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  1. #1
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    Why is Morozov such a popular coach?

    I don't know much about Morozov, besides the fact that he might be a bit sleazy, and he makes a lot of his skaters wear strange costumes. I see almost everyone on here making fun of him, yet a lot of elite skaters seem to go to him for coaching.

    What are your opinions on why he is so popular? I did see someone say once that him actually going onto the ice and skating with the skaters when doing choreography was one of the things that might make him good..

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    Well, if many skaters go to him then maybe it's because he does something right. I mean, he does seem like a good coach...

  3. #3
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    I hardly heard of Morozov before he choreographed for Alexei Yagudin. It seemed the moment he won the gold in 2002 that skaters were asking for Nikolai left and right.

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    Morozov's unpopularity on this site is a bit of a mystery to a number of us. I have had the opportunity to get to know him a little over the years and to skate with him.

    I think one part of his problem is that he is not particularly photogenic. In real life, he doesn't have the same "sleazy" look that many people complain about. I've taken note how often, when women actually see him in the flesh for the first time, they swoon. A female friend of mine, who is an attorney, just stared at him with starry eyes and her mouth half open, then, after he passed, she whispered, "He's so much more handsome in real life. I had no idea."

    He also has that Eastern-Block aloofness, that Russians joke about, themselves, when they have become more "Westernized"--that trait of watching things from the corner of their eyes, and not looking at anything directly.

    He is also super-intense. When he is with his favored students, he doesn't know anything else in the world exists. Have you seen any of the videos like this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g87ImEJwQDM

    He's as fierce as a tigress over her cubs. You want Nikolai on your side. If you're not one of his skaters, he hardly sees you.

    I feel he is very capable, and very young. I've already seen him change, and mellow, over time. I can only wonder what he will be like in twenty years.

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    It's not his looks we find sleazy. It's how many blondes he goes through, relationships he's broken up, and women he's cheated on. All that's pretty damn sleazy by "Western" standards. It has nothing to do with his looks, whether people find him attractive or not.

    Beyond that, a lot of us would forgive Morozov his horndog ways if he choreographed decent programs. Hell, if he was a great choreographer, we'd probably APPLAUD his pimpin' large. But all Morozov programs have the same step sequence, same arm movements, are either heavily backloaded or frontloaded, and have no transitions. They aren't very interesting and aren't suited to the skater, though to be fair, this could apply to many other choreographers as well, such as Lori Nichol as of late.

    When the skaters do the jumps well, his skaters score well. However, when the jumps aren't there, they sink as they don't have anything else to help buoy their scores. If you contrast that to David Wilson (another much-maligned choreographer here as of late), his skaters have transitions, choreographical moves here and there, interesting moves coming in and out of jumps, so if the jumps aren't there, his skaters' program scores aren't affected as much as Morozov's.

    Just look at Ando--she won the LP at the GPF, but botching two jumps took her out of the medals because she had nothing else there. By contrast, Czisny had more overall problems with jumps--UR, e!, and doubled--but placed first because of the attention to choreographical details. Same with Kostner who placed second. Miki's a MUCH better jumper than either of them in terms of air height, position, etc., but everything else is subpar compared to other medalist contenders, which is ridiculous for a skater as good as she is.
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

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    Matryeshka just about sums it up.

    I would add the 9 times out of 10 (or more often) ghastly costumes ,and the (frequent ) selling of sex in his programs.

    We all know sex sells , and there's no doubt that skaters who have an innate sex appeal have a little something extra in the charisma department ( and either they have it ,or they don't). But to simply add gyrations to programs that are otherwise lacking , is just a shallow and pretty tasteless tactic.

    E.G. : Dai oozes appeal in last year's and this year's Tango ,and his Mambo SP... and I never tire of watching them , while Amodio's programs this year , with all the crotch grabbing are a cheap use of his talents meant to disguise what's lacking .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pratfall View Post
    Dai oozes appeal in last year's and this year's Tango ,and his Mambo SP... and I never tire of watching them , while Amodio's programs this year , with all the crotch grabbing are a cheap use of his talents meant to disguise what's lacking .
    I agree with you; I liked Takahashi's programs by Pasquale Camerlengo, but I think these programs draw on what Morozov was doing before that in, say, the Phantom and Cyber-Swan programs and Bjork exhibition. Morozov does have a knack, I feel, for finding what's inside a skater and drawing it out into a performance. Finding a style.

