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    Ilia Averbukh: "We lost a generation of ice dancers”

    Short new article featuring Ilia Averbukh. Article reads:-

    Olympic silver medalist Ilia Averbukh expressed his opinion about the low results of Russian ice dancers. “Have Russian ice dance duos stuck in the last century? Yes, you are right, they have. This can be seen with the naked eye,” said Averbukh to Izvestia newspaper. ”The main problem, in my opinion, is that coaches don’t invite new choreographers. Seems like they think that know everything better than anyone else.” he continued. “Fortunately, recently the situation was improving. We have an ice dance team of Elena Ilinykh / Nikita Katsalapov, which already this season performed in tune with the times. They have a real chance to compete for medals at the Sochi Olympics. Of course, at some point we lost a whole generation of ice dancers, because our competitors are quickly adapting to the new rules. And we were moving sluggishly, because were confident that we just can’t lose leadership in this figure skating discipline.” Averbukh noted.
    Russian ice dance is now finally on the rise. However, I think Victoria Sinitsina & Ruslan Zhiganshin have a much better chance of breaking through into the medals at worlds and Olympics than Ilinykh & Katsalapov in the coming years.
    Last edited by Maofan7; 05-19-2012 at 06:03 PM.

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    I love Ilinikh & Katsalapov's basics, but I think the really need new choreographers !

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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    I love Ilinikh & Katsalapov's basics, but I think the really need new choreographers !


    I agree I mean Ave Maria was zzzzJust didn't suit them and was old fashioned.
    Will be interesting to see if Zhulin can do some magic with B/S

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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    I love Ilinikh & Katsalapov's basics, but I think the really need new choreographers !
    I guess that was Averbukh's point. Oh well. Too bad he didn't become the prez of the Russian skating federation. He actually has ideas.

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    They are moving very sluggishly. It's not enough to get level 3's and 4's sometimes. You need to get them all the time! Not any level 2's in step sequences and lifts and sometimes even spins. No team, not even a Russian team in Sochi, is going to get anywhere with level 3's in step sequences or twizzles or lifts. Sometimes it is worse than level 3? I have wondering is it bad skating skills that makes steps sequences so bad in levels or is it bad construction of the step sequences. It's all about the step sequences and all the Russian teams now just couldn't be more pathetic a lot of the time with the step sequences!

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    woah---i dont think getting level 3 is something that should be considered pathetic...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8erluv88 View Post
    woah---i dont think getting level 3 is something that should be considered pathetic...
    If you're competing against teams that are getting all level fours, it is important to get all the points possible
    And the Russians have been struggling to get level 3's. I think RT and IK were even getting level 1's on some elements

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    Level 3 is not what I was calling pathetic. It's the 1's and 2's that sometimes occur. 3 is not something that's going to work. Level 3 should be the absolute floor for I/K B/S or R/T but it's not. 1 or 2 is.

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    Thanks Maofan7.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maofan7 View Post
    .....Russian ice dance is now finally on the rise. However, I think Victoria Sinitsina & Ruslan Zhiganshin have a much better chance of breaking through into the medals at worlds and Olympics than Ilinykh & Katsalapov in the coming years.
    Ilia is right and I'd also add the fact that years of the Russian coaches training Americans and helping the U.S. to finally become a power in icedance hasn't helped. While the U.S. got stronger, the cumulative effects of coaches leaving Russia and the Russian Federation being too complacent finally caught up with them.

    I haven't seen Sinitsina/Zhiganshin yet and I know that some aren't impressed with I&K but I think they are very talented and have raw talent that needs to be further developed; Elena and Nikita just need to put in the work. Had they done that then I do feel they would have been good enough to compete for medals in Sochi. They have two years to buckle down and get to work but so far I've seen nothing to convince me I&K are ready to turn over a new leaf. I keep willing them to stop resting on that raw talent. I would hate for them to be yet another team who had potential but never went anywhere with it.

    I'm really hopeful and excited about what Zhulin will be able to do with B&S.

    As an American I should be happy about the current situation in icedance and while I respect all the top teams (I love V&M and P&B) I've missed seeing those great teams that Russia used to crank out much the same way the U.S. produced so many ladies champions.

    Russia does seem to be making a comeback in the pairs division and I see the possibility for that trend to continue in icedance. I do think with some hard work that Russia can see one of their teams on the podium in Sochi. Perhaps whoever that team is will "only" win bronze but after the medal drought bronze would be a step forward.

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    They can work hard but do they know what to work on? All the teams are terribly incosistent on a technical level. Is it them or the coaches? Do they know a proper way to design lifts and step sequences and spins to consistently get level 3 and 4? Do the skaters have the skills to consistently get 3 and 4? Maybe I/K, B/S and R/T don't have the talent for that and you can't will that talent into existence. Seems like every team has the wrong coach and all the coaches do the wrong programs and are ignorant and the teams don't work hard or work hard for the wrong coaches and programs! LOL!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by caseyedwards View Post
    They can work hard but do they know what to work on?

