Leaves and was written by Iranian composer Fariborz Lachini. It is a part of the album Golden Autumn. Fariborz Lachini studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and incorporated Persian and European Romantic styles in his music. They say autumn is the favourite season of the hopeless romantics – there is beauty in it, in the many colours of the leaves, but there is also melancholia and a bit of sadness. Marina Durunda delivers a delightful performance to this fine piece of piano music. The white leotard she wears is also an example of the epitome of lyricism in the RG outfits department.



Melitina Staniouta, 2014, Luna (Alessandro Safina)

This ribbon routine by Melitina Staniouta from Belarus is a treat to the senses and it is one I can watch again and again. The music by Italian operatic pop singer Alessandro Safina is a song called Luna which is poetry sung, to the Moon. If you have enjoyed this article so far, you will love the lyrics of this song, too (can be seen at the end). Melitina Staniuta has impeccable technique with both body and apparatus, and you can also see her very memorable signature element at 1:05 – a transition turn from cossack to penché. I am impressed by the precision in her ribbon work - the shapes she draws are so well defined and controlled! She is another very elegant gymnast who really captures the aesthetics of RG in the 2013-16 period. She shows mature gymnastics that is expressive and sophisticated.


Final Remarks

Which are some of your favourite lyrical routines from the 2013-16 Code of Points? Let me know in the comments down below. As always, if you have enjoyed this article, press the little heart icon (❤️) at the end so I know what types of posts to make more of. Feel free to share it with other RG fans, and make sure to follow me on Instagram to keep up to date with new articles I post on my blog.

See you next time,


Lyrics (Italian and English) of Alessandro Safina's operatic pop song Luna

Moon (from LyricsTranslate)


Only you can hear my soul.

Only you can hear my soul.


Moon, you,

how many are the songs that echo?

Desires that, through the centuries,

have ploughed the sky to reach you?

A port, for poets who do not write

and who often lose their minds.

You accept the sighs of the one in pain

and, as a gift, you give a dream to each soul.

Moon, you who are looking at me, now listen to me.


Only you can hear my soul.


Moon, you

that know the eternity of time

and the narrow path of the truth,

shine more light in this heart of mine,

this heart of a man who doesn't know, doesn't know

that love can hide the pain,

like a fire, it can burn your soul.


Moon, you,

you light up the sky and its immensity

and you show us just the half that you want,

just the way we almost always do.

Angels of clay unable to fly.

Paper souls that burn up.

Hearts that, like leaves, eventually fall down.

Dreams made of air which disappear.

Sons of the earth and sons of you, you who know


that love can hide the pain,

like a fire, it can burn your soul.


But it is with love that our heart breathes.

It's the strength that moves all and illuminates all.


Only you can hear my soul.


White light, my goddess, goddess, you are very silent.

Only you can hear my soul.

White light, my goddess, goddess, you are very silent.

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