"One against all" Interview with Vadim Vernik (VV) http://www.ok-magazine.ru/stars/interview/item25136.php
This unique woman is being spoken of only with awe. And she deserves such attitude one hundred percent.
VV: Tatiana Anatolyevna, to be honest, for me it is a big surprise that we came to your country house. It's so beautiful here!
TAT: To tell you the truth, I actually don't let anyone here. I'm not after publicity… Here is my retreat, I invite only my friends. But I love you very much, Vadim, and I love your program "Who's there...", where you talk about talented young people who now shine on the scene. You sort of have already come into my house, you know?
VV: Thank you, Tatyana Anatolyevna. Since you spoke about young and talented… You've always given beginners a life start. All of your students are champions. European champions, World champions, Olympic champions... I wonder if you know looking at a person that they can grow into a champion?
TAT: I had different athletes who were masters of sports, members of the team. But still, European Championships is only the first step. Of course, when you see a person and you sense potential greatness, then of course you prepare them for Olympic Games. And not just to participate but to win. Because if it is a real talent and you work with it correctly - develop, invent methods of influence on his psyche and develops yourself in parallel with him to run ahead of him, already great - then, I think, result will certainly come.
VV: It is true that you started working with Alexei Yagudin when Alexei Mishin ended working with him, claiming he wasn't promising?
TAT: You know, Alexey Nikolaevich wasn't the one to end their collaboration. He had several students, and Lyosha felt his coach liked Plushenko more. It was Lyosha who left. Besides, the fact that he won Worlds was an accident. He wasn't supposed to skate there.
VV: And you saw him as an extraordinary personality.
TAT: First he left Mishin, and then called me. Yeah, I never take people whom I cannot develop, who cannot be changed. I take only those whom I can improve. To make an impression.
VV: To make an impression, most importantly, on yourself or...
TAT: Well, yes. And them. Them. That's why they all skated for me.
VV: Tatiana Anatolyevna, you started as a figure skater, skated pairs with Georgy Proskurin. But you had an injury when you were 19...
TAT: Yes, I was on the national team, we were fourth at the European Championships. Belousova - Protopopov were first, Zhuk - Gorelik were second, the Germans were third, and we were fourth. That is to say, we had good results. But I was injured, and first of all, I needed to let go of my partner, which was very hard. Because that injury - habitual dislocation of the shoulder-joint - had spread to two joints. I could not skate. At 19, to realize that you cannot skate - it's a tragedy. It was very difficult for me, and I was almost ready to throw myself under a tram…
TAT: Yes. But I knew it was very ugly, and that I had a mother, and my life should go on somehow. Then I decided to go to GITIS to study choreography. Of course, it's a pity that I had not gotten there because a great dancer Marina Timofeevna Semenova taught there. I admire her teaching talent and the talent of her students who still teach so that I can see her in their pupils. But when my father learned that it was a drama school, he said that there never were and never will be artists in our family, and you, Tanya, get ready tomorrow morning and go to the rink. Then my old partner called me and asked for help: one coach left, and there was no substitute. I got a group of children of 10-11. Ira Moiseeva, Andrey Minenkov, Tanya Voytyuk were there… It was all a long time ago, but it seems that it has been recently, because life flew by very quickly. Very quickly.
VV: And you do pass your coaching experience, don't you?
TAT: Yes, and I think this is one of my biggest merits. Because it is a continuation of the profession. I'm very proud there are many coaches whom I taught who now work in Russia and all over the world. The reason I was invited to work in the Sports Committee is to help the team coaches. And to help and give advice for me is no hardship, because thank God, my head is still working... Well, and I still choreograph programs. I try not to lose this skill because choreography is very difficult. I'm 65 years old, after all. But I cannot, I cannot live without it... Shura, what are you eating, Shura?
VV: Are you talking to the poodle?