    .....Maybe I/K, B/S and R/T don't have the talent for that and you can't will that talent into existence. Seems like every team has the wrong coach and all the coaches do the wrong programs and are ignorant and the teams don't work hard or work hard for the wrong coaches and programs! LOL!!
    Well, I don't know about B&S or R&T but my remarks regarding I&K are in reference to comments I've read on FSU that Elena and Nikita have issues with their work ethic or rather lack thereof. As I said, I realize that some (many?) don't see any huge talent in I&K but I do see it. Perhaps even if I&K worked a little bit harder it's possible that they are as good as they are ever going to be but that remains to be seen. If a team doesn't feel the need to put in the practice time then no matter who they go to, the results are not going to come.

    These days I'm in and out of the forum so I can't say that I've read any of the posts suggesting that the coaches are giving teams the wrong programs or have no idea what their teams should be working on. I can't comment on that one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmen Ovsiannikov View Post
    I'm really hopeful and excited about what Zhulin will be able to do with B&S.
    Indeed, and there is a new article out today about Bobrova and Soloviev and the coaching change. Zhulin has also taken over as the coach of Monko and Khaliavin as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carmen Ovsiannikov View Post
    I haven't seen Sinitsina/Zhiganshin yet
    Here are Sinitsina & Zhiganshin's performances from the 2011/12 JGPF and 2012 junior worlds, both of which they won:-

    JGPF 2011/12

    Short Dance

    Free Dance

    Junior Worlds 2012

    Short Dance

    Free Dance

    Great potential! Here is an article about them from last December
    Last edited by Maofan7; 05-20-2012 at 03:06 PM.

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    Can't wait to see this one million dollar look
    Just the names will be the same

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmen Ovsiannikov View Post
    Well, I don't know about B&S or R&T but my remarks regarding I&K are in reference to comments I've read on FSU that Elena and Nikita have issues with their work ethic or rather lack thereof.
    I defended them their first season in seniors when they left Zhulin. Nikita claimed that they did work hard, but did not get enough supervision because Zhulin was busy with his TV show. Nikita said that he had to go look things up online and watch youtube videos to find the correct way of doing things. It seemed plausible to me and I gave them the benefit of the doubt, but this year they were not outstanding with Morozov so now I'm beginning to believe the rumors about their work ethic were true. They had nominal increases in their placements (1 place at Nats and Euros, 2 places at Worlds) but they again showed up unprepared during the GP and never really got to a great level all season. I also read that they didn't really train for the WTT. Very disappointing. With their talent and relative inexperience, they should be making big leaps. Their lifts are still atrocious.

    I don't think Morozov's travelling circus is the right fit for them. Who is the biggest hardass in ice dance? Linichuk? They need a coach who will ban them from going on vacation, take away their cell phones, basically treat them like children. Their programs need to be immaculate by the Russian test skate, and they should be doing B events to check their levels before the GP (if V&M don't consider themselves too good for that, why should they?).

    I believe caseyedwards' point though, was even if these teams are willing to work, do they have coaches that understand how to funnel that work into level 4 elements, key points in the pattern dance, and positive GOE? Out of all the Russian coaches it seems like only the younger more Americanized ones like Shpilband and Krylova seem to do a good job with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nuge View Post
    Can't wait to see this one million dollar look
    Just the names will be the same
    They have already started to make changes:-

    Photo 1, Photo2, Photo Set

    The photographs are from the Believe charity show held in Moscow on May 1st, that B&S participated in.
    Last edited by Maofan7; 05-20-2012 at 08:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    I defended them their first season in seniors when they left Zhulin. Nikita claimed that they did work hard, but did not get enough supervision because Zhulin was busy with his TV show. Nikita said that he had to go look things up online and watch youtube videos to find the correct way of doing things. It seemed plausible to me and I gave them the benefit of the doubt, but this year they were not outstanding with Morozov so now I'm beginning to believe the rumors about their work ethic were true. They had nominal increases in their placements (1 place at Nats and Euros, 2 places at Worlds) but they again showed up unprepared during the GP and never really got to a great level all season. I also read that they didn't really train for the WTT. Very disappointing. With their talent and relative inexperience, they should be making big leaps. Their lifts are still atrocious.
    Honestly, I think for a team of their age, they are progressing fine. They had solid debuts at Euros and Worlds last season, and built on it this year not just in terms of placement, but also the scores they got throughout the season. The fact that the next Olympics is going to be in Russia has distorted expectations and put ridiculous pressure on them - were they to medal there they'd be the youngest ever Olympic medallists by quite some way, and the idea that they would be serious contenders for gold there has always been ridiculous in my opinion. 2018 is a much more realistic goal for them. (IIRC Elena has spoken in the past about finding it hard to deal with the way that people build them up so much when they do well, but immediately turn on them when they make mistakes.)

