Fedor Klimov: program about depression it’s about us

Russian Nationals 2017

Translation of Andrei Simonenko’s interview with Fedor Klimov. Fedor told about their come back, preparation and work on new programs.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, returning this season, described their feelings as “shake off the rust”.  What do you feel?

– I have no such analogies. We haven’t competed for a long time so I almost forgot, what does it mean to be constantly nervous, the whole day from the morning practice till evening. After all Tessa and Scott missed two seasons, they were doing some other things, but we have never left the ice. So I do not have a feeling that the world is turned upside down and I got back in the sport. We have always been here. We didn’t have enough time for training, but I do not want to emphasize on this. We performed how performed. We did our tasks. We showed and finished our programs, qualified for the European and World Championships, recollected the sensations of competitions. Usual excitement, as always. We just need to be better prepared.

How did you start the first day of four weeks of of preparation, when Ksenia recovered from injury and returned to the ice?

– In fact, the first week of the four we skated separately, sometimes only did crossovers holding hands. After all, she hasn’t been on ice for two months, she just had to recall the sensations. On the second week we started to do some elements that didn’t have much load on her healed leg: lifts, spins, death spirals. And then only for two weeks we have been doing jumps, throws, programs. That is possible, of course, to say that we have been skating for four weeks before the Russian Nationals, but actually we have been practicing two.

You have left the mixed zone, where was a screen, just seconds before there appeared scores of your competitors Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, after which it became known that you are the champions. Didn’t it matter for you whether you won gold or not?

– I don’t like to watch how my competitors wait for their scores. For some reason, in such moments we lose by a little bit and of course I get upset because of it. But when we won the two previous Russian Championships everything was like  now: we skated and went to the locker room with the thought that unlikely we’ll win, because we made mistakes. And then someone came and told me that we won. However, this time I was caught up already in the hallway and told that we have won. Well, ok.

So there was no goal to win?

– Personally for me – not. This is a nice addition to coping with other tasks. I would like a lot more to cope with the choreography in the free program, especially after mistake on the twist again.

Ksenia Stolbova Fedor Klimov 2017

I managed to talk to some experts, who said that your new free program is even stronger than last year’s, made in a similar style, with contemporary choreography. Did you planned from the beginning to move in the same direction?

– We are tossed between ideas for the programs. But then found an interesting music of French composer Rene Aubry, watched a ballet … I actually was afraid of a similar style, but I was told that nobody else does this, and we do it quite well. From my point view, what we do now is better and more complicated. As soon we began to skate a full version of the program, I realized that I spend more energy on the transitions and choreography than on elements. A lot of body movements, arms, legs –  there is no rest at all.

Last year, the film from which you took the music had nothing to do with the choreography of the program. Now, it turns out, you have the moves on the grounds of the ballet?

– Yes, but when we were watching ballet we didn’t understand the meaning of these moves. Everyone can understand differently. We decided that it is better to specify an idea of the program. It is about two people who fall into depression, lost the meaning of life.

Nikolai Morozov did the program?

– Yes, and we have also worked with Yuri Smekalov. He added a lot of choreography. We have spent a lot of time with him in Sochi, in September, when there was still hope that Ksenia would quickly get back on the ice. We worked on the floor and then transferred to ice. It was hard, but I think it turned out. At least we are doing everything completely, as he created for us.

Did you also have a feeling similar to depression because Ksenia could not recover for so long?

– It was rough times, that’s for sure. I understood long ago: when in pair someone is injured, it’s not obvious for whom it’s worse, for the one who is on treatment, or for the one who is waiting. But the whole 2016 turned out like this. First I had an injury, now Ksenia. And when we were choreographing free program we were told: depression it’s about you, your story. It will suit you.

Ksenia Stolbova Fedor Klimov

In the short program to the music of “Moonlight” by Debussy you have unusual for you classic style. Have you believed that it will work out?

– I had no choice (laughs). I don’t suit classics, it was clear from the beginning. But everyone said that each pair at least once should perform classics. And the main argument Ksenia always wanted to skate this program, and I had to try to do everything is possible for it to turn out. When we started to do the program all gasped. I have all wrapped, clumsy, not tender hands. But Nikolai Morozov something tried to hide, something pulled out of me. When we finished choreographing, it seemed to be not bad. When we began to skate with the elements everything disappeared again. But I tried to get it all back and in my opinion at the Russian Nationals turned out well. I rarely like to review our performance, but this time I liked the video of our short program. Just pity that nobody understood the idea with a sleeve.

