Ivett Toth: Benoit Richaud completely changed my perception of skating
Interview with Ivett Toth. About work with Benoit Richaud, programs, competition in ladies’ singles in Hungary and her plans for the future.
by Olga Orlova for blossomonice.com dd.16th April
Over the past few seasons, you have been actively cooperating with famous French choreographer Benoit Richaud. Please tell us about working with this specialist.
Ivett: We started working together three years ago and I can say that Benoit completely changed my perception of skating. How to skate the programs, how to feel on ice. For each athlete, he finds his own unique, individual approach. He looks into the soul of every skater, if I may say so (smiles). That is why he never makes a mistake with the choice of music and always chooses what suits this particular athlete.
This season you went back to your Michael Jackson short program, also a very successful program by Benoit Richaud. In my opinion, this is one of your best programs, such a “business card”.
Ivett: Yes, I skated this program in 2017 and this season decided to return to it. I think Michael Jackson needs no introduction, he is a legendary person in every way. I try to do my best to fit this image. In my program, as I see it, I portray a girl, still a child, who is trying to find herself in this vast world. In the end, she realizes that she does not need to match someone. Each person is a unique and this is what you need to understand and accepted.
It seems to me that you do not have any “ordinary” programs at all, each program has a meaning. It can be seen that behind every movement, every element there is some kind of idea, some kind of image.
Ivett: Yes, it’s true (smiles). Usually, when we choregraph programs, it’s like a movie scrolls in my head. Benoit puts meaning into every gesture – here, straighten your knee, here bend your hand and stuff like that. Unfortunately, this season I did not manage to work with him as much as I would like. Hopefully we will have more time next year.
In addition to interesting programs, you stand out with a very high-quality gliding. Is this a natural talent or the result of hard work?
Ivett: Usually we work a lot on gliding in the summer. Then, already during the season, we polish some details, try to focus more on jumps and the program as a whole. We work on all the elements – steps, spins, jumps. Generally, performing a program I usually think a lot, even too much (smiles). On the one hand, between the elements I try focus and on the other, to get rid of extra thoughts.
You have been representing Hungary at international competitions for a long time; domestic competition is not as great as, for example, in Russia or Japan. Where do you find motivation to work hard, grow professionally?
Ivett: Yes, the competition in Hungary is not so great, this has both advantages and disadvantages. But in general, I can say that we have quite a lot of young athletes who are trying to reach the international level. It personally motivates me very much. Still, I’m already 21 years old, and sometimes it’s hard to force myself to get up at 6.30 in the morning and go to training by 7.30, when it is still dark and cold on the street. But I know that the younger skaters, who get up at the same time, go to the same training and do everything in their power to “be stronger and better” already step on my toes. For me it is a very strong motivation.
And what would you like to do after the end of your sports career, do you already have any plans for the future?
Ivett: Honestly, I don’t know exactly how it will be in English … Not a physiotherapist, but something similar. A specialist who works with athletes who was injured and now recovering. But this is not a physiotherapist (trying to find the translation of the desired word on the phone, but the online translator also says physiotherapist). No, it’s still not quite a physiotherapist (laughs). What I want to do is more related to medicine. Ligament breaks, for example. I want to help to recover from very serious injuries.
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