TAT: Yes, he's my friend. Shura, do not eat plum, it's sour... Back to our conversation, I pass over my experience, because I worked with all four disciplines - with pairs, with ice dancers, with girls and with boys. Often I felt very sick. I just had a surgery in Germany, an operation on the spine. This, of course, is not interesting to anyone. I had severe pain in the hip. But when I go out on the ice, I feel better. Now I spend a lot of time at the rink - I'm standing, I'm sitting or I'm leaning on boards. The humid air here, the music that I live with, these children who need me… I have to see them, to discover, to make them work, I have to help them to take their life in their own hands.
VV: Tatiana Anatolyevna, as I understand, you are very tough in your demands. Andrei Bukin wrote somewhere that you wouldn't let him to get married, to have children, only sport, sport, sport.
TAT: I do not know what it was that he wrote. He had still got married. And I told him, do not rush. And yet he got divorced as soon as he got married and had a baby.
VV: That means, above everything else, you are a seer.
TAT: One coach told me, "What am I to do with you? Maybe it would be better if you were blind. " Well, if I see it, if I can feel it in advance, what am I to do with it? I am rarely wrong, unfortunately. Because I live it, I love it, I know it, I think about it constantly.
VV: Do you use your remarkable foresight in real life, too, or only in your profession?
TAT: What is real life? For me, real life is the one I live. It is a family that I had. Yes, I don't have it anymore, but I still need to take care of Ilya Moiseevna, Vladimir's mother (Vladimir Krainev, Tatiana Tarasova's husband, pianist and teacher, died last year. - OK!). In the last four years, I lost all my loved ones... But you still have to go on living, life goes on. It is necessary to do something useful. I have a nephew whom I love, his children, my friends, I have an ice rink, without which I cannot imagine my life. I cannot imagine, if went on vacation, what would I do? I understand that if I have to recover, I must be recovering for something. Right? I have to recover in order to go back to work. As for me being tough ... I am not tough. In practice, I do not tolerate any arguments: if you trust me, you will listen to me. I love them so much that… too much, I think. I do not know what kind of memories they have, but I did really love them very much. I develop together with them, and I always listen more than talk. Because every person, especially talented, can give you something that you will never find in books.
VV: You said that you wanted to study choreography, but your father didn't let you and you listened to him. You always did what he said because you feared him?
TAT: No, he never meddled neither in my nor in my sister Galina's life. We did not fear him, we feared to let him down. And in general I'm not at all a docile person - never listened to anyone since childhood. Our family rules were very strict in the sense of discipline, but I still always got my way. In fact, our family was quite democratic. And the foundation of our Tarasovs family was incredible love and care for each other.
VV: Your father, Anatoly Tarasov, was an outstanding coach, he coached hockey players, real men. And how did he brought you up? Also like a man?
TAT: He loved us very much, but brought us up like men, yeah. I was four years old when he taught me how to swim. Thrown me into the sea... What could I do - I started swimming.
VV: I have read that he made you do exercises outdoors every day at 7 am.
TAT: Yes, and very rightly so, now I understand it.
VV: Tell me, did you have some kind of girlish joy growing up - dolls, for example - or just sport?
TAT: We loved what we did. It was great. Mila Pakhomova and I, we knew each other since we were five. We danced all day long, came up with new dances, we didn't have time for dolls. And at that time, after the war, you know, there were no dolls. I had one whose head fell off. There was one apple a day, two if you were lucky, and you had to stand in line to get those.
VV: So you were skating since you were four?
TAT: Well, yes, but we also had classical ballet and folk dances, and we loved it for life. It turns out that through sport, I got a huge love for ballet. Because I saw everything that was shown in Moscow, in Leningrad, in Novosibirsk. Absolutely everything. And I watched all twenty performances that were on at the time. I watched all the rehearsals. I even remember Maya Plisetskaya rehearsing Bejart's "Bolero"... There is no place at the Bolshoi Theatre where I hadn't sit. I knew all the cast, was friends with the dancers. And I got to this world via school for working youth number eighteen, where future great directors, actors and dancers had studied. Including Moiseev Ballet dancers. Friendship with Igor Alexandrovich Moiseyev gave me a lot because I attended his rehearsals as well… How did I find time for all those things when I was young I do not understand. (Laughs.)
