This week in Oberstdorf is held a traditional international competitions Nebelhorn Trophy. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva is taking part. So, here’s a translation of an interview with Liza about new programs, working with Emanuel Sandhu and her mindset for the season.
Liza, you haven’t competed for a while. Taking this into account, how difficult is into enter the season?
Liza: After Russian Nationals time passed quickly. In Yekaterinburg was my last big start in that season. It turned out that I hadn’t skated since December. But I tried to enter this season calmly. All my problems are in my head. After a successful season in 2015 I was thinking that I need to keep the level, keep the bar, but I was doing only worse for myself. Now the main thing for me is to compete calmly, go my own way, not to look on others and do what I can do, to perform calmly. The more I start to think, and focus on my position, even on skating, the worse it turns out in the end.
All illnesses have passed?
Liza: More or less. I really watch my health. If there is pain, I immediately focus attention on this, reduce the load, so the effects of injury wouldn’t escalate into something serious. What happened to my leg, it’s already for the whole life. So, I need to monitor the state, to take care – ointments, compresses … To spend the season well we will pay more attention to my health.
At the training camp in Canada Emanuel Sandhu did a free program for you. Was it Mishin’s idea?
Liza: Yes, it was an idea of Alexei Nikolaevich. Sandhu is a very good choreographer, young, ambitious, he loves his job. It is evident that he has buzz, fully devote himself to work, so the process went productively and on positive. We enjoyed working together. He’s a good man, a perfectionist. Everything must be clear for him, planned, it also was an important aspect of the preparation. It was obvious that he wants to work. And I hope that the program turned out good. At least, I like it. But I need to say that the music is complicated, and the audience may not understand it from the first time.
Sandhu also chose diffictult music for his own programs.
Liza: Yes. My Music may not be immediately understood. But I hope that I won’t end this season in December, and the audience will get used to my program, because it’s intricate, the music is especially difficult in the end. We again took the Eastern motifs which suited me, and which I love. And yet, this program is of a higher level than the East, which I skated before. Then there was just dancing, but this program is like a mini-theater. Here you either skate it in full force, or it’s better not to skate because the program won’t look good.
Did Sandhu offer the music?
Liza: No, Alexei Nikolaevich (Mishin) offered the music. However, last year I told coaches that I want to skate a “Cleopatra” program. But then we found “Peer Gynt” and apparently thought that I wasn’t mature enough for “Cleopatra”. And this year we decided to try. It was very difficult to choose musical pieces that will look good on the ice. In my opinion, the ending is still lacks a strong part. But we’ve been looking for, chose a piece, which I hope will be a good ending. Music is strong, I repeat, I really like it, especially the slow middle part. I like that the program has a meaning, the meaning of each movement as if you’re playing a role in the play – every gesture expresses something.
What was new in work with Sandhu?
Liza: Each choreographer has his ideas, views on the program, his good qualities. But I can say that I was easy and quickly to work with Sandhu. We did a free program in three days. I wrote to him in advance which elements will be in the program, and in his notebook he drew, thought over the idea of what he wants, then offered me. Surprisingly, I have been skating exactly what Sandhu did for a long time. As we all know, Alexei Nikolayevich (Mishin) also likes to put his hand to the program, so I was surprised that we didn’t change much. Apparently, the program is really successfully well made. But then I still had to adjust it a little bit, because I it was difficult for me in terms of entries into jumps. But I hope, the whole program didn’t become worse because of this.
Short program you did with Tatiana Prokofiev, who knows you very well. Was it harder or easier?
Liza: Of course, easier. From the beginning we picked up comfortable pieces and steps. Indeed, Tatiana Prokofieva knows and understands me well. We never have conflicts or misunderstandings. The work went smoothly, calmly and I get a great pleasure from the program, from ideas that came to my mind. I can say that it was our joint creative process.
Short program begins with Mozart, and then… tango.
Liza: I can’t have only Mozart. It’s always interesting to complete the program unusually, on a high note.
Do you re-watch your programs?
Liza: I re-watch good performances and I can find pros in the situation that I have now. Even if something doesn’t work out with jumps, I really see progress in terms of choreography in comparison with my performances in 2014, 2015. When I was told about it, I didn’t really believe, but now I really feel and know that professionally I develop as a figure skater. I just need to gather it all and skate calmly.
How do think what needs to be done to ensure that this season won’t end prematurely, that the results will be consistent?
Liza: Let go everything. It’s very important for me that everything goes fine, just to enjoy what I do, skate, have fun and don’t worry to much. I know that I still can do everything. At trainings, everything turns out. I also should go and skate calmly, with working mood, not to think what will be in the future. We should gradually move forward, step by step, as it was two seasons ago. There is only now. It’s necessary to think only about the present moment.
photo by Mikhail Sharov