Kulinicheva's interview with Mozer for sport-express.ru `Volosozhar/trankov are far from their peak'
EK: Many are worried after all those world best records by Volosozhar/Trankov this season that perhaps they peaked too early.
NM: We are not on our top yet. Neither functionally nor mentally. Not even nearly. Their great skating in Skate America is not surprising though. It's a middle of October, they still have 3 months left before their main competition.
EK: Was the GP start more full of nerves taking it's an Olympic season?
NM: Not at all. Just a normal working mood. Perhaps even a bit calmer than before. That's about Tanya and Maksim. As far as Ksenia and Fedor go - that was harder. We haven't been working together for long enough, so we don't know yet how to help them exactly what to say when. We are still to gain the experience we already have with Tanya and Maksim after years of working together.
EK: Skating to JCSS was Maksim's long time dream. Were you wary?
NM: Frankly, yes. I had my cons. But in the end their will was more important. They are an adult athletes and they know what they want. You should had seen their faces and eyes when we walked out after the show in Broadway! It was the main argument for me. We all understand quite well in our current status no matter which music they would choose, what would they wear - it will be talked about. Some will like it, some will not. It will not be left unnoticed. But we don't aim to please everyone. We decided not to take chances in the Olympic season. I hope we made the right decision.
EK: How big was the temptation to use a Russian music in the home Olympics?
NM: It was there. For me mainly. Sochi will be a triumph of the Russian music: Tchaikovski, Rakhmaninov, `Katuisha', `Swan Lake', `Carmen'. And there we are - a Russian pair with an American musicale. Maksim joked in one of the press conferences we went even further: we will be skating to Khachaturian in Sochi.
EK: Speaking of which, how did you come up with that music for the Olympic SP?
NM: We had much more ideas than time left. Actually there are so many ideas left that I'd love to implement with Tanya and Maksim. That is should they stay after Sochi.
As for the SP - that was much harder than the LP. Everything the guys offered I was not convinced for various reasons. The same with Kolia Morozov's offers. And then once Maksim came to the ice and just put the `Masquarade'. They started skating and I got goosebumps. They were so much in harmony! Stas (Morozov) agreed: this is exactly what they need. From there on working on the programme was quite fast.
EK: When Volosozhar/Trankov just paired you probably thought how will the Olympic season go on. Do things happen as you imagined so far?
NM: It's not something you can get ready for just as you can't be ready for a happiness or a tragedy that happen in life. I'm an optimist in general. There is so much negativity, darkness and bad things around us. When you turn the TV on it looks like a horror movie rather than news. I try to see the half full glass all the time. That is what I teach the guys, how I set them on.
EK: Not only their programmes are discussed in length, but also their costumes and, say, every thing Trankov writes in his twitter. Were you ready for that?
NM: We got used. It is weird at first, but then you start taking it forgranted. Maksim is a very interdependent man. Many times he says very right things. Like when everyone said the death theme must be shown in the `Masquarade'. We insisted on our own. Our theme is a glimpse of a happiness, when people first meet, fall in love and dance. It's the same with everything: the yellow trousers, the hair style, other things. My friends laugh they can find out every tiny detail about us on the internet: how the guys were dressed, how many times they sneezed. We want to have something left in private. Sometimes people don't care about it and try to dig into our lives. So we have to be careful - some things might be misunderstood. It's much harder for the guys, of course.
EK: Do you mind when on the Internet your pupils are blamed having a mega star behaviour?
NM: I repeated it many times and will repeat again: Tanya and Maksim are hard workers. They remained as unstoppable as they used to be. Everything they say in the interviews is exactly what they mean. Unfortunately people are looking for 2nd meaning, for example in Maksim's words. They don't behave as stars. It's peoples imagination. I keep hearing the same about myself as well. If it happens it must be the lack of time - I can't give enough attention to everyone. We set a goal and we aim to get there. We have to sacrifice a lot for that goal. This season the group became bigger, so there is much more work to do. We hardly ever come home.
EK: I understand it that you want Volosozhar/Trankov to keep skating after Sochi2014.
NM: Yes. It's a contradiction. But there are things that will be mindblowing should they skate them,
EK: Did you have that conversation with Tatiana and Maksim?
NM: Of course. Sochi is nearer and nearer and the thought `what next' creeps in more often. The guys didn't have enough time together. Maksim is joking there are still several Grand Prix they never participated. But our sport becomes more and more demanding, while they are not getting any younger. They say should they have enough left and be healthy they will skate some more. Perhaps a year or two. Who knows. But I can tell they are sincere in their will to stay. When looking at such skaters as Savchenko/Szelkowy or Pang/Tong who are older than Tanya and Maksim you realize another Olympic cycle is possible. But a lot will depend on how the rules change, who will be ruling the Russian sports..
EK: What about the team event in Sochi?
NM: We will participate it. I think it'll be for a good : they will have a chance to get rid of the first wave of the emotions that such a competition always comes with. Besides it's a new and an interesting thing. The only problem might be the timing: thye would have just 2 days before their individual competition. On the other hand it might come as an advantage - might be better than participate the team event and then wait for 10 days for the individual.
EK: Tell a bit about the first months of work with Bazarova/Larionov
NM: Vera and Yuri have the Russian music this season : `Polovetski dances'. I wanted something new for them. I can't see Yuri as a prince yet, but the theme he was skating to before - that was too much. He spent too much time in the same role. I wanted to see him as a wanderer, a rocker, something else. He lost weight, we changed his hairstyle completely - put it back. He grew a beard and became an American style hunk. He has a certain charisma. I keep telling them: you have to realize what you worth, you must try to be good looking, intelligent and interesting.
EK: I heard rumours the first goal was to become healthy. Especially for Vera.
NM: That's right. When we had our first talk I told them straight away: I will not be wasting time with you. In order to create a necklace first you tie a knot, otherwise all the beards will fall apart. We went to a lot of specialists. Our general strength coach Vitalii Moskalenko helped a lot. Vera is under a constant observation. I can see how powerful she became. This is what I wanted - not just sleepy romance on the ice.
Now their skating is powerful while having very complicated elements. I came up with a lift which no one else does. It's their TM. Something every athlete should have.
EK: Bazarova and Larionov are not sharing the ice with Volosozhar/Trankov and Stolbova/Klimov.
NM: It was decided at the first place. Everyone must have their time with the coach. When Ksenia and Fedor came to me I told them straight away: you have to understand I have a pair n.1 and I can't be at 2 places at once. You have to wait. I watch them all the time, give advice, make the training plans, but it's Vlad Zhavnirski who coaches them.
As for Bazarova/Larionov - now they work with Viktor Kudriavtsev as well. I attend the competitions and I dont' want them to be left alone. We had a training camp in the USA all together and it was very comfortable.