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Interview with Anjelica Krylova: "I want beauty"

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by quiqie, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. quiqie

    quiqie Well-Known Member


    Anjelika Krylova: "I want beauty!"

    A month ago, many famous skaters came to "Minsk-Arena" for the Junior World Figure Skating Championships. Great coaches, famous athletes. But for some reason I immediately wanted to interview Anjelika Krylova, this oriental beauty of Uzbek descent, who married an Italian and lives in the United States. She rarely comes to Moscow, and she has been to Belarus just once, for the USSR championships many years ago. But the two-time world champion, 1998 Olympic silver medalist in ice dance has not settled for being just a housewife. 38-year-old Anjelika coaches together with her husband, Pasquale Camerlengo, and very successfully. Most recent proof of it are the results of the World Championships in Nice, where one of their teams - Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat of France - has won a bronze medal, and another - Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje - have finished in 4th place. It is remarkable, especially when compared to the performances of Russian dancers, who stayed behind. And Pechalat skated with pain: a couple of weeks before the Worlds in their home country, Nathalie broke her nose in practice, but decided to postpone the operation. One can't help but remember that for five years Krylova, as she says, was dying from pain, but still went out on the ice. In recent years the centre of ice dance has moved overseas. The Olympics in Vancouver, as well as 2011 and 2012 World Championships, were dominated by the athletes who train in the U.S. Musings of young and successful coach Anjelika Krylova are interesting in this context as well. Anjelika began our conversation (which was before her American students Aldridge/Eaton became third at "Minsk-Arena") with words of admiration:

    - Ice palace in Minsk is amazing, it's fantastic! World-class arena. I saw all the rinks, cycle track, speed skating rink. The palace is great, as are the ice and lighting. All is well maintained. I really liked it. It matters - the rink, the atmosphere. Here the atmosphere is warm, conditions are wonderful, hotels are good. Honestly, I did not expect it.

    - You've became a big authority as a coach. Did it take a long time to adapt to a new life after the life in sports?

    - In principle, yes. My husband and I started from scratch. We decided together to create a school from literally nothing. We had only one pair. I finished skating professionally in 2004. After that I had my first child in 2005, then the second in 2007. And I've been very busy with children for the first three years. I coached, but I could not travel as coaches do.

    - You've been living in America for a long time, haven't you?

    - Very long. In 1994 we moved there with Natalia Linichuk. She had a big group in Delaware: Grishuk with Platov, Averbukh with Lobacheva, Galya Chait and Sergei Sakhnovsky, I and Oleg Ovsyannikov. And I stayed in Delaware for ten years. Then my husband and I were invited to Detroit, provided the conditions, and we began our coaching career. And somehow it worked. Of course, it was a big luck that athletes had faith in us and came to us. Now we have a very large group - fourteen pairs.

    - Wow!

    - Yes, from all countries. And there are five coaches, including Natasha Annenko (she skated with Genrikh Sretenski), Massimo Scali.

    - Who is the head of the school?

    - My husband. But everyone in the team has their function: someone works on technique, someone creates programs. To coordinate so many teams, significant organization efforts are needed. Pasquale does it. Now there are more athletes who want to come to us, there is not enough ice, we need to ask. We are working on it. The Detroit Club has grown a lot. There are great single skaters (including the (reigning) National American champion), and especially ice dance school is strong, because Igor Shpilband is nearby, in Campton, another ice dance centre is in Ann Arbor. All in one place. Of course, the adaptation period took some time. It took three or four years to start coaching seriously. Everything has played its role: luck and hard work and love for what we do. And, perhaps, to some extent, a talent, too. My husband worked in France before, with Muriel Boucher-Zazoui in Lyon. However, we wanted to do something else. Perhaps, we could collaborate with someone. Many athletes who left the sport did that: they worked with extra-class coaches first - Tarasova, Tchaikovskaya, Dubova. It was easier to learn like that. But for us everything worked out different way.

    - You went your own way from the beginning?

    - Oh, you know, I wanted at first to work with Linichuk. I asked her, offered my help, because I had an injury, the sport had ended very suddenly, and I wanted to learn a little bit. However, it did not work out for us. And now, frankly, I am glad that I got it myself, with my own mistakes, disappointments and joys. You don't understand it fully before you go through it. But this is, of course, only the beginning! There is still so much to learn, how to communicate, to understand the psychology of athletes. It's still difficult, to tell the truth, because I'm young, and some skaters are grown-ups, for example, the French pair Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat. Fabian is 30 or 31, and he thinks I'm almost the same age. And to hold him down a little, to make it clear that I am the coach and he is an athlete was not easy, especially in the first year they worked with us. Everything takes time. And there is very little time left, because the Olympics are in two years. They are yielding, little by little, but it’s still quite difficult. And we have a very strong Canadian team, Weaver/Poje. They are very much talked about now, they've made huge progress. They all train on the same ice, compete, perhaps, it pushes them for greater progress. After all, we also trained with Grishuk and Platov together for the first or second place. And Virtue/Moir and White/Davis also train like this, on the same ice. Maybe there is something to it.