VV: And tell me, with such a busy schedule did you have time for love?
TAT: What are you talking about, Vadim? I've been married three times. Of course, there were romances too, wonderful romances ... But you know, there is only one true passion.
VV: It is sport?
TAT: Yes, my own thing. That has not changed. The only thing I regret, it's that I did not study in the university. I regret that I wasn't able to study philology.
VV: But you had your own universities…
TAT: Yes, but it wouldn't get in the way of that. Even if I had had a baby, which I could have done one hundred fifty thousand times ... But it is another question.
VV: You did not want to have a child because you thought that it would interfere with your work?
TAT: No, no, no, just because it was my mindset – I always thought it would happen later.
VV: And then it was too late.
TAT: And then, yes, somehow... But you know, we suppose, but God disposes. That's it. I help my students a lot. And I always thought they were perfect people. Here is my grandson Fyodor, son of my nephew Alexei, he plays hockey and is very much alike his great-grandfather. He is now at a summer training camp. He just turned five years old, and he has five practices daily, they end up at ten o'clock. I like it a lot because it teaches discipline for life. And he tries, I can see that he, a small child, already knows to be patient. Because our life and everyone's life requires patience.
VV: Tatiana Anatolyevna, about passion. As far as I know, you and Krainev got married very quickly…
TAT: Nine days after they met. Yes, yes, yes. (Laughs.)
VV: Look, it is incredible!
TAT: And we had lived together for 33 years.
VV: This is kind of frivolity - to go and get married after nine days dating.
TAT: It's terrible. My mother was shocked.
VV: The more so that you were already married twice. And Krainev once.
TAT: Yes, honestly, I had no such intention. My second husband had died...
VV: He was an athlete?
TAT: No, he was an engineer. I had never been married to an athlete. Small mercy of God. My first husband was actor Alexey Samoilov, Eugeny Valeryanovich Samoilov's son and brother of Tatiana Samoilova. We were together only for a year. I fell in love with "Sovremennik".
VV: And after the death of your second husband, you completely had closed that topic?
TAT: Yes, and Vladimir Vsevolodovich Krainev was the one who reopened it. He was an incredible man and an absolute child. Very strong, very talented, very gifted person. He loved life like no one else did. He had a terrific sense of humor - he simply created jokes out of thin air every second. He could have been on the national TV for all the country to laugh. Vova had often said that he was bored with life, because he had already read all the books. He was a man with big heart, very kind. His courtship had got me confused.
VV: I wonder what did it look like?
TAT: He showered me with flowers when there were no flowers in the country. On the first day he and his friend, pianist Oleg Maisenberg, came to my house to dinner, broke the tea set because they played an orchestra and timpani. (Laughs) One fortune teller predicted that I would meet him… I did not want her to tell my fortune, but she said, you will meet the person you'll be happy for life with, do not look that he is short. He is like an artist, but not an artist. Not the one that you see on TV and in the movies. Marry him at once, you'll be like behind a stone wall. On the same day I met him at our mutual friend's.
VV: And on which of the nine days did you meet Vladimir's mother?
TAT: We got married while his mother, Ilya Moiseevna, was not there - she was at that moment in Chisinau, where she had taken care of her mother. She was recovering from stroke. We went to get acquainted just for one day. And his grandmother, who just had started speaking after the stroke, asked me: "What is your education?" I hesitated, I worked so hard, did this and that, became the youngest honored coach, I had not yet ... Well, of course, I was educated in the Institute of Physical Education. By the way, it was very useful to me... In general, she said: "A person without higher education is not a human but an animal". Turned to the wall and did not say a single word. I laughed so hard. In general, they were very funny. They are still a lot of fun.