    I also agree with you about Amodio's program this year, but, again, I feel Morozov may well be on the right track: make Amodio very contemporary, and different, even though in real life Amodio is not someone who does outrageous things, or demands people's attention--as far as I could gather, Amodio is a serious, rather quiet, guy. Morozov is exploring a persona within Amodio which could break boundaries and win competitions.

    When I watched Morozov working with a skater on a new program, I often found myself wondering how he got all he did, how did he see that. I think he has a pretty complex vision for someone his age.

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    And in answer to blue idealist's original question, yes, Morozov does choreograph out on the ice with each student. And things evolve. Certainly, other people work along side their skaters on the ice, while others rarely go out there at all. That's a matter of age and personal style. But Morozov is a very powerful and adept skater, and throws himself into his own choreography in such a way that the skater can feel what the movement is supposed to express, and how that movement fits into the dramatic whole. I found it impressive to watch.

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    I've seen Morozov sort of live (at the boards, not up close) and I didn't swoon, though I did find some of his antics entertaining.

    Quote Originally Posted by WayCon View Post
    I agree with you; I liked Takahashi's programs by Pasquale Camerlengo, but I think these programs draw on what Morozov was doing before that in, say, the Phantom and Cyber-Swan programs and Bjork exhibition. Morozov does have a knack, I feel, for finding what's inside a skater and drawing it out into a performance. Finding a style.
    Bachelorette was choreographed by Kenji Miyamoto. Personally, I thought it was a much better program than the (overrated) cyber swan.

    Looking at Amodio and Fernandez, they seem to be pleased with their coaching situation and certainly both have gotten better results since they began working with Morozov. Personally I feel Amodio's programs this year are nowhere near as interesting as those from last season (I think Stanick Jeannette choreographed at least one of them?) but he's certainly been hitting his elements more consistently. Javi's Pirates was a good vehicle for him at that point in his career, but they shouldn't have kept it for a second season. The SP this season is awful.

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    Thanks for your insights.. I wasn't trying to criticize Morozov or support him really.. just wanted to know a bit more about him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    Bachelorette was choreographed by Kenji Miyamoto.
    Thank you for the correction, Zemgirl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    Thanks for your insights.. I wasn't trying to criticize Morozov or support him really.. just wanted to know a bit more about him.
    Interesting, that there is no ISU equivalent, for coaches, of the skaters' bio page.

    A short bio is on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai...gure_skater%29

    Google searches should give you plenty of data.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WayCon View Post
    Morozov's unpopularity on this site is a bit of a mystery to a number of us. I have had the opportunity to get to know him a little over the years and to skate with him.
    I think it's just the nature of message boards and forums. It brings out the worst in some people, who are jealous, bitter, have issues with personal aspects of his life (i.e. his many relationships with women), or just troll. The anonymous nature of FSU posting leads people to say things on their minds that they would never, ever say to Morozov in person. It's not just Morozov who's unpopular on FSU. A lot of skaters are really unpopular, although to my knowledge, Morozov is probably the only coach who's really disliked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WayCon View Post
    Morozov's unpopularity on this site is a bit of a mystery to a number of us. I have had the opportunity to get to know him a little over the years and to skate with him.

    I think one part of his problem is that he is not particularly photogenic.
    What are you talking about ? Nothing to do with his look !
    The problem is that he is more of a calculator than a coach. He is not a good technical coach and his choreos are not really good.
    I really don't get the hype over him, and it has nothing to do with his look.

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    Quote Originally Posted by a56 View Post
    Morozov is probably the only coach who's really disliked.
    I don't think that true : Igor Shpilband, Robin Wagner come to my mind right now.

