Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin: Our Moulin Rouge will have a happy ending

Posted on 2019-06-26 • No comments yet


Interview with Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin about new programs and ice shows.

by Olga Ermolina for dd 23d June, 2019

Let’s start with the rhythm dance that you did after vacation during the training camp.

Ivan: We did our rhythm dance a week and a half ago. The general theme is musicals, but there are several rhythms which can be used – jazz, blues, foxtrot, waltz, quickstep. This, to some extent, narrows the choice: there are many musicals, but there is much less music that meets these requirements.

Alexandra: It is possible that there will be repeats of the music choices. At first, it bothered us a little, because we wanted to choose and do something original. But then we thought: “So what? Each pair did the program in its own way and skates differently.” In the end, we took what suits us and what we really like. It turned out great, especially since Ilia Averbukh together with Elena Maslennikova did the choreo.

Will you tell the music?

Alexandra: Music from the Moulin Rouge. It is clear that the main theme is love, as in the movie. But in the end the heroine won’t die, on the contrary, we’ll have a happy ending.

What was it to work with Ilia?

Alexandra: Very easy. It was cool, although when Ilia just came to us, he said that he doesn’t have much experience of working with pairs and dancers, mostly he choreographs programs for singles. “But let’s try,” he said. And it was really cool.

What does this “coolness” mean?

Alexandra: Ilia has a lot of ideas.

Ivan: From the very beginning he told us the plot, what he wanted, and it involved us into the overall process.

Alexandra: We didn’t just repeat steps, elements, transitions, but did it meaningfully, thinking of the plot in our heads. So each movement wasn’t mechanical, but full of meaning.

Did it take long to choose the musical pieces for the rhythm dance?

Ivan: Coaches chose the music and then showed us.

Alexandra: Every time this is an exciting moment, because everyone has different tastes. It happens that we don’t like something. But this time, when the coaches asked us to listen, we were really captivated. The first part was clear. We knew exactly what would be there. And when we heard the second part, we just fell in love with the program – we got a goosebumps. Cool music.

You did the free dance before vacation.

Alexandra: Yes, we have the free program, we are working on it, but for now we don’t want to reveal it. Let the intrigue remain. The only thing I can say is that I prompted one musical piece and the coaches found their musical piece, but we thought for a long time what to add. We had very different idea, even thought about “Carmen” … But everything worked out. And the libretto of the program turned out interesting.

This season between competitions and after the season you participated in shows. Someone thinks that figure skaters go there just for money. But in reality, how does this help athletes?

Ivan: After the European Championships, we went to the Art On Ice show. And it really helped us, because participation in the show allowed us not only to skate the programs, but also to keep in shape. After two and a half weeks of performances in the show, it was much easier to prepare for Worlds.

When you participate in a show during the season, you feel a slight tension, because there is still competitions ahead. But after the season you can really enjoy the performances, get emotions from the audience. Also you skate with great skaters, and this is not only pleasant, but also an additional experience.

Alexandra: At the “Art On Ice” we also participated in opening and closing numbers. So it was necessary to learn the steps which are performed by all participants of the show. To be honest, the show amazed us. Its scale. How it was done. The moving scene, and we needed to think how to adjust our program a bit to these changes.

Vanya, it’s not a secret that your dad helps you. I’m curious what he said after the end of this season?

Ivan: Usually dad is stingy with praise. If he praises, he always speaks about our mistakes. After the World Championships my father told us that he watched and was happy. That we skated and gave everything we had, did everything we could, and he saw that.

Alexandra: You don’t often hear such words from Vanya’s dad. Apparently, that performances captivated him. For us, his praise is really worth a lot.


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