Translation of an interview with Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin. Guys summed up results of European Championships and told about new program for exhibitions.
For European Championships you prepared a new program for exhibitions. Please, tell us about it.
Ivan: We really like this program. The idea is I’m a ballet dancer and Sasha is a bumbling novice, who came to learn dance.
Alexandra: I play a girl who loves to dance, but does not know how to do ballet and wants to learn. She comes to class, tries, but of course everything turns out obliquely. The teacher starts to correct her, causing displeasure, because she thought she’s a star. The program is very cheerful, with a costume change. It has an idea, plot development.
Ivan: This program was choreographed by Natalia and Igor (Natalia Bestemianova – Igor Bobrin – ed.) before the New Year. Thanks for having time to come to us. It was very interesting for us to work with them.
video by 1tvDance youtube channel.
Let’s move from exhibitions to compulsory programs. Are you satisfied with the results at this championships?
Ivan: It’s difficult to compare results at different competitions, especially since after the Grand Prix in China, where we got “Season Best” has passed a lot of time. The judges at various competitions are also different, so any scores are an experience for us. And it doesn’t matter whether it is high or low. In any case we need to take it into account and continue to work. At this European Championships judges have given us such levels, then we gave the reason for such scores. At home, we’ll analyze everything again, modify and improve the programs for the World Championships. We have time before Helsinki, we’ll pay more attention to technique, so judges won’t be able to find faults in some elements.
Explain, when you start to choreograph the program and polish them later are there any technical specialists to make sure that everything is according to the rules?
Ivan: Sure. We start from the rules, because you can’t do other way.
Alexandra: We have a very large group, there are many different specialists. Technician Ivan Volobuev constantly works with us. Every day he is present at our trainings. Other experts come and suggest, point out mistakes, say how to do the best, how to correct.
Why then there is such a differences in levels and scores on different competitions?
Ivan: It is difficult to answer this question, because we are not judges. Probably, the human factor still plays a role. It is better to ask not the athletes, but those who are sitting behind the boards.
I think our coaches have already made certain conclusions, we’ll come home, talk and find out why. Which elements in the step sequence were not taken, because for the first level you need to do only two elements. Turns out that we didn’t do correctly a lot of steps.
During this championships was a lot of different comments about judging in ice dance, talked about motivation, how athletes can train if all judges have different opinions.
Alexandra: This season, for the first time we have faced the situation that we received such low levels for some elements. We’ve had other competitions this season. How to motivate yourself? This is our life, our sport. If you want to continue, then do not give up.
Ivan: We just need to work even harder. It means that what we do is not enough. After each competition we and the coaches realize some things and then we go on and continue to work. Most likely, we flawed somewhere. Once the judges haven’t seen it, it means we didn’t do it. We just need to work harder, to make it not happen again, to make it impossible to find faults. I think so.
Do you have a feeling that this season you have undergone a qualitative changes?
Ivan: I do not know how much it noticeable for the audience, but something has really changed in ourselves. We feel it. This season we worked a lot with different people. It gave a huge improve. Natalia Bestemianova, Andrei Bukin, Igor Bobrin, Peter Chernyshov and other specialists. Different opinions, different views, different understanding of figure skating. It’s very interesting for us. From each we take something. I think that due to this we have grown mentally, expand our knowledge, understanding of many things, which I hope will impact on our skating.
Have the programs of this season already become yours?
Alexandra: To be honest, I do not know how I’m going to say goodbye to them. I have often thought that the programs are skated only one season, and sometimes it’s so sad that time flies so quickly. These programs turned out really very cool. They are completely different and we like both. It’ll be sad to say goodbye to them after the World Championships.
How do you plan to prepare for the World Championships?
Ivan: I think we will have a couple days of rest, to spend some time at home and then we’ll be back on the ice.
Two days are enough to recover?
Ivan: It’s easier than a long rest. It’s easier to live in constant rhythm because after a long rest it’s much harder to gain momentum. It is easier not to get out of this state.
All the beginning of the season we were constantly skating, travelling, competing. There was very little time to rest. And once you get used to it, you do not notice fatigue. After the Russian Nationals we rested five days on New Year. January 3rd we were already at practice.
The traditional question: what do you want to get from this season?
Alexandra: We want to skate worthy at Worlds. To take into account all the mistakes and skate so it’d be our best performances of the season and everybody liked it. So that it wouldn’t be so sad to say goodbye to our programs and we knew that we took the maximum of these programs.
Another question that we have to make a statement somehow, skate with more freedom. We still have this, that we a little bit not together, that something is a little bit wrong. If you look at the French Papadakis – Cizeron, you won’t notice in their skating how they prepare for the element, they skate smoothly the whole program. In some moments we lack this. And it is necessary to learn.
Ivan: We need to ensure that our programs look like a whole and no one notice certain “joints”, that one element seamlessly flows into another. Due to our small experience we still have some defects. Everything is ok with our motivation, we will continue to work.
by Olga Ermolina fsrussia.ru