Interview with Tatiana Tarasova: «Problems cannot be over all at once — it never happens» http://winter.sport-express.ru/figur...reviews/24762/ (by Elena Vaitsekhovskaya)
She may not have her own students, skip skating events, but she always stays in the limelight. Whenever I talk to coaches, I hear "Tarasova advised..." When I talk to athletes: "Tarasova choreographed..."
This time, we met with an outstanding coach in Novogorsk just before the closed test skates had begun.
But there is nothing to tell yet! - Tarasova said in surprise to an interview request.
EV: I wanted to talk about a trend that is in full swing right now. I'm referring to the tendency to involve everyone to help Russian figure skaters in any possible way.
TAT: It's nothing new. And I'm glad that in some way, I helped one of the strongest Russian ice dance teams, Ekaterina Ryazanova and Ilia Tkachenko, to go to the United States to train with Igor Shpilband. I never worked alone either - I was always helped by very strong professionals.
EV: Nevertheless, now Russian figure skating looks strikingly «open»: Alexei Gorshkov takes his students to America to Shpilband, not hesitating to admit that he learns a lot himself. Pasquale Camerlengo comes to Alexei Mishin to work on programs, despite the fact that his wife Angelika Krylova has her own dance school where he also plays an active role.
TAT: I am not surprised exactly because of what I said, I worked like that for the last decade. With Americans, Israelis, Japanese, Canadians... No one was surprised when Evan Lysacek came to Novogorsk few years ago. He spent there two weeks, lost ten kilograms, and most importantly, he got an idea how you have to train if you want to win.
It's simply when we work with our experts, nobody notices. And when you go to Shpilband... But Shpilband is ours, too. He'd skated in my theatre for many years. And in America, he grew up in a good coach. Together with Marina Zueva. My biggest upset this year was that they have split. Because together they moved ice dance forward.
EV: You know them both very well, you visited Zueva and Shpilband in the U.S. Did you try to somehow prevent split of such a unique tandem?
TAT: I do not give advice when people don't ask me. It's such a pity that Marina and Igor do not work together anymore. I respect them both, but ... It really is a pity.
I do not think we have the right to discuss and criticize their split. We can only wait and see what happens next. By the way, it is not entirely unlikely that all this will lead to one result: the gap between the leaders and everyone else in ice dance will be significantly reduced.
EV: Why do you think so?
TAT: Just because Marina and Igor has already worked alone. And their athlethes' results were not as impressive as the ones they reached together. It's complicated — something like that happened in my coaching life too. Working together is not easy for two strong coaches: it is a rivalry, and it's everyday. But let's see. From my point of view, this whole situation has given an absolutely real chance to the rest of dancers to get closer to the leaders. The only question is, will they be able to take advantage of it.
EV: You often attend practices of Russian ice dancers. How would you assess the situation that prevailed the past season?
TAT: I do not want to discuss this topic. Let's wait for the competitions to start.
EV: But who your attention is directed to the most?
TAT: I made a short program for Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov, helped them in practices, and actively involved Yana Khokhlova in this work.
EV: Doesn't Yana work with ice dancers?
TAT: She works where she is needed. She worked a lot with Elena Vodorezova's skaters at the summer camp in Andorra, helped Alexei Gorshkov with lifts for Ryazanova and Tkachenko. We sent them to Shpilband with ten new lifts, so that Igor could choose from.
I, in turn, try to constantly teach Yana. I see that she has a focus on coaching, she understands it. This is a very important quality. Not all the athletes can work when the work is aimed not at them but at another person.
Similarly, we came to Alexander Svinin and Irina Zhuk's practices. I really hope that their team will win gold at the World Junior Championship this year. I was at Natalia Pavlova and Artur Dmitriev,'s practices, I've seen their pairs and I can say that I liked what I saw. Also I made programs for Maxim Kovtun. That's about how I disposed of myself this summer. If I had my own skating rink, my own ice, I do not exclude that this season I would have started full-time coaching, not just consulting.
EV: Nothing is being done in this direction?
TAT: Unfortunately. Maybe something will be done with help of Irina Viner - she has plans to build an ice rink.
EV: When you agreed to start working with Kovtun, you didn't mind that Nikolai Morozov expelled him from his group?
TAT: I believe that talented boys with a lot of coaching effort already invested in them and who are in a very difficult period of growth do not deserve being kicked. They deserve to be educated and trained for professional work.There aren't many such boys in our country, by the way. You do not even need fingers of one hand - I am afraid that they will remain free. Maxim is now working very well, Elena (Buyanova-Vodorezova) is very happy with him, and I gladly volunteered to help so that the boy wouldn't lose the season.
EV: A year ago, when you and I spoke about Adelina Sotnikova, you said that because of her puberty it would be perhaps the most difficult season of her life. Now you continue working with her?
TAT: Only when her coach asks me to. I choreographed long program and show number for Adelina.
EV: Isn't it a pity that Adelina skated such a magnificent program as last year's "Bolero" for such a short time and not in her best season?
TAT: She keeps the program as one of her gala numbers. We redesigned costume so that "Bolero" is now perceived even better. Last summer, when Adelina went to the shows in Japan, this program got standing ovations.
EV: So you can say that growth problems are over?
TAT: Problems cannot be over all at once — it never happens. One problem ends, another comes. But I like how Adelina trains, what she has become. She's different.
EV: Mao Asada came to you this summer as well?
TAT: Yes. I choreographed her free program. Then Mao came again because in summer, the ISU Technical Committee had once again changed the rules, and the program had to be changed to fit in with the new requirements. For some reason, technical committee does not consider the fact that most programs is being set in May...
I even wrote a letter to Ottavio Cinquanta about it (ISU president- EV). Including the fact that I think it is not quite right to make any changes to the rules a year before the Olympics. Incidentally, we discussed this with Irina Viner, and she told me that in rhythmic gymnastics all the changes in the rules are terminated two years before the Games. I think it is much more right.
As far as I know, the changes were proposed by a Canadian coach whose students I will not name you - just because I do not know any. I must say that I was struck by the statement explaining the need for change: "To make judging easier." If judges have so much trouble telling choreographic sequence from technical, let them stay home.
EV: Back to ice dance, which of the Russian teams would you personally place a bet on this season ?
TAT: I'm afraid to make any predictions. There will be a blood fight for the third spot. Which we have not seen in many years. But why only for the third? For all the others too. No need to play favorutes, to push anyone. We just need to see how the athlethes will sort themselves out. To be honest, I cannot even imagine how this fight can end.