Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov: “First thing people say when they see ice dance is: “Why don’t they jump?” And to be honest, this is a very offensive question”
Interview with Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov for Vogue Russia. About Olympic team event, costumes and plans for the future.
source: vogue.ru dd. 26th January 2022 by Daria Komyagina
Congratulations on winning the European Championships! Tell us how this medal differs from last year’s. If it’s different.
Victoria Sinitsina: Yes, it is different. We are very happy! This medal is really extremely important for us, because we actually missed the Russian Nationals and therefore it was necessary to skate well in Tallinn, win this title. Especially on the eve of the Olympic Games.
How will the preparations for the Olympic Games go now?
Nikita Katsalapov: We flew to Krasnoyarsk, preparations for the Games will take place here. The base is prepared only for skaters, everything is perfect with the ice, and this is the main thing.
Not so long ago it became known that skaters for the Olympic team event will be announced just a couple of days before the competitions, would you like to take part or is it more important to focus on individual competitions?
Nikita Katsalapov: We not only want to, we are obliged to take part in the team event, to represent our country. We’ve been going to this for so long. So yes, the team event is our goal.
Each Olympics causes a stir around figure skating and an influx of new fans. For those who are just starting to watch this sport, tell us how ice dance are different from other sports and why they deserve the attention of the audience. After all, the first thing people say when they see ice dance is: “Why don’t they jump?”
Nikita Katsalapov: To be honest, this is a very offensive question. I even condemn those who say so, because ice dance exist for a very long time, the best coaches of the single skaters in our sport, the best choreographers are dancers. Of all the figure skating disciplines, we have the best skating skills.
If we approach the explanation from the technical side, yes, it’s really forbidden for us to jump, even one rotation cannot be done. Our discipline is aimed precisely at dancing, at versatility. We tell stories on the ice. Plus, I repeat, skating skills are incredibly important. Of course, there are single and pair skaters who are also great at it, but for us this is the number one goal. Of course, for a viewer who is not very versed in ice dance, it is easiest to recognize lifts or spins, but there are still a lot of elements that are performed with the blade of the skate. And the judges watch every turn of the blade almost under a microscope.
Nikita, your costume for the rhythm dance has caused a real stir among the fans. Why did you choose leopard print?
Nikita Katsalapov: In the summer, we watched a lot of fashion shows and realized that the leopard is the trend of the season. Also, in our opinion, it looks great on the ice, reflects the spirit of our program. In general, I have two shirts for this dance: one is brighter, golden, the other is calmer. When I skated in gold one, the judges came up, worried that I was standing out too much. And so the second version was born, dark, but also with a leopard print. We and the coaches like both options, so we have two costumes for the Games.
Victoria, you skated in a dress at the Grand Prix, but for the Russian Nationals you still returned the original version from the test skates – jumpsuit. Why did you make such a decision?
Victoria Sinitsina: I wanted to try both options, but in the jumpsuit I feel very free, bright and sexy. True, I can’t say what exactly I’ll wear at the Olympics, I’ll decide in the moment.
You also changed your costumes for the free dance this season.
Victoria Sinitsina: Yes, the first dress, blue, was somehow born in my head, and we drew sketches from my words. We all liked it, but perhaps it did’t quite correctly reveal the music and artistic images. It didn’t give the feeling of light. Therefore, we decided to sew more airy, flying costumes. Speaking of color, I generally think that white and black are the best shades for the ice, which is why I chose them.
Do you have any favorite costumes from your career?
Victoria Sinitsina: I have a lot of favorite dresses. For example, a long tutu for the waltz from Swan Lake. I also adored the dress which I wore for tango three years ago. And last year’s blue for Singin’ in the Rain. In fact, I like all my dresses.
Nikita Katsalapov: To be honest, I fall in love with the program and the artistic image as a whole. It is difficult to single out one thing. If everything worked out, everything coincided, you basically cannot imagine yourself in some other costume. So I love everything.
Victoria, do you take part in the creation of your costumes?
Victoria Sinitsina: Of course. We can say that the most important person in this process is me. And Nikita’s mother. She watches every detail, I don’t even know what I would wear for our performances if she wasn’t involved. She and I come up with sketches together, sometimes we even sew. This is a big and long process.
What style do you prefer in life?
Victoria Sinitsina: I really like sports style, but, of course, sometimes you want to dress up beautifully. In general, I follow fashion, I am very interested in this industry. I love jackets. And I can’t imagine my wardrobe without a basic black turtleneck.
Nikita Katsalapov: I must say right away that you don’t often see shirts and classic suits on me. Unless at some events that do not take place so often, and even more so in the current situation. In everyday life, I prefer comfortable clothes, basic shades. I really love caps. And sneakers! This is my weakness.
In what fields would you like to try yourself after the end of your sports career?
Nikita Katsalapov: I want to try a lot. I’m sure that we will not leave figure skating. This is Love. Freedom of creativity. We would like to continue to delight the audience. In the show, and … I think that I have to try myself as a coach. At least try. Or maybe reveal myself in it, who knows, maybe it’s mine. But it’s difficult to answer the question about the future. We, athletes, live according to the schedule all our lives, almost like soldiers. Now there is only one goal.
Victoria Sinitsina: I agree with Nikita, it’s really hard to answer this question. I want to try a lot, I think we will get such an opportunity. Well, with figure skating, our lives are definitely inseparable.
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