Translation of interview with Anjelika Krylova for Lenta.ru.
Anjelika told about change of the short dance for Weaver and Poje, costumes, new realities in ice dance and about Russian duos.
Kaitlyn and Andrew started the season with the change of short dance after the first competition because of the judges recommendations. It’s quite a rare case in modern figure skating. Now it’s clear that it has justified. But was it hard to take such a decision?
Anjelika Krylova: I liked the first program “Elvis” and guys skate it with pleasure. But we were told that the rhythm of the foxtrot is not very clear. I don’t understand why they didn’t like it. Still, the ISU technical committee, setting the rules for a short dance didn’t specify that music should be classical waltz and march. But the American duo Madison Chock and Evan Bates, as you know, faced the same problem. They also changed the program.
We decided not to risk, though we were short in time. We chose Strauss for surely (smiles). Worked at night: needed to make the new dance just in three or four days. Of course, something we took from “Elvis” but we had to adjust it to the music and its accents. It’s a very difficult and laborious work. I’m glad that skaters agreed to take this step. Weaver and Poje are on the level when they can insist on. They could persist and say we will not change anything. After all, we invested a lot of time and money in this program. It wasn’t easy to make another round. I am glad that it worked, and according to the first start, the dance was appreciated.
At Grand-prix in Moscow you called your athletes very touching in the Russian manner Katyusha and Andryusha. They seem don’t mind.
Anjelika Krylova: We also call them this way at trainings, and they are used to it, find it very nice and cute. Moreover, they sometimes say: “Katyusha, Andryusha, let’s go skating!”
That’s what it means to have a Russian coach.
Anjelika Krylova: In fact, I’m not the only one from Russia in our group. With us works Natalia Annenko who skated with Genrikh Sretenski. Great specialist and a wonderful person. She works a lot with skaters on technical side of skating.
The free dance for Weaver and Poje was created by a very high-demanded now choreographer Peter Tchernyshev. Doesn’t it cause a professional jealousy, when your students do their program with someone else?
Anjelika Krylova: No. When we skated our coach Natalia Linichuk also invited other choreographers. Anyway, every coach has his own stereotypes, which he constantly uses. And athletes need to get different ideas. It’s interesting for them, and it’s easier to develop. I know this from personal experience.
In figure skating, especially in ice dancing, costumes are important. Do you make sure what your students wear?
Anjelika Krylova: Unfortunately, I am not a designer. Now with the development of Internet there are a lot of opportunities to find some ideas. But I think you still need to give it to the professionals. Guys themselves also pick up variants to discuss with me and Pasquale. Now Kaitlyn makes their costumes with those designers who sewed for Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White. They work on our rink in Detroit. Tailcoat for the short program Andrew sewed in theater in Toronto. I’m generally for the theater: I think artists and tailors from this world are the most-most and they have the skills and style.
Frankly, when appeared the idea of the Order for Andrew in the short dance, I was afraid isn’t it too much? I don’t like tacky costumes. We had a different style for costumes: feathers, rhinestones, sequins. But it isn’t close for me.
So, how did you approve Kaitlyn’s dress for a short dance, which is all embroidered with rhinestones?
Anjelika Krylova: You can shine in different ways. As in ballroom dancing, it can be moderately and tastefully. Kaitlyn’s dress came out very elegant. And then, a lot depends on the style of the duo. On one avant-garde and extravagant inscriptions look good. And on others it doesn’t look good. Kaitlyn and Andrew are beautiful and stately. And it is necessary to highlight, but wisely.
Speaking of classical dance. Just remember your with Oleg Ovsyannikov famous program to the drums, which even today would look avant-garde.
Anjelika Krylova: How it was criticised! But this our dance is still remembered and we’re constantly asked about it. Tried to persuade us to change the program to “Carmen” before the Worlds. But our coach Natalia Linichuk refused. It was a difficult moment. I believe that our victory in Helsinki was the most difficult and the most joyous. We won with a dance that everyone criticised, that was very difficult in all aspects, including physical. Now looking at it I understand, what we did at the World Championships, we did it on 100%. So everything worked.
Do you agree that now ice dance is a very different? Perhaps even more difficult?
Anjelika Krylova: Can’t say that more difficult. But different, it’s for sure. Previously, the program has been creating from the idea. There were no elements and no transitions between them, there was only dance. And today you have to do to lifts and other elements on the maximum fourth level, do all the acrobatics. And of course it leaves a mark on the pattern of dance.
For example, when we’re training a rotational lift, we stand with a stopwatch, like in athletics, to put six turns with all the changes of positions in six seconds. Thou for ice dance it’s weird. Probably the entertainment have increased. But we are more often compared with pair skating now. Dancers are doing pair spin like pairs do, and pairs do step sequences as dancers. In ice dance have appeared very high lifts. Even though in dancing partner still can’t raise hands above their heads. But I think there is no need for comparison with pair skating. Still, things are different.
Representatives of pair skating complain too about the difficulty of the programs with bright characters. Too many difficult elements, which are consuming all the strength. So, there is no place for “playing face”.
Anjelika Krylova: I think most of all this trend has touched single skaters. They are often simply don’t have the programs in the traditional sense. Take, for example, men. When an athlete performs two or three quads, it‘s necessary to relax somehow. Therefore, he doesn’t pull his weight in steps as before. I, as a representative of ice dance, want more characters, more interesting performances.
Long time leader in ice dance left sport after the Olympics in Sochi. But last season, didn’t give an answer to the question who will take their place. One won the Grand-prix Final, the Europeans and Worlds – other.
Anjelika Krylova: It makes ice dance even more attractive for spectators, there isn’t former pre-programmed. Look at the French Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron – they jumped to first place from second ten, that have never happened in the history of dance before.
It may be more interesting for viewers. But how is to work in such an environment?
Anjelika Krylova: Honestly, we’re working like on volcano (smiles).
What do you think about Russian duos this season?
Anjelika Krylova: Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov made huge progress. Perhaps, setbacks of last season united them and gave an extra push, extra motivation. Second place at Grand-prix Skate America it’s a great success, and in Moscow tournament they won the duel with Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin, with whom they were thrown again for some reason. It seems to me that French, and Italian, and American skaters should fear them.
Did you like “Frida” from Ilinykh and Zhiganshin?
Anjelika Krylova: Yes. I love this movie and I really like the image of Frida. Lena corresponds to it. They worked on this dance with wonderful choreographer Antonio Najarro. A few years ago he helped us, Kaitlyn and Andrew, with flamenco. So, I know him well.
Perhaps, they should have “diluted” the dance a little bit in terms of transitions to show better the relationship between two people, “chemistry” between them. I was this lacking a little in the first half of the season. There was a sense that there is too much of everything in the program and in this situation often arise a feeling of some confusion.
Reed also the interview with Tiffany Zahorski and Jonathan Guerreiro