    - Such a fierce rivalry probably doesn't let them even rest between practices, let alone at competitions!

    - Yes. But the athletes seem to understand that we are trying to give everyone our maximum.

    - Here, at the Junior World Championships, you have an Estonian team that you started coaching not long ago. Our federation is also a small one, so this experience is interesting. Who provides the funding for these athletes?

    - Estonian Federation does not fund this team at all. Parents pay for everything. Yes, it's hard for small federations, even if there are talented athletes. It's not like in the Soviet Union, when thousands of children skated, and then there was a selection - that's why everything went so easy. Figure skating was very popular at that time. It's good that nowadays its popularity comes back, partly, of course, thanks to Averbukh and "Ice Age". I'm very glad. I always cheer for Russian athletes, because in my heart I'm Russian. Of course, I would like for Russian ice dance to get on a higher level.

    - And why isn't it happening, what do you think?

    - I do not know, I do not want to blame anyone, because everyone works very hard. Lena Kustarova is a great coach, she works with many teams, they do a great job. It's just that sometimes it's hard to get both dances right - the free and the original. Something just doesn't work sometimes. I think that this season, Bobrova/Soloviev's program got a bit of critique. Although, as for me, it is very good, dramatic. Maybe they were a bit off style, because the ISU now wants something more cheerful and uplifting. But for me the program and the skaters are strong. I do not know, it's hard to say because for me, they are our competitors and I cannot criticize them. The second Russian team is also very good, they just are not ready yet.

    - But Russian ice dance falls behind not only this season. I'm sure the reason is not only the coach ...

    - No, I think, the Federation now provides the funding, they try very hard to be ready for Sochi. And, I believe, they get money for everything. Coaches just need to give the athletes the direction: what to do, which choreographers to work with, which acrobats, etc. Now there is a lot of different work that we didn't do before, because now the rules were different. Now classical ballet is important. However, probably that's what Russians do, for me it's difficult to judge.

    - When does your team of experts invite dancers and acrobats?

    - Usually in the beginning of the season, when the programs are being set. We look for new elements, lifts, new tricks. Now it is very important for the technical mark that greatly influences the total.

    - What is the difference between the dances that were in your time and now?

    - I quit the sport in 1999. And the ISU had introduced the new judging system in season 1999/2000, I think, for greater objectivity. But for me the actual dancing it's the dances that were before. Now there is a program that consists of elements and transitions between them. It lacks a certain integrity. Its very rare now, well, maybe top seven or eight pairs at Worlds have it. But mostly there are repetitive elements, and it's so dull that the audience is not interested. It becomes elements for the sake of elements, there is no emotion, integrity and character. There are very rare exceptions - teams with a truly great technique. Perhaps this is what makes the difference ...

    - What then, where are we going?

    - I do not know. We will continue to skate well, to keep ice dance in the Olympic family. Of course, I would like to see more skating, something interesting, something new. But the technique that was before - deep edges - as I see it, is gone. Everyone does the same. Interesting transitions, interesting elements are lost.

    - They are no longer scored?

    - Yes. Therefore, everyone is obsessed with technique. There is very little artistry left.

    - The situation cannot be changed?

    - I do not know. In the ISU, they think about it, hold consultations with coaches all the time, ask: "What do you want?" Maybe they take something into consideration, but, it seems, they'll do as they would like anyway. However, even under this system, we have to find some soul. The soul that was before, especially Russians, they had it, is lost now. I cannot speak about myself, I will say about the older generation. Ponomarenko, Zhulin... It was such skating... They are still my idols. Yes, now there are Canadians, Americans, but still for me it's not the same. They perform elements, they do the tricks, but something is missing!

    - You talk about it with such regret.

    - Yes. And you don't think so? It's just different levels of skating.

    - It's not exciting anymore.

    - Exactly! That's what I'm saying, there is no soul in ice dance, there should be projection. Of course, the Canadians are a unique pair. Scott Moir is an enormous talent. They tried to attune to this system. For me, they are number one, even though they compete closely with the Americans. But I really would like to see Russian ice dancers on top of the podium. And the sooner the better. I do not know what will happen in Sochi, but after the Olympics they should ...

    - Now it's too late to change anything?

    - It is very difficult. Of course, nothing is impossible. Let's see, wait and see. The Federation will work, coaches, athletes.

