Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi: “Marina told us, ‘Once you’ve fixed Daisuke’s knee, come back.’ Well, I replied ‘OK!’ while thinking, ‘This knee is already beyond fixing,’ but, you know, I said it anyway.”

Posted on 2023-08-25 • No comments yet


Interview with Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi about performing their rhythm dances in show now and parting with Marina Zueva and the team in Florida.

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source: gendai.media dd. 14th August 2023 by Akiko Tanaka

After the retirement press conference,Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi choreographed new programs in Japan and appeared in many shows. From June onwards, they spent about a month in the United States, leaving their base in Florida and embarking on a journey of creating new choreography in Detroit and LA. Upon returning to Japan, their hard work continued as they participated in the ice show “The Ice,” starting with its premiere in Aichi and then performing in Nikko, Osaka, and Morioka, completing a total of 13 shows.

In “The Ice,” they showcased the last year’s rhythm dances “Mask” and “Soran Bushi & Koto,” changing the routines for each performance. Their sparkling performances and commanding presence seemed to have gained even more radiance. Additionally, Daisuke Takahashi joined the dance unit “Diamonds” in a land-based dance project, partnering with French dancer Kevin Aymoz. Their dance moves rivaled those of professional dancers and energized the audience daily. It’s no wonder, considering their past performances with American professional dancers, that they filled the Shibuya Theater Orb to capacity for consecutive days. Moreover, Kana Muramoto excelled in the on-ice dance competition and also secured victory.

Daisuke Takahashi: In ‘The Ice,’ we performed the first-year and second-year rhythm dance programs, and we were highly motivated because we wanted to show just how much we had changed compared to back then. Being able to participate in land-based dance was one of the things I wanted to do going forward, so I was happy, and I think it was great to take on the challenge.

Kana Muramoto: Performing non-competitive programs after retiring is quite different from doing routines for competitions, as it’s more about engaging the audience with expressive performances. You need to put a lot of effort into how you appeal and express. For instance, you can do steps and turns without worrying about the level, so it felt really liberating and fresh, and it was a lot of fun.

At ‘The Ice,’ there was a group number in which they performed alongside the Beijing Olympic gold medalist team Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron (France), and this year’s world champions Madison Chock & Evan Bates (USA). In the show environment, Kanadai and the others didn’t lag behind at all; they presented very captivating skating.

Daisuke Takahashi: When I first heard that we would be skating with them, I thought it might be a punishment game. But when I actually skated with them and heard that it was well received, and when I was told that I didn’t fall short, it boosted my confidence a lot. Also, being able to skate with champions like them, I gained a lot.

Kana Muramoto: We’ve been skating together with them since our practice sessions, so I’ve learned a lot throughout. Moreover, when asked whom I’d like to skate with, I wrote down Guillaume’s name, and it made me incredibly happy that this collaboration allowed that to come true.

From June to July, they spent about 2 weeks in Florida before moving their base. They were quite busy with various local activities and greeting tours, and those 2 weeks flew by quickly. I wonder what conversations they had with Coach Marina Zueva?

Kana Muramoto: Marina was also busy, so we didn’t have much special time to talk, but since we were going to perform the first-year rhythm dance ‘Mask’ and the second-year ‘Soran Bushi & Koto’ at The Ice, we practiced on the rink in Florida during our stay there. Marina and Ilia (Tkachenko, coach) watched us, and they said emotionally, ‘What great programs! You two still have a lot of potential.’ They also mentioned, ‘We believe you will come back here.’

Daisuke Takahashi: She also told me, ‘Once you’ve fixed Daisuke’s knee, come back.’ Well, I replied ‘OK!’ while thinking, ‘This knee is already beyond fixing,’ but, you know, I said it anyway (laughs).

Kana Muramoto: She told me, ‘I don’t know what you’ll be doing from now on, but it’ll be okay no matter what you choose.’ But it seems like she really expects us to come back. When I skated ‘Mask’ in Florida after a long time, I realized once again that it’s a really great program and that even though it was our first year, the choreography was quite challenging.

Daisuke Takahashi: It’s a very enjoyable program, but in the first year, we had so many things to focus on that I didn’t feel that enjoyment at all (laughs). Trying it again this time, I finally understood that it was such a fun program.

What was it like to say goodbye to Marina Zueva and coaches in Florida?

Daisuke Takahashi: Marina has taught countless skaters over the years, so I think she’s accustomed to such farewells. She’s extremely busy. We didn’t feel any lonely sensation either. It’s more like a transition, concluding our activities here and moving on to the next step. If we were planning to settle permanently in Florida, it might have been a different story.

Marina doesn’t involve herself much in the skaters’ personal lives, so surprisingly, we haven’t talked much outside of training. We’ve probably gone out to eat only about twice.

Kana Muramoto: I feel the same way as Dai-chan in that regard. It’s not so much about feeling lonely as it is about the sense of one step concluding. Just like Marina, Ilia and our trainers were busy with coaching, so we didn’t have much time to talk outside of practice. If anything, I might have had closer interactions with our ballet instructor personally.

Daisuke Takahashi: It was good that we could have a meal together with Ilia and the trainers one last time. It was a place with a lot of people around, so we didn’t have very deep conversations.

Kana Muramoto: Having that time together made me realize that we really retired.

As for parting words with their fellow skaters in Florida:

Daisuke Takahashi: Everyone was busy with lessons, so we didn’t talk much.

Kana Muramoto: They found the intensity and dedication in our practices to be very inspiring. They mentioned feeling sad that we won’t be there and that things will change here. They also said that seeing our practices made them think they need to work diligently themselves. It was nice to know they were paying attention.


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