    And they really have come on a long way this year. I'm no longer going at Nikita's twizzles or their lifts - obviously there's still a lot to work on, but these things take time and you can't expect a miraculous transformation overnight, but look at their free dance at Europeans and compare it to the previous season. I'd agree that the attitude wasn't quite right at the start of the season, but I think that the score in the SD at Europeans was the kick up the backside that they needed - I was at TEB, Europeans and Worlds and the way they conducted themselves off the ice was very different at the later competitions, they seemed much more focused. I really hope they can produce good programs next season - I'd expect things to be very tight with B/S probably getting more "modern" programs from Zhulin than they had this year.

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    Thanks Maofan. I have some catching up to do.

    Cherub, I think Linichuk would be perfect for I&K. She pulls no punches and from what I understand demands hard work from her skaters. I don't think she or Gennady would allow them to coast as they have been. I also think her style of choreography would suit them as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    I defended them their first season in seniors when they left Zhulin. Nikita claimed that they did work hard, but did not get enough supervision because Zhulin was busy with his TV show. Nikita said that he had to go look things up online and watch youtube videos to find the correct way of doing things. It seemed plausible to me and I gave them the benefit of the doubt, but this year they were not outstanding with Morozov so now I'm beginning to believe the rumors about their work ethic were true. They had nominal increases in their placements (1 place at Nats and Euros, 2 places at Worlds) but they again showed up unprepared during the GP and never really got to a great level all season. I also read that they didn't really train for the WTT. Very disappointing. With their talent and relative inexperience, they should be making big leaps. Their lifts are still atrocious.
    I remember reading Nikita's quotes last year after they left, then reading quotes from others in Zhulin's group (P/B maybe?) that gave a quite different account of things. If I'm remembering this correctly, whoever it was said that Zhulin was usually there and on the ice himself with the teams (and it was an amount of time right on par with what other coaches are actually on the ice with their skaters for), and if he wasn't there, then Volkov was. The point being, there was plenty of coaching attention and/or coaches around all of the time.

    Like you said, they showed up unprepared for the GP this year, etc., culminating in the reports that they more or less didn't train between Worlds and WTT. The evidence certainly seems to indicate that the work ethic rumors are true.

    Like Carmen, I see all the talent in the world in I/K, but if they're not going to put in the time and hard work, even the greatest coaches and most outstanding choreography isn't going to help. I want to see this team suceed, but frankly, if they're not going to work hard, they don't deserve to win.

    I/K seem to idolize V/M. I wish they could make the connection that part of the reason V/M are so outstanding is that they work incredibly hard...

    I don't think Morozov's travelling circus is the right fit for them. Who is the biggest hardass in ice dance? Linichuk? They need a coach who will ban them from going on vacation, take away their cell phones, basically treat them like children. Their programs need to be immaculate by the Russian test skate, and they should be doing B events to check their levels before the GP (if V&M don't consider themselves too good for that, why should they?).
    Quote Originally Posted by Carmen Ovsiannikov View Post
    Cherub, I think Linichuk would be perfect for I&K. She pulls no punches and from what I understand demands hard work from her skaters. I don't think she or Gennady would allow them to coast as they have been. I also think her style of choreography would suit them as well.
    I don't think the travelling circus aspect of Morozov's group is a right fit or good thing for anyone.

    I'm also a huge fan of the idea to send them to Linichuk. I've stopped short of saying it that way in the past, but I'm sharing a brain with Cherub on part of the reasoning: they need someone to treat them like kids, take away the vacations, and cell phones, and in general, stick it to them like there's no tomorrow. Obviously, they shouldn't need to be handled in that manner, but it's the only thing I can think of. I just suspect that if anyone is going to lay down the law the way it needs to be with them, it would be Linichuk. (And, seriously, no one is having to do that with the Shibs right now. Nor did V/M, P/B, W/P, or D/W or any of a gazllion other teams need that sort of oversight and handling at the ages that I/K are now... or, you know, ever.)

    I do also agree with Carmen though that, in addition to the being strict part of things, Linichuk's choreography would work well for I/K. I know she's gotten some flack the past few years, but love for coaches and choreographers seems to come and go in cycles, and she will eventually fall back in favor. But, at any rate, I think her dramatic style would work well for I/K. Plus, at this stage in the game, I/K still need a really good technical coach for ice dance fundamentals, and Natalia and Gennedy are extremely good at that.

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    Linichuk's reputation is in the toilet. Even if you say that Shabalin's injury limited all choreopraphic possibilities she still produced very poorly recieved dances for them and B/A in the OD and FD. Then the programs for P/G were not well recieved either.

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    True. But at least most of the time P&G were able to skate for levels effectively. They need more speed though.

    OTOH, Linichuks efforts for C/L-J were absolutely

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