“Everything turns upside down. But in the current situation, this is the best option.” Georgian ice dancers Kazakova and Reviya about decision to leave Russia and train in Italy
Interview with Georgian ice dancers Maria Kazakova and Georgy Reviya. About their decision to leave Russian and plans for new season.
source: matchtv.ru dd. 18th June 2022
Georgian dancers Maria Kazakova and Georgy Reviya had a very busy season: they made their debuts at the Olympic Games and the World Championships. Back in the fall, everything was in question, as the skaters missed the previous season due to injury. They won an Olympic spot at the last moment at Nebelhorn Trophy.
Recently, Maria and Georgy choreographed a new free dance, but the main event for them in the off-season is moving to Europe. Also, Russian-born figure skaters are actively learning the Georgian language with the help of teammates Nika Egadze and Luka Berulava, who have lived in Georgia for a long time.
We discussed with the dancers their plans for the future and recalled the Olympics in Beijing.
Tell us about your future free dance, which Elena Sokolova has recently choreographed.
Georgy: We will speak in riddles, because we want to keep the intrigue (smile). The topic is very relevant today. Music with strong female vocals is both in our style and something new. This dance will definitely suit us. At least, we really like the program that we have already choreographed and being working on.
How is your rhythm dance?
Georgy: We are still looking for music, there are no concrete ideas. We will choreograph the dance with our new coach as soon as we arrive to Italy.
Maria, how does the education of a choreographer help you in sports?
Maria: I would say that the whole atmosphere of GITIS (The Russian Institute of Theatre Arts -ed.) turned my imagination upside down. So many new ideas and understanding about dance culture, motivating tips! We had master classes in acting and modern dance with Leonid Lavrovsky and ballerina Sofia Gaidukova. Let’s see how I will continue my studies now. After all, after moving to Italy, I can hardly come to Moscow often. But I definitely won’t give up GITIS, because I love to study.
You have recently announced that you have decided to change the coaching staff. Why was Mateo Zanni chosen from all European specialists? And what role will Denis Samokhin and Maria Borovikova (former coaches of the duo – ed.) play in your work now?
We are well acquainted with Mateo. He is still a young coach, but very promising and talented. We heard great things about him as a coach and a person. We discussed the training conditions and realized that everyone likes everything, we will obviously be comfortable working together. We have defined further relations with Denis Eduardovich and Maria Valerievna in detail: we will send them videos of training sessions and consult with them. That is, we maintain a close relationship.
And what are your feelings from such life changes?
Feelings are mixed. After all, we leave our usual way of life, relatives and friends, and studies in Moscow. Everything turns upside down. But in the current situation, this is the best option. We have a feeling that this new page in our career will bear fruit.
What are your impressions of the Olympic Games? Are you satisfied with your skates there?
Maria: I have the most vivid emotions from the opening ceremony. We arrived at the ice palace and saw a huge number of athletes from all over the world. It was something incredible! In the Olympic Village, everyone walked in separate groups, and there was no impression that there were a lot of people here. And when we all gathered at the stadium and went to the parade … It was, of course, large-scale.
Georgy: And I will tell about the atmosphere of the competition. It can’t be compared to anything! Support was from all sides, even taking into account the restrictions on the presence in the stands. Spectators sat only on one side – behind our backs. On the side – there were athletes, coaches, representatives of national teams, journalists, and photographers. Everyone cheered for us, and it was very pleasant to skate. We will definitely perform at the next Olympics – we are seriously aimed.
Where did you like to perform more – in a team or individual event?
In the first case, the burden of responsibility made itself felt. We really wanted to compete for the top five, so we were uptight, it was felt. But, unfortunately, we lacked just a little bit to success. We made a small mistake, and the feeling after the skate were mixed. We were very nervous when we were waiting for the scores.
And the individual competitions were calmer, although the task was also difficult: to qualify for the free dance. We had small gaps with the closest rivals, and the nerves were present. So we didn’t spare ourselves. Also in the team event we did not spare ourselves either. But here we were a little more free, we skated more relaxed. After the free dance, the only thing that flashed through my head was that I would like to perform later. Training at 6:30 in the morning and starting at 9:00 is, of course, difficult.
Probably, it was easier for you in the individual event also because you already had the experience of performing on the Olympic ice.
We trained there for a very long time. So many exits on the ice, every day in front of the judges … It happened that we were the only ones in front of the judging team. Some of our colleagues had a day off, some simply did not come because of the flexible schedule.
Could the judges tell you something, advise you based on the results of the training?
No, at competitions, judge does not have the right to comment on the athletes’ skating. No hints. They simply observe and check each step, whether there are mistakes, where which turn is better. They mark for themselves at what level the skater skates. Therefore, training during the competitions is always very important.
Did you watch the performances of the dancers from the last warm-up, who were competing for medals? And who did in general from other disciplines of figure skating impress you?
Georgy: We watched everyone and did not cheer for anyone in particular. All the top ten are masters. Therefore, I really wanted to see five clean skates and see who would be stronger in the end.
In pairs, I liked Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara, the entire top five, within which there was a serious fight. Also our guys Karina Safina and Luka Berulava. They did a great job, progressed sharply and showed good results throughout the season. It inspired our entire team.
Of the boys, I was amazed by Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Uno. The Japanese, of course, are unique! It is impossible to describe how they jump and skate. Nathan Chen is the absolute champion, there is no discussion here. As for women’s single skating, we just watch it and do not comment.
You qualified for the Olympics in the autumn at the Nebelhorn Trophy. What did you feel when you realized that you won the spot?
Maria: After a short dance, we were fifth, and when, after free program, we saw the scores in the kiss and cry, it became clear that we had won the Olympic spot for our entire team. Of course, we were very happy. Then we calmed down and went to rest. Some of the dance pairs that performed after us made mistakes, and in the end we even got on the podium. It was real happiness! Yes, we performed imperfectly, and we analyzed the mistakes. But we were satisfied with the result.
Georgy: I would clarify – we were pleased with the result, but not with our performances. When I failed the third twizzle, everything went upside down in my head. There were already different thoughts, because in ice dance such a loss not always can be won back in a tight fight. So luck also played a role here: we climbed two places higher thanks to the mistakes of our rivals.
Did your junior achievements (gold at the Grand Prix and silver of the Junior World Championship. – ed) help you at senior level?
Of course, past titles play an unspoken role. But do not forget that after moving to seniors, we missed the whole season – the pre-Olympic one. During this time, everything was forgotten, and last fall we had to start from scratch. Yes, someone remembers something. But we lost our shape, we lost a lot of competitions and ratings, we didn’t skate in front of the judges for a long time. Therefore, the Olympic season passed for us as a completely new stage.
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