    - You mentioned the rivalry between Virtue/Moir and Davis/White. It in some way resembles the fierce battle between you and another team coached by Natalia Linichuk.

    - You mean Grishuk and Platov? Yes, there is something similar. However, for the first two years we, Oleg Ovsyannikov and I, were not quite the same level, and when the serious competition began in 1998, Grishuk and Platov switched to another coach. And Virtue/Moir and Davis/White continue to train together. So for me, it's interesting how it works for them. And everyone wants to know, I think! Surely the Americans are eager to win the Olympics. And they have what it takes. But the Canadians are not giving up either. I do not know how they are going to continue in the same group ...

    - How do you explain to yourself why you didn't win at Olympics in 1998?

    - Oh, you know, I do not think about it now, absolutely. There is only one first place, and I think we did everything we could. Many experts say that we should have won. And the others are sure that Grishuk and Platov should. Opinions split. I think that our federation supported them, and that was what really mattered. I do not think we skated worse. Just the federation decided that I would be able to skate for another four years until the next Olympics.

    - The federation did not know about your health?

    - Apparently, no, they thought, I would last for one more Olympic cycle, maybe with some treatment, and so on. But I had some really serious problems with my back, cervical disc hernia, vertebrae displacement. I felt really bad, suffered a lot… Yes, there was resentment at the beginning. But what we could do? We did our best. And judges score according to the federation, unless someone makes serious mistakes. However, I do not want to badmouth Russian Figure Skating Federation. Of course, they did a lot for me and for my victories. But I think that that's how it happened at Nagano Olympics. Because if we won there, we would quit. And then there would be a gap, because there was no one after us. That's how it happened. But it's okay, a silver medal is also a very good result.

    - Now in Russia they talk a lot about repatriating Russian coaches. Have anyone approached you?

    - No. But Kolya Morozov has already returned to Moscow. He works with many ice dancers and single skaters. They invited him, provided all the conditions in Novogorsk. And I think he works well. Let's see in Sochi, everything is aimed for that… No one has offered me anything. But I am not ready to leave now, because I have everything in Detroit, it just does not make sense to leave. If there is any Russian top team (either juniors or seniors), then of course I would very much like to work with them. But I am not ready to go and leave everything I have. Although I love Moscow and I'm always happy to come back. I feel at home there.

    - Does your mother live with you in America?

    - No, my mother lives in Moscow. I have homes in both countries: I have a place to stay if I come. We have house in Detroit, children go to school there. We have a nanny. And my husband helps, too. Now he is at home, but we will go together to the senior World championships, because we will have five teams in Nice. It is a very good achievement.

    - Teams from what countries?

    - From France, Canada, USA, Australia and Italy. It was a big leap for the past two years. We have reached a very high level. It's great, I'm happy with this result. And we're not going to stop there, we go ahead and hope to reach world's podium. And Olympic, of course.

    - How is it to work with your own husband?

    - It's hard. But I really like it. I think that we really complement each other. We are different, even in technique. And when we start to explain things to athletes, we have to come to an agreement first, because I'm from Russian school, and he's from British.

    - British? But he's Italian!

    - Yes. But his coach was an Englishman, and they had many training camps in England. And they were taught a little differently than we were in Russia. They have different carriage, different knee bend. Of course, we have debates, but somehow we come to an agreement, we try. And I won't say that we always work in close contact. He works with some athletes, I work with others. Then we discuss. I think it's wonderful. When husband and wife skate as a team, they are always together. Hence the fights and everything else since it's tiring. And we, Pasquale and me, we are not constantly together.

    - You say, Russian school, English school... And what style do you teach your athletes?

    - Of course, Russian, as we were taught. Basics are all ours. I think it's ice dance perfection – edges, stroking, body carriage, beauty. Of course, I want to see it. And when I do not see it, I get angry. And the athletes understand. I take videos, show them how it should be. I want beauty! Sometimes there is none.

    - Do you show the moves to the athletes yourself?

    - Naturally! I'm always on the ice, I skate with them. If something is wrong, they don't understand, then I skate up, take a partner, show them. Probably, that's why we have such a progress in our group, because all the coaches are out on the ice themselves.

    - For me since childhood figure skating coach is someone standing at the boards wearing furs.

    - Basically, that was Linichuk's coaching style. This may have its own charm, when you look from the outside. Some coaches say, if you show yourself then an athlete takes after you. But I want the athletes took something good from me. At the same time I strive to highlight their individuality. I set programs that suit them best, I don't want to think about me. Yes, I have to like the music, but most importantly, it should suit them. But I'm, of course, for the aesthetics, for beauty in ice dance.

