Marina Zueva: “In recent years the style has been set by Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. But dance without soul and feelings is just movement to the music.”
Interview with Marina Zueva. About the performance of Evgenia Tarasova / Vladimir Morozov and results of the Olympics.
source: rsport.ria.ru dd. 20th February 2022 by Boris Khodorovskii
With what feelings did you watch the performances of Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov in Beijing?
Marina Zueva: I’m very happy for the guys. When we worked together, Zhenya and Volodya said in every interview that a little more time was needed. They were looking for their own style, their face, they sought to combine the excellent technical base they’ve already had with modern choreography. In Beijing, they succeeded.
They lacked 0.63 points for gold. Where did they lose them?
Marina Zueva: After all the Chinese pair also showed “skating of their life.” They are very strong competitors. When Sui Wenjing and Cong Han competed in juniors, I’ve choreographed their programs for four seasons. I know perfectly well all the advantages of this pair.
Many experts and fans noted that after moving to you, the style of Tarasova and Morozov has changed dramatically. Can we say that it was developed in the group of Eteri Tutberidze?
Marina Zueva: The guys made a huge step forward this season. And just the time has come when Zhenya and Volodya were able to show their best skating, which combine excellent technique and magnificent performances.
Isn’t it a shame that your cooperation ended?
Marina Zueva: It is very difficult to train at a distance, although the experience of cooperation between Rafael Arutyunyan and Nathan Chen proves the opposite. Due to coronavirus restrictions, I had to part with Zhenya and Volodya. Now I just rejoice at their successes, which, I hope, contain a part of my work.
For a long time, your and Igor Shpilband’s duets dictated the fashion in ice dance. Now it’s time for the Montreal school. How do you see the future development of ice dance?
Marina Zueva: It is clear that in recent years the style was set by Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. But dance without soul and feelings is just movement to the music. Even in ordinary life, you will never ask a girl who you don’t like to dance. You can talk as much as you like about new directions, but dance must remain dance. And without showing the feelings, it cannot exist.
For a long time you worked with a large group. Now 10 duets from the Montreal school performed in the free dance at the Olympics. Isn’t it too much?
Marina Zueva: You can’t say that six high-class duets in a group are the norm, and ten are a lot. It all depends on the personalities of the coaches and the level of the skaters, as well as the conditions of trainings.
Now you are coaching the Japanese pair Kana Muramoto / Daisuke Takahashi, Takahashi who became the bronze medalist of the 2010 Olympics and the world champion in 2010 in single skating, is 35 years old. Before that, there was an experience of teaming up your son Fedor Andreev and Yana Khokhlova in a duet. What qualities should a single skater have in order to quickly retrain as a dancer?
Marina Zueva: You haven’t mentioned Saulius Ambrulevicius who skates for Lithuania with Alison Reed yet. A skater who changes his specialization should have motor talent and musicality. How long it takes to become a real dancer depends on the individual qualities of the athlete. It took Takahashi a year, today everyone notes that he is already an established dancer. It will take time to get to the top.
Now in Russia there are a lot of beautiful, musical, gifted girls who cannot master quadruple jumps. Should they think about switching to ice dance, as Finnish Juulia Turkkila did?
Marina Zueva: Takahashi’s experience showed that it is possible, sometimes even necessary. If there is no way to learn jumps, but there is a desire to continue skating, this is a good option.
A photo appeared on the Internet where you are next to the duet Diana Davis / Gleb Smolkin and their coach. In Russia, they started talking about the revival of your coaching tandem with Igor Shpilband and participation in the training process of these young Russian dancers.
Marina Zueva: It was a protocol shooting for the winners of the Challenger series event. For some reason, the American duo, who finished in third place, was missing. They only took pictures of my Japanese pair and the Russian, who is coached by Shpilband. The photo does not refer to the past or the future.
What do you think about the doping scandal involving Kamila Valieva?
Marina Zueva: To comment on the situation, you need to know all the nuances, and be a specialist in the field of pharmacology. I do not undertake to act as an expert and I do not think that this should be done by those who do not have the relevant information and relevant knowledge.
Alexander Zhulin: “When they reported about a positive doping test in the Russian team and didn’t gave a name, every coach was worried what if it’s his athlete.”