EK: How did it happen that two top teams came across the idea of "Carmen" (in addition to Cappellini/Lanotte, Virtue/Moir have chosen it for their free dance - EK)?
IS: I had this idea in mind for many, many years. Even a program was set - for a team that did not happen. And when Luca and Anna came to me, I thought that this theme will be just right for them.
EK: In figure skating, there were a few famous "Carmen". What is special about Cappellini/Lanotte's program ?
IS: Last time that we saw "Carmen", let me remind you, it was Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov's version at the Olympics in Turin in 2006. But there were Toreodor and Carmen, while Luca and Anna have completely different story and different drama - Carmen and Jose, a story of love, betrayal, jealousy. Because of this, we chose different music fragments. You know, it's such a powerful thing, such an amazing music that you can do several programs and not repeate yourself. I thought that now "Carmen" corresponds to what the ISU wants.
EK: Have you re-watched any of the past versions?
IS: Honestly, no. I clearly remember all of them, including Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin's program. I watched the ballet with Maya Plisetskaya, and many more. Many choreographers had turned to "Carmen", treating this theme in different ways. The closest to what Anna and Luca do is Plisetskaya's performance. By the way, choreographer Ludmila Vlasova, former ballet dancer of the Bolshoi Theatre, has worked with Anna and Luca. She also added much to this program.