VV: Tatiana Anatolyevna, your husband had lived in Germany for many years…
TAT: Yes, he worked like a horse there. He worked great. I came to him, and he came to me, we always went on vacation together when we had a vacation... We talked on the phone every day and went to see each other every six to eight weeks. He liked to come to America. He loved it. I traveled with him all over Europe, was at his concerts in America and Japan. Of course, I was very lucky: I saw and heard Evgeny Mravinsky to conduct, I was in the Golden Hall of Europe in Musikverein. All the concert halls at Volodya's concerts were always not just full but overcrowded, and he always got standing ovations...
VV: And had he come to your main events? For example, to see your athletes' Olympic performances.
TAT: Well, no, we did not do that.
VV: Why? What is wrong if your husband comes to the competition?
TAT: Nothing is wrong with that, but at an event I do not live my own life. I cannot pay attention to anyone but my students at that moment. Volodya in general was very proud of me. As Yury Rost said, "He boasted of you." He had helped me a lot. He performed The Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for Bestemianova and Bukin. My theater that existed 14 years - it was his idea, he wrote the entire program, all 14 ballets. He took an active part in my life, but competitions… I'm used to be alone. Alone against everyone. Many coaches have the business together with their husbands. Or have a journalist husband… I used to rely only on myself and my student. I'm not used to be with support.
VV: And was always like that? Even when you were married to Krainev?
TAT: You know, just after I lost him, I realized that he used to have my back. Now I understand it… It's hard for me. And with him it was very easy to live, because he never denied me anything. And he never asked me what I spent my money on. Although I never wanted anything crazy… I do not care what kind of car we drive, what kind of bag I have. I'd rather spend the money on the athletes' costumes, rather pay for music that I will get the first, or give it to a girl who I help for twenty years, she is from orphanage, and her two children. For me it is more important than to look fashionable.
VV: You are an all-or-nothing person by nature?
TAT: Yes. Unfortunately.
VV: In the ice shows that you judged in recent years...
TAT: They made me famous. (Laughs.)
VV: ... Everybody admired you but also feared like a plague. My brother Igor who took part in the "Ice Age" was happy when you said something nice about him. And the Olympians who participated in the show were just as happy.
TAT: Apparently, I didn't irritate them or my scores were correct, so they weren't angry with me.
VV: Well, you can say something nice in advance.
TAT: If you listen, I'd always given some hope, because I loved and respected everyone very much. Because it's a very hard work. It's hard to skate. And falls are painful, too. And they were all injured.
VV: Tatiana Anatolyevna, who is your favorite pupil? Alexei Yagudin, perhaps?
TAT: They are all my favorites. Kulik, Mao Asada, Sasha Cohen. I loved Moiseeva and Minenkov the inimitables, and Bestemianova and Bukin - I was happy with them in their own way over the years. Lyosha, maybe, was the most difficult. I wanted to show the world what a tremendous talent he had. And I succeeded. Because it was like I had broken the Berlin Wall all by myself - everyone was against me: the country, the federation ... They did not want Alexei to win, because for them, Plushenko was the first. And I knew that we were going to win. I just knew it. This was before the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.
VV: Tell me, your father's example, what did he teach you in life? He had a difficult life: he had to retire at 56...
TAT: I knew from childhood that he was a genius, he was great. He was exactly great. There is no other coach in the world like him. And they all have to live with it. Let anyone win eighteen times in a row, then they can be compared to him... I realized that there are more jealous and mean people than decent and talented people. But they know that talented people are very vulnerable, and try to bite them in all places - they just have to survive somehow… But my father even when retired still always invented something - like a "Golden Puck". And it is still alive, and our hockey players derive their strength from there. But there is not even a single palace in the country named after him. And in Moscow, on the Walk of Fame in CSKA, his bust has been established only three years ago. It's all been a break through. It's terrible. But never mind, the main thing is to stay in healthy spirit. Even in a wheelchair you can go and still be useful. We see how our... What is the strongest team we have? Paralympic. Does it tell you something? Sitting in a wheelchair you can do a lot for your country.
VV: You have such an optimistic nature, Tatyana Anatolyevna!
TAT: Well, one must live somehow, right? What to do? We have to live and look ahead.