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    Seems like Morozov has a new student! It's 15 y.o. Maxim Kovtun, very promising skater who already has 3A-3T combo and next year will go to the JGP. I like this kid a lot, he was like a breath of fresh air at the Russian Nationals

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    It's not his looks we find sleazy. It's how many blondes he goes through, relationships he's broken up, and women he's cheated on. All that's pretty damn sleazy by "Western" standards. It has nothing to do with his looks, whether people find him attractive or not.

    Beyond that, a lot of us would forgive Morozov his horndog ways if he choreographed decent programs. Hell, if he was a great choreographer, we'd probably APPLAUD his pimpin' large. But all Morozov programs have the same step sequence, same arm movements, are either heavily backloaded or frontloaded, and have no transitions. They aren't very interesting and aren't suited to the skater, though to be fair, this could apply to many other choreographers as well, such as Lori Nichol as of late.

    When the skaters do the jumps well, his skaters score well. However, when the jumps aren't there, they sink as they don't have anything else to help buoy their scores. If you contrast that to David Wilson (another much-maligned choreographer here as of late), his skaters have transitions, choreographical moves here and there, interesting moves coming in and out of jumps, so if the jumps aren't there, his skaters' program scores aren't affected as much as Morozov's.

    Just look at Ando--she won the LP at the GPF, but botching two jumps took her out of the medals because she had nothing else there. By contrast, Czisny had more overall problems with jumps--UR, e!, and doubled--but placed first because of the attention to choreographical details. Same with Kostner who placed second. Miki's a MUCH better jumper than either of them in terms of air height, position, etc., but everything else is subpar compared to other medalist contenders, which is ridiculous for a skater as good as she is.
    Great post. I really wouldn't call him a choreographer, and I certainly wouldn't pay him to do my choreography if I were a skater.
    Lori Nicol could be boring at times, but she has also created some masterpieces. I think she's a much more sophisticated choreographer in general. Kostner's SP this year is brilliant for example. I certainly wouldn't put her on the same level as Morozov.

  18. #18
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    He has done some nice pieces though - for example Shizuka Arakawa's Olympic winning program, and Oda's Charlie Chaplin. I just think he's a little burnt out now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Autumn_girl View Post
    Seems like Morozov has a new student! It's 15 y.o. Maxim Kovtun, very promising skater who already has 3A-3T combo and next year will go to the JGP. I like this kid a lot, he was like a breath of fresh air at the Russian Nationals
    That's actually quite good! I can't imagine the facilities in Ekaterinburg are good enough for someone who has potential to skate at quite a high level.

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    blue_idealist, you are interested in why Morozov is popular as a coach, not necessarily as a choreographer - let's hear it from his former and current pupils.

    Daisuke Takahashi on Morozov;
    • Morozov taught me how great step sequences could be, by making programmes which are highlighted by step sequences for me.
    • He drew out the strength in me.
    • While being with him, I started winning competitions. He gave me confidence; I used to underestimate myself but now I can assess my own ability more objectively, thanks to him.

    (Note: he said all these after his rather difficult split up with Morozov.)

    Miki Ando on Morozov;
    • It took two years, but there is mutual trust and respect established between us. I can say anything to him without worrying consequences.
    • Even though he has many pupils, the ways he faces and treats each pupil are different. He understands different strength in each of them and tries to build upon it.
    • It is great that he can show you step sequences by skating them himself. It's great to be able to see deep edges of a former ice dancer so close.
    • It was his idea to have my Olympic season programme (Cleopatra) choreographed by Lea Ann Miller, as he thought it was time to try something fresh.


    What each skater needs and looks for in their coach is highly individual. There is not a coach who is perfect for any skaters, and what is perfect for a particular skater often changes as their career progresses - thus skaters often changes coaches a few times in their career.

    My understanding is that Morozov is a coach known for taking on young skaters, giving them confidence, and establishing their own unique recognisable style. That's what he is trying to do with Amodio and Fernandez now, and one can say he's successful by looking at their competition success - regardless of whether we like that particular style or not.
    Last edited by mmot; 03-13-2011 at 11:50 PM.

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