Marina Zueva: This fiery mane of Volodya inspired me
Interview with Marina Zueva about her work with Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov.
by Anatoli Samokhvalof for rsport.ria.ru dd. 8th September, 2019
Marina, in “Bolero” the guys looked completely different. What did you do to them?
– Firstly, the guys did a great job, and I gave them the opportunity to work with all kinds of experts from the dance field, since my group specializes mainly in ice dance.
What was it like for you to switch to work with a pair?
– Well I still have been working with pairs all the time.
As a choreographer?
– No, together with Johnny Jones I coached pairs, we worked and prepared two US champions. But, I agree, I specialize more on ice dance.
Did you have to recall your best practices in pair skating?
– Rather learned than recalled. Pair skating changes every year, so I learned the the rules.
What was the main thing to be changed in Evgenia, in Vladimir?
– You know, I got a great pair, prepared, with ultra-c elements.
But many experts noted that the pair is technically strong, but lacks the artistic diversity.
– We worked exactly on this. Our task is to give them the opportunity to win. Everywhere and among everyone. For this to happen, we must give them advantages. Those professional things that will allow them to reveal even more. They work on skating skills, other things, and every time I give them a task, they ask: “Can we add more?” And this fascinates me. They first flew to me at 12 a.m. I offered them a training session in the afternoon, but they replied: “No, we will come at eight in the morning.”
When you started working with the Victoria Sinitsina / Nikita Katsalapov, you set the task to make them a Russian pair who would represent their country stylistically in tournaments. What goal do you define for your work with Tarasova / Morozov?
– We’ll show. I already have ideas about the Olympic programs. In the Olympic season, we must make a presentation of the pair with the winners face. That is my task.
Will the pair be able to beat the current world champions Chinese Wenjing Sui / Cong Han and French Vanessa James / Morgan Cipres this season?
– I have worked with a Chinese pair for four years, then they were just starting their path. I made programs for them, worked on skating and other elements, I know them very well. It’s not about competitors, but about progress. If everything goes as planned, then the guys will need to take care only of their performance, health and shape.
Do they remind you the Olympic champions Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov?
– It would be nice if they have a final parallel, in the next Olympic cycle. Tarasova / Morozov is a pair with a bright personality. I immediately associated them with Bolero. I had no doubt about this program. This fiery mane of Volodya inspired me. His hair just burns to Ravel’s music.
By the way, you tried to persuade Charlie White to grow hair. Is Morozov’s long red hair your work?
– Volodya began to grow hair himself. Apparently, due to circumstances. Lost a stylist. But I really like when his hair flying. I wanted to emphasize this because it is unique in its own way.
The coaches of the pair are Marina Zueva and Nina Mozer.
– This is power.
And who is the chief in this power?
– At least this season I will bring them to competitions, travel with them, and then we will think from season to season. Nina Mikhailovna comes to us, works with a pair on technical issues. Maxim (Trankov) also comes and we all work together.
What is the role of Trankov?
– He also works with the guys on technique, lifts. After all, there are many nuances of working with a pair. Nina Mozer raised them, she knows their specifics.
Just you seems to be such kind of a coach who doesn’t need helpers?
– We are not helpers to each other, we are colleagues. We have a coaching team, where everyone has their own role, and it doesn’t need mutual assistance. I, Nina Mikhailovna, Max have different missions. And Massimo Scali has his mission.
You have invited Charlie White to choreograph the free program.
– It was interesting to me. You see, I know what I can choreograph. But now I want to see what styles they can work in, and I want it to be different to my choreo. But I took part in choreo process, watched the entries, exits and other things.
Will Tarasova / Morozov perform a quadruple twist?
– Questionable. In this regard, a very serious calculation should come to the fore. According to the new rules, it is much more important to execute an element qualitatively than to complicate it. You need to understand where you can get more points and where you can lose them. And you can lose not only points, but also the time of the program, which is also important. But I realize that Zhenya and Volodya came to me to create their future. Although they have a great past.
Will Marina Zueva return to big ice dance?
– I’m waiting for my best program to be choreographed.
In ice dance?
– It’s not important in which discipline. I haven’t done it yet. Pending. The best one hasn’t happened yet.