Ilia Averbukh: Evgenia Medvedeva’s program is about human values

Posted on 2016-11-03 • 8 comments


Ilia Averbukh congratulated Evgenia Medvedeva on her victory at Skate Canada, told about her free program, program he did for Maxim Kovtun and programs with a plot. 

Firstly I want to congratulate Evgenia with a brilliant performance in Canada! Speaking about her free program, it’s not dedicated to the September 11 attacks, this is the wrong interpretation. The idea of the program – the human values, that concern any person in the world, wherever he is. The main message that I put into this program: how important it is to tell your loved one the most important thing here and now, not to postpone, and how precarious is everything, how many events we depend on. In particular, the terrible catastrophes, including acts of terrorism and natural disasters that take  away our close people. This program is not dedicated to any particular event. This program is about how important is it to appreciate the time, how important to believe that the phone call will bring good news about fate of your close person. So, I left the open ending of the program.

It’s very important for me that the program is perceived this way. It was not dedicated to any a particular event. I know about the remark by Eteri Tutberidze, it’s been taken out of the context of her description. This program is not about some sandwiches, or firefighters.

But Zhenya in her interviews repeats the words of her coach.

– We did discuss it on the example of such a terrible tragedy as September 11th. But since September 11 there was a lot of things that also touched directly our country. All the same, this’s a story about human values. I’d like to see such interpretation of this program.

Fans ask – where to read the libretto of your programs.

– This program has a libretto. The first part of the program – is the part where Zhenya sees off a loved one. It may be a loved one, or father, a close person. I show this with slamming the front door, we see that she didn’t have time to give him a forgotten bag. In the first part of the program she skates with a sweet feeling of how she’ll wait till the evening, when they’ll meet again and discuss how the day passed.

In the middle part when the step sequence begins, Zhenya gets into the flow of information. We added the sounds of certain news programs on different languages to the music. They sound, interrupting each other, which brings her into confusion. She doesn’t know what’s going on, she heard the terrible news that rush from all information sources. That is what represents the middle part. She holds herself and with this gesture stops this cacophony of sounds.

The third part is belief that everything will be fine. She skates with such mood. Then the phone rings, she picks up the phone. I deliberately left an open ending. We don’t know what it says. That’s everything is fine. Or that he died. Everyone should decide himself. There’s no a single meaningless step, or not thoughtful move.

Had the skaters such tragic programs before?

– I think we had different programs…It can be dedications. Usually skaters just tragically wave their hands, not knowing why. In this situation, every program I do for Evgenia has its meaning, has its literary basis.

Last year you told that figure skating is far from completed plots. And now you’ve made a step forward. By the way, Maxim Kovtun also have programs with a story

–  Yes, we worked together. I did his short and free programs. But that’s another key, a different approach. His short program is a positive dance. Maxim enjoys it.

It starts that he catches a taxi and almost gets hitted by a car?

–  No one stopped. A passing car simply sprayed him from a puddle. And he skates in his mood. He is a traveler, he is a man who goes hitchhiking to discover new sensations. Simple plot, no drama.

Thanks to you, there is a gradual development, the plots in figure skating became deeper.

– Of course I aspire to this story. Almost every program is remembered. For many people the “Schindler’s List” is still a signature program of Julia Lipnitskaya. If people talk about Lipnitskaya, they remember the girl in the red coat. This is the main task of choreographer – to find those few hooks that will hook the viewer. Because everything else: footwork, jumps, spins – they just need to be execute qualitatively.


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8 Responses to “Ilia Averbukh: Evgenia Medvedeva’s program is about human values”

  1. Stolbova Obsessed says:

    I feel like he is trying to make another “Schindler’s List” kind of program, but Evgenia needs something different. Julia has the sternness for being a tragic character, but Evgenia is so bright and happy. It’s almost wrong to see her trying to act sad.
    I really like her as a person, she’s sweet and determined, and she needs a tasteful program to match that. She belongs with a different choreographer. He’s practically turning her into a mime.

    • Stolbova Obsessed says:

      I remember Averbukh himself even said something while he was making Julia’s “Schindler’s List” – that if you act too dramatic, then the program looks silly. And that’s EXACTLY what he did to Evgenia. He’s forgetting his own advice.

      • Stolbova Obsessed says:

        Yes, if Evgenia is going to skate tragedy, she needs to handle it more delicately, like Julia’s Schindler’s List. Schindler’s List was a sad program, you could sense that it was very dark, but it was left up to the viewer’s imagination what exactly happened to the girl. When I first saw Julia’s performance in Sochi, I didn’t know what Schindler’s List was about, but I could sense that it was a solemn story. It easily could’ve been about, say, a lost lover, or even just a girl who was poor and lonely. Either way, it was a very nice, tasteful program. I wish they’d do something like that for Evgenia. Even Anna Pogorilaya’s program this year, it’s sad, but it’s not about a particular tragic event.

    • OlgaLV says:

      I agree with you.Julia scated Shindler’s list with such sincerity that she immediately became a star.Evgenia needs sth different or at least look more natural if she is playing such tragic role.

    • FS Gossips says:

      With “Schindler’s list” Ilia had enough taste and respect and didn’t crossed the line. I mean there were no sounds of the tragedy, Julia didn’t die at the end of the program. And no one needed a huge libretto to understand what’s going on the ice, what Julia wanted to tell. Can’t say the same about Evgenia’s program(

    • FS Gossips says:

      I think Averbukh just want to play on our emotions instead of making interesting choreography. And I don’t like it.

  2. OlgaLV says:

    It’s good that Ilia has explained the meaning of Evgenia’s programm-for me it had only sad feelings,tragedy is to come,no happy ending,that’s why it was really strange for me to see her smiling the next second the music ends.Of course,she was happy for excellent executed program,but it looks like she has nothing to do with the story of program.And to my mind such programs should be better used for skating shows but not for competitions.

    • FS Gossips says:

      Honestly, I think that such topics should not be used for competitions programs. I can’t properly explain, but I feel that’s wrong….

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