My translation of Tatiana Flade’s Interview with Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev for fsrussia.ru.
Dima: I’m very happy that before Grand Prix, we had two competitions in a row. We have identified weak points in our programs, there were mistakes. Now we know on what we have to work over these two weeks, to remove all defects. This competition was important for us to check ourselves.
You told about mistakes that few people noticed.
Dima: But we know, know to what we need to strive to, know that we can better. Now we will work to improve till “Skate America”.
Something was not very comfortable in the programs?
Dima: Just there are details, which are choreographed differently than we did in the programs. Therefore, we will strive to the ideal, to show clean skates. Blots effect the mood, and we want to skate clean, so the audience and judges understand what we are trying to say.
You’re back to Bratislava, where you experienced an important moment in your career, won the bronze medal at the European Championships after a break. With what feelings you went on the ice now?
Ekaterina: Joking aside, but we shared with Dima that completely forgot that we have been in Bratislava. Only then I remembered – yes, European Championships was in Bratislava. But we threw everything out of our heads. And when we came back here, felt completely different. Organizers made the rink differently, different locker rooms, on the other side of the ice, judges sit on the other side … It’s turned over the impression. I saw everything in a new way. But it’s good, because very often I can cling to good and bad things that happened at a particular rink. And here we started as from a clean slate.
Can you tell more about new programs?
Dima: We continue to refine programs. After test skates in Sochi we have corrected a lot. The new short program is blues and cheerful swing. I don’t even know whom we are portraying in it.
Ekaterina: A woman and a man, passion.
Dima: Yes, passion, dance. Stringy blues, a sharp swing, with some unexpected twists. Whatever it was, it’s all about relationship between man and woman.
Ekaterina: We’ve been looking for music for blues and swing for a long time. We sorted out a lot of options. And even decided on one, started to choreograph, but didn’t like it. We couldn’t find swing for a long time, we wanted something…ours. As it turned out, blues can be different. More romantic, more passionate, in a rock style …
Dima: sharper, more drawling.
Ekaterina: We tried to find what would suit us. I think it turned out.
Dima: Musically – yes. But we continue to refine the program. For myself, I know a couple of things that need to be changed, added speed so the program look inside and out. There are nuances that are under questioning personally for me. Katya probably has such too. But we haven’t discussed it with coaches, because we just finished performances.
Ekaterina: We will come to Moscow and will immediately start to analyse. There is no much time before competition in United States.
Dima: But we have time. We did not have much time after Sochi, but we met a deadline. Cut the music, changed something.
Ekaterina: But there is a huge pros. When there are test skates, Russian competitions, international competitions before the important competition responsibility increases gradually. You don’t you feel a sharp transition, when you just did your programs and don’t know what to expect, that will judges say. Everything is more or less clear. We like to start the season this way – little by little. Learn from the mistakes.
You said that you have been looking for music for swing for a long time, but “Swing, Swing, Swing” is very well known.
Dima: A very important point that musical parts should combine well in program. For example, our free program – it is Chopin and Vivaldi. It would seem that two different composer, but the music in the program combined organically. It’s exactly what we were looking for.
Ekaterina: Before that, I’ve never heard such version of the swing. And when Sasha (Zhulin) found and offered to listen, we told that we’ll take only the beginning. Steps sequences and everything else had to be to another version of the same swing. But here turned out a sudden beginning and we were able to use it. True, at first I resisted, didn’t understand the music, didn’t really like it, wanted something a little more explosive. But when we began to choreograph, I liked it. I’m glad that I trusted to the coach and partner.
Dima: Katya always being so defensive at first and then start to like.
And how it turned out with the free program?
Ekaterina: Sasha found the Chopin’s piece. But Chopin didn’t write the music for the strong part of our program and we can’t ask him to.
Dima: Chopin’s Prelude is played by Jean-Luc Ponty. When Sasha turned it on, I said that I feel that it’s possible to do a good program and to add some modern. Not to do just classics, but something with our own story. Firstly, Katya took the idea carefully.
Ekaterina: I don’t jump in feet first.
Dima: But when we started to choreograph, she realized that this is what we need. But the question arose what to compose? We’ve been looking for the second part for a Long time. Violin doesn’t combine with piano music, because it would cross out all our idea. We’re searching, listening cello, and violin …
Ekaterina: We wanted to pick up a strong music, which would drive you in the final part of the program, it’s very important. Sasha offered various crazy ideas, he said that we’ll do a tango. In fact, he can.
Dima: But here we protested. And then we decided to take Vivaldi. This music has been used millions of times in figure skating. Katya again resisted, saying that many skated to this music. But the performance was unusual, with some nerve. We started to choreograph, Sasha put together both parts, and we realized what turned out great. The perfect combination of two different composers.
Yes, the program ends on a cheerful, high note.
Ekaterina: We tried not to die at the end of the program.
Is there any story in this program?
Dima: If “Karenina” had the story, here we come up with our own story, to understand what we’re skating, to feel, plus modern, to combine it all.
Ekaterina: We have our own history, but the secret is that everyone can see and understand it in their own way. There were many different versions of “answers”. Many people say, “Oh, we knew the program is about”. The most interesting variant we got at test skates in Sochi. We were watching other skaters performances and people came to us and said “We know it’s a continuation of your program about crazy people.” It’s nice that people don’t wait for the end of our dance, and try to see something of their own in this program. It’s great. So, maybe we will not tell our story.
Dima: Why? We came up with this story with our coach, our choreographer Sergei Petukhov. I’m an angel and Katya is a modern girl, in whose life something happened.
Ekaterina: The girl in the modern world, where life is not so simple and easy, where everyone has problems, difficulties. Sometimes we think that everything is bad. But in fact, we just need to enjoy, rejoice that all relatives and friends are healthy, we have hands and feet, we can hear, see, and it is miracle! The program is just about it. Whatever life’s troubles happen, Dima is always there. I fall, he holds. I grieve, he lifts me in his arms. When we started to choreograph even joked with Sergei Petukhov that this program is about us. I feel bad – Dima saves. We have meldonium – Dima hugs me …
Dima: No matter what happens, we will always support each other. Not only Katya and me, but our coach, choreographer, our entire team, friends. The story is about the fact that I’ll always be there. You can’t touch me, but you can feel my presence. I will not let a person to retreat into himself, to go into another world. I’m the one who gives hope and faith.
Ekaterina: And finally he wakes hope in me. I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Dima: That often happens in life. Misfortune happened I, thought: doping, I didn’t want to finish my career … so first we were upset, thinking that it’s over. And I just felt to be back, the knee does not hurt, Katya finally believed in me, the season started so well. And then – next blow. So, the program is about us, about overcoming.
Ekaterina: In the end, everyone is happy, I’m inspired and begin to live.
Katya you got married this Summer, now you see everything differently?
Ekaterina: Our wedding it’s a report in the passport. With my future husband we have being living together for three years, so actually it was only a record in passport. But it’s nice to know that this person is mine now. We even joke that we can call each other – my beloved husband, my beloved wife.
Dima: The wedding was very beautiful, everything was so touching.
Dima, and when will be your wedding?
Dima: I haven’t found the one. I have everything yet to come.