    - Do you show your students tapes with your own performances?

    - Oh, they watch it themselves. I do not like to watch myself, because I see a lot of mistakes. Ask anyone, no one likes to watch oneself. Because even the top skaters find some things that are not good enough.

    - Is there an ideal in figure skating for you?

    - My ideal has always been Usova/Zhulin. Of course, Torvill/Dean. Klimova/Ponomarenko. These three teams, for me, are the highest level. And everyone who skates now or skated before are far from that. Yes, the Duchesnays were good, but only for choreography of their programs. And teams of that generation, of course, were real dancers. I want to teach someone to skate like that and to make elements work under the new system – this is my goal.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
    geoskate, ks1227, itsartemis and 23 others like this.
  2. MysticHaze

    MysticHaze Member

    Thank you so much for posting this interview! I absolutely love Anjelika Krylova!
  3. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

    Great interview, thanks for the translation. I agree with a lot of what she says
  4. martyross

    martyross Well-Known Member

    thanks.. really interesting read. Camerlengo is one lucky man.

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

    Thanks so much for the very interesting interview!
  6. shan

    shan Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the interview. Interesting observations. I love that they asked about the similarities of D/W-V/M training situations and her own coaching situation with G/P.
  7. caro-ira

    caro-ira New Member

    Thank you so much, it was a great read.
  8. kittyjake5

    kittyjake5 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the translation. Great read!
  9. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Super interview - thank you very much for sharing. Always had a bit of a crush on Krylova from the first time I saw her at 1990 (?) Skate Electric at Richmond which she won with Leliukh when she was only just 16. Brilliant then and brilliant now. As many have said she was THE star of ice dance at this years Worlds. :glamor:
  10. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    ITA with her comments about the current state of ice. It's very similar to what Marina Anissina said last year, but more diplomatic. I would love to see her coach V&M or one of the Russian teams.
  11. l'etoile

    l'etoile New Member

    Wow, so many interesting stories!! Thank you for posting it! I was really happy to see W/P's tremendous progress this season, and like anyone else, I was crying with Anjelica when they finished their FD performance at Nice. Just Wow.
  12. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Thanks for translating/sharing such a wonderful interview.
    Angela has a tremendous appreciation for/understanding of the history of Ice Dance; as well as where/how it should evolve under the current system.

    Dare I say (a woman speaking here) she is one of the loveliest women I've ever seen.
    The World's cameras adored her.
  13. bmcg

    bmcg Well-Known Member

    Reading the last paragraph of this interview makes me wish to hear her thoughts on what she would do with V&M. I think if there is a team that could skate like her ideal teams of the past it's them.
  14. cris_c

    cris_c Guest

    So true! I was thinking the same (as was half of FSU, I bet).
  15. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka The Stolbova/Klimov and James/Cipres Uber

    Brilliant read!

    Thank you.
  16. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    Thank you for posting that awesome interview! I completely agree with Krylova and the state of ice dancing. Her top three are my top three-there's Torvill/Dean, Usova/Zhulin, Klimova/Ponomarenko. I would add '97'98 Grishuk/Platov The Duchesnays-again I agree with Krylova-great for their choreography but their technicque overall was wanting. And then there's every one else that followed. None have ever reached that level imo. None.
  17. jl22aries

    jl22aries Active Member

    Great interview. I love the Russian interviews...they all have a very particular vibe about them. The interviewers seem to ask the blunt questions and the answers seem so much more candid and revealing than other non Russian media outlets. Is that just me?

    And Angelina IS gorgeous. She has an elegant beauty and such an interesting face, whenever the camera is on them my eyes go right to her!
  18. Tak

    Tak Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the interview!

    Im hoping she gets her wish - in the Russian thread there is a rumor going around that some Russian couple is going to Krylova. Im SOOOO hoping its Sin/Zhig. They have so much dramatic potential with the right coach and choreographer. And Id love to see what she could do with them.
  19. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member

    Wonderful interview! Thank you so much for the translation.
  20. shine

    shine Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much to the interviewer for doing the interview. It seems that we haven't really heard that much from her since her retirement. I still miss K/O so much and wish they could've competed longer, and wow, I had no idea she had such a lingering injury for that long. But I'm very happy that she has found contentment and success in her coaching career and hope that she'll be able to achieve everything she wants as a coach!
  21. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Thanks so much for posting the interview. Very interesting to hear her thoughts and also about her injury. Her and Pasquale I think are going to be the next great dance coaching team. They have done a great job with our Australian dance team Dani and Greg who have improved so much over the last 12 months.
  22. blancanieves

    blancanieves Well-Known Member

    Thank you! Keep getting angry Anjelica, and passing