Junhwan Cha: “After the Beijing Olympics, I thought I needed some changes, and one of them was to challenge a new genre of program.”
Interview with . About his program and plans for the season.
source: nonno.hpplus.jp dd. 27 December 2022
Last season, you achieved brilliant results, winning the Four Continents Championships and finishing 5th at the Beijing Olympics. Has that changed your mentality this season?
Junhwan Cha: I think I’ve gained confidence. But every time I enter a competition, I feel the same. I always compete with a fresh feeling. Even in competitions that I have participated in before, I can always learn new things, so I think that the accumulation of such experiences will be a great strength for me in the future. Therefore, from now on, I would like to approach the competitions with a calm mind.
I was a little surprised when I heard that the short program was the “Michael Jackson Medley.” After a long time, it’s a dancing program. Please tell us why you chose this song.
Junhwan Cha: After the Beijing Olympics, I thought I needed some changes for the new season, and one of them was to challenge a new genre of program. So far, especially for the short programs, we have used music that mainly uses string instruments, such as classical or new age music. So after thinking about making it a more up-tempo or dancing program, I decided on a song by Michael Jackson.
You like dancing, and you have been practicing various styles for a long time. I think that it is noticeable even on the ice. Do you have a favorite choreography?
Junhwan Cha: Thank you very much. I really like the steps sequence part.
No, I like it all. (Laughts)
Especially the moonwalk, I think everyone in the audience liked it. Did you have a hard time practicing?
Junhwan Cha: At first, I wasn’t sure if it was going well, so I was worried, but with practice, it gradually took shape.
Did you watch a lot of Michael Jackson’s music videos?
Junhwan Cha: I didn’t really watched it that much. Of course, I watch it for reference only, but I listened to a lot of the songs!
On the other hand, the free program is full of Jun Hwan’s smartness and inner flame, two contradictory charms.
Junhwan Cha: I watched “No Time to Die” from the 007 series; it was an interesting movie, and I also fell in love with the song. As I said earlier, I was thinking that a change was needed, so I thought it would be a perfect song, so I consulted with choreographer Shae-Lynn Bourne and decided.
You love movies, so I thought you have probably watched most of the “007″ series. Why did you choose “No Time to Die” among the many popular songs in the series?
Junhwan Cha: The ending was different from other series, and the unexpected story was attractive. Also, seeing James Bond as a human being and not as an agent of the British Secret Service was particularly touching.
“No Time to Die” tells the story of Bond fighting for the people he loves. I have heard that while skating, you’re imagining your own story.
Junhwan Cha: The stories and images I thought of while watching the movie were very helpful when I actually made the choreography. Therefore, I think that the story I came up with is firmly included in this program. This song plays when James Bond fulfills his mission and meets his death. However, Shae-Lynn and I didn’t want to acknowledge his death, so we decided to create the choreography, imagining the ending of his life somewhere. In this way, my own story is included into the program.
All the choreography is perfect, from the sharp skating that reminds us of the battle scene to the emotional parts. Do you have a favorite choreography?
Junhwan Cha: I like the opening and ending poses. Actually, the opening and ending poses are matched with each other. Of course, I also like a long Ina Bauer.
What are your goals for the season?
Junhwan Cha: The first is to participate in the World Championships. In my case, I don’t think I’ve been able to perform well at the World Championships throughout my senior career. So, at the World Championships this time, my goal is to perform to my satisfaction.
About four years ago, you sent a message to your fans saying, “I want you to live a passionate and healthy life.” Is “ passion” one of the key words in life for Jun Hwan?
Junhwan Cha: I remember. It was the season just after the PyeongChang Olympics. Through my first participation in the Olympics, I felt a passion for what I have done so far. I think that when you put your passion into anything, it becomes fun. In that sense, I sent a message to the fans, asking them to challenge anything with passion.
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