Interview with Eteri Tutberidze at Finlandia Trophy by Andrei Simonenko "Schindler's list music was Julia's own choice"
AS: Was there anything in Julia's skate today that you're not happy about? For an outsider it looked like a triumph.
ET: It was a step in the work we have planned out with Julia. Can't say I'm not happy about something in particular. There is still a room for improvement. Julia did a great job today, it was, probably, 90% of what we have prepared for the time being.
AS: I read in one of your interviews that your goal for the beginning of the season was to show new, grown up Julia. Have we seen her today?
ET: Julia has grown up — that much is clear. She is completely different in the way she approaches competitions now. I would say this is a comeback of Julia who never gave up in a new, more mature quality.
AS: You're talking about personality, but speaking of musicality, projection? I thought Julia's Schindler's List is a step up in her skating
ET: I'm almost certain there will be critisizms. People will say: the girl is 15 — why take this kind of music. But weren't there kids, teenagers in that list? Didn't they have their own stories? Do you remember the main poster for the film, the girl in the red coat. She went throughout the movie. I think this topic should not be closed off for children, you cannot say it's only for adults. Maybe this girl has something to say. She has her own story.
AS: Working on this program, did you watch this film with Julia, discuss this difficult topic?
ET: It was before we started working on it. Julia has chosen that music, and I was surprised by her choice. She watched this film many times, and she said she wants to portray that girl. We didn't try to make her look older. Why? This program is her telling her story. And I have to give huge credit to Ilya Averbukh for all the work in searching for the new Julia. When she chose that music, he said it would be difficult, but we'd manage. Despite very tight schedule, he found time to choreograph three programs — SP and LP for Julia, and LP for Sergei.
AS: It was a debut for Sergei as well in a new quality. Not only he got Lutz, but he also got best PCS in his career.
ET: Yes, he told me it was his record. He did a great job today. He in general works very hard. So far I'm getting to know what he is like in competitions. But I am, of course, very happy with him. He did, probably, 99% of what we've prepared for the time being. He could maybe did a 4-3 in the SP, and in the LP, considering it has 8 jump passes, not 3, I think, he did almost 100%. But I have to repeat, it is for the time being. You cannot do a five years work in three days. It is impossible.
AS: When he first came to you, what was the first thing you started working on?
ET: We worked on learning to work. As I was told, for him the most difficult is practices, daily grind. He likes to compete, it's like a holiday to him. And I am the kind of person who has to bring some kind of a backup to competition. For me it is a big stress when I don't quite understand what we have up the sleeve when we go out on ice. And I made him do several run-throughs, again and again. It was probably the main thing we worked on. And also we worked on Lutz (smiles).
AS: Sergei says it's very important for him to improve stroking, basic skating skills...
ET: We work everyday on it. And I was surprised because usually senior skaters think it's unimportant. Let's jump, let's spin, let's work on choreography. Why do we have to do crossovers and triple turns? But he works on it, he tries.
During the first week, he maybe didn't understand it, but then he got into it. Good for him. He is a very talented guy. We'll see...
AS: Do Julia and Sergei practice at the same time?
AS: Is there any rivalry between them? Like she does a difficult combination, and he has to top it...
ET: Not like that, they are girl and boy. Working together is good to cope with the routine. One of them just finished a run-through, is exhausted. Another one understands that it's inevitable, he also has to do it. And as for jumps, they have different agenda, different jump content.
AS: Fans are quick to make up their mind. Now it's the beginning of the season, almost every skater has already performed in at least one event. Julia and Sergei both skating-wise and scoring-wise are now the leaders in Russia. Is it to soon to draw conclusions?
ET: Too soon. Now it's the beginning of the season, as I said, they have shown almost everything they had to show. What next? I know what Julia has to do. I know what Segei has to do. They have to work and do what they have to at every step of their way. If they manage to do that, they'll get the result.