I also didn’t get it.

– I have s tucked sleeve like a conductor of an orchestra. But, apparently, I wasn’t able to convey this to the audience. After all, there are just a few specific movements.

Not all understand Evgenia Medvedeva’s programs.

– Yes, and there are two ways, either to tell what is meant, or calmly spread both sleeves, buttoned them and skate normally. In fact, the most difficult for me in the short program is the lack of rhythm. We had the blues, it’s my favorite rhythm, the Spanish music, the Chinese drum. It was easier for me to skate to them.

Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov have a quad twist. Canadians, Germans a have quad and three and a half turns throws. Should we expect something from you?

– I even don’t know what to say right now, because to plan, as experience shows, is a thankless thing. I would prefer to restore the “3-3-2” combination, a triple salchow, try to execute it all clean. Many praise the program and if we skate it clean with strong elements, then we can get even more points than last year at the Grand Prix final. In general, will see how it goes.

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8 Comments on Fedor Klimov: program about depression it’s about us

  1. Mad for Skating // 28/12/2016 at 18:20 // Reply

    He sounds very levelheaded and smart. He shares his thoughts without criticizing others, and he admits if he isn’t good at something. Sometimes I think I like Ksenia better on the ice but Fedor better in the interviews.

    I like their short program. It’s classy. I didn’t even notice his sleeve, I was too nervous about how they would skate. Overall I think his costume belongs in a Regency British drama! I’m very pleased, I didn’t think they could pull it off.

    The depression story…hmm, I’m not sure if I love the program yet, but maybe if they can polish some things up, it has potential. I think it’s a well-choreographed routine, but perhaps not my style. For me favorite program of theirs will always be Notre-Dame or Addams Family. I think lately they’ve been trying to be so unlike anything we’ve ever seen that it’s getting a little crazy. Still, I’ll keep faith in them and hope for a medal at Worlds.

    • I like their free program. It has sophisticated choreo, lots of transitions. It’s way more difficult than Notre-Dame. Because with Notre-Dame I always had a feeling that skaters are capable of much more but instead they have an empty program. As for the new fp, maybe it lacks of culmination a bit, of some bright point. Plus to make a huge impression it has to be skated clean and powerfully.

      • OlgaLV // 29/12/2016 at 19:11 // Reply

        I also like their new FP.For me culmination was her movement with hand when she is on the top in the lift.
        They are portraying depression but I didn’t get any sad or dark feelings in comparison with Medvedeva’s program.It’s big artistic work they’ve done. They will be remembered no matter which place they take in competitions.

        • Mad for skating // 30/12/2016 at 11:43 // Reply

          I think this year’s program is very well choreographed, and you are right, it has more transitions than Notre Dame. They are better skaters now and can do more difficult programs. I was also hesitant to like their free program last year, particularly because it is VERY difficult to skate unless it is perfect. Two years ago they could not have skated this kind of program well. They are maturing and learning to use their bodies in new ways. I just don’t know if the style is my taste. Maybe it will grow on me if I watch it again. I think I just miss their chemistry on the ice. Last year’s short program to “I put a spell on you” was just so sexy and perfect for them that I have trouble watching them skate anything else!!! Maybe I just miss Ksenia’s lovely smile in the program; she is so intense!
          I love that lift at the end, for me it is the highlight of the program. Overall I think they are still working on some things; it is not bad at all for the first competition of the season! Maybe I just expect too much. I really like them and want to see them at the top!
          Sorry for rambling…I’m just really excited that they are back.

        • Sometimes I think it’s better not to know the libretto of the program)) I didn’t see any depression or lost meaning of life in their program. Otherwise I saw power and confidence which I think will only grow with getting shape.

          Medvedeva’s FP program for me neither depressed nor dark, it’s just tasteless.

          • Mad for Skating // 03/01/2017 at 13:21 // Reply

            Yeah, for me the program seemed like a contemporary dance routine, very well-choreographed, but I didn’t understand the depression part of it. Oh well.

            I agree, Medvedeva’s FP is tasteless.

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