Dmitri Soloviev: We are athletes and victories are important for us
Interview with Dmitri Soloviev, translation. About preparation for the season, new programs, work with Radu Poklitaru and watching dances of competitors.
Dmitri, with what mood do you enter the Olympic season?
– This season is probably the most important in our career. This is the third Olympic cycle for us, it is likely that after the Olympics we will finish our professional career. Therefore, of course, it was necessary to have a good rest, to get distracted from the sport for a while, but, of course, it was impossible to do it completely. Anyway, even on holiday, we still continue to think about programs, how to get fit, how to enter the season well, how to spend it without injuries and so that judges perceive our programs at a high level.
Did you tried to control each other somehow during vacation? After all, each of you has his own social circle.
– No, we’re adults, after all. Katya is married, I have my own personal life. We have very good mutual understanding, we trust each other, so there is no sense in checking. Moreover, outside the training process, we try to take care of ourselves, to do our own business. Probably, this is the key to our success, because we do not have time to bother each other, and then we come to trainings and share our impressions, positive emotions, different stories about our rest.
In what shape do you enter the season?
– We always start the season very carefully, we try not to force it. If you start to work very hard immediately, then various sores can arise, which is very undesirable in the Olympic season, because then it can grow into serious injuries.
I have being breaking into new boots quite for a long time, this process is always slow. There were certain micro-traumas that prevented of doing something. But such things always happen after rest, so we treat them quite calmly, and at the moment everything is going according to plan.
We’re gaining shape, we had a test skates in Sochi, where our technical specialists looked at us, suggested certain things, corrected certain points. After that we skated at two competitions in a row to feel our condition, to understand what we lack, to look from the outside at our shortcomings. Now we have three weeks to prepare for the Grand Prix in Moscow.
Many corrections came after the test skates in Sochi?
– There are details that need to get more attention. We worked very hard on the free dance, on choreography, artistic images, so we had a little less time for the short dance. So now we will pay a little more attention to it, not forgetting about the technical side, so to approach the Grand Prix as well prepared as possible.
What impressions did you have from working with the choreographer Radu Poklitaru? First of all, he is known for his variety shows, he almost did not work with athletes.
– Exceptionally positive. Radu has a very interesting approach to choreography, completely different from anyone. He explains all things in completely different words, but it is difficult to explain – you must see and feel it. Poklitaru worked with skaters as a choreographer, but, mostly outside the ice – “on the floor”. Like us, he was very interested in trying to do choreography on the ice and, it seems, everything turned out.
Whose idea was it to work with Poklitaru?
– Our coach Alexander Zhulin said that there is such a choreographer, he suggested getting acquainted with his works. In particular, Radu has a staging – a dance of the blind, which I watched 20-30 times. It conveys a feeling that people are doing well, they can live, love, develop, even despite the fact that they are blind. This is very touching, emotions just overwhelmed me. After that, we decided to try something like that.
How easily did you accept choreographer’s ideas?
– Of course, everything started to work out not from the first step, we needed to understand the mechanism of his choreography. But he explained and showed everything so well, so that was no need to wait when the enlightenment to come. And it’s very easy to communicate with Radu as a person. It seems to me that even the most unskilled person can take something from him.
Don’t you have fear that his choreography may be misunderstood by the judges?
– Not anymore. We received a lot of feedback about our free program and, most interesting, people understand the ending in different ways. Some think that I became blind. In fact, we tried to explain that Katya was my dream, she wasn’t real, but many people saw the ending differently.
But this is an abstract choreography, so it is very important that people see some meaning there. We really liked the idea that at the end I became blind, and after that we started to develop it.
Is it possible to say that your successful cooperation with Radu Poklitaru will open the road to figure skating for other choreographers?
– Many choreographers tried to work with skaters. Someone had positive experience and stayed in figure skating, others did not succeed. This is a common practice, skaters are interested in trying something new, each of us wants to stand out, so many actively experiment, including before the Olympic season. It is interesting for us to cooperate with creative people who are professionals in a bit different fields.
Are your programs completely ready or will some details be changed?
– Nothing can be ruled out now. But even if there are changes, they’ll be completely minimal. Programs are ready, perhaps will change some transitions, but it will be invisible.
Your last victories at the Russian Cup and Ondrej Nepela Memorial helped to gain confidence?
– These competitions are very important for us, especially at the beginning of the season. They gave us the opportunity to check out programs, costumes, to get feedback from various judges, including international ones, which we will face at the Grand Prix, European and World Championships. It is important for us to feel that we are gaining shape, that everything has been performed correctly technically, because this gives additional confidence and after a long break gives us the opportunity to recall what it is like to perform in front of the audience.
Is it a matter of principle for you to win at home Grand-prix?
– This season every competition is very important for us. If earlier we said that we want to skate the programs for our own pleasure, to be liked by judges and viewers, now it still remains, but we are athletes and victories are important for us. Therefore, we will work to win and prove that we aren’t living our lives in sports in vain.
Do you watch the programs of your competitors? For example, Canadians and Americans?
– Yes, of course, it’s always interesting to see what the guys did. I am sure that they also follow other athletes in the same way. It is very difficult to judge them, it’s clear that now the guys are getting in shape, maybe there will be some changes in their programs. We will work, and when we meet at competitions, it’ll becomes clear who is ready for what.
The information that you get watching the programs of your competitors, doesn’t it interfere? Don’t you note for yourself that some their elements better than yours?
– No, we adequately treat such things, because this situation repeats from year to year. We always try to perceive correctly the information that we receive by observing other pairs. Not like: “They have something better, but we have worse.” Of course, we note the strengths of our competitors, but we try to concentrate on our work. We have our own team, and we should not pay attention to what others are doing.
Yes, we listen to different opinions, perceive criticism correctly. It’s impossible to be the best in everything, so there are always nuances that need to be improved.
Many honored people in Russian figure skating do not hide their admiration for the new free dance of Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir?
– Honestly, I did not hear about it. I know that many admire them, their skating, but I also heard a lot of positive feedback about our programs. I do not read forums and what they write on the Internet. I do not know who and what is talking about. I take into account opinion of experts – those people who have spent many years in figure skating and judge it from a completely different angle, not people who, at times, allow themselves completely unreasonable criticism of someone and the same unreasonable admiration of someone.
Recently, you asked your instagram followers to choose a topic for your exhibition programs. Was it your joint decision with Ekaterina?
– Katya and I had differences over what topic to choose for the exhibition program in our final season, and what it should be about. It is important for us to show something unusual, special.
So I asked our fans, maybe someone will have some catchy idea. I think that it’s also interesting for people to participate.
So you have already decided that basis idea will be from one of your followers?
– Rather, it will be a whole group of people who gave me a certain thought. One suggested this, some – another, the third – advised music, the fourth one said something else. Together, all this resulted in a certain idea, which we will discuss with Katya. We will try to do something from it, after all, we do not have much time to do an exhibition program.
The main work we do on programs for which we get scores, so we will try to combine all this.
by Sergei Podgornov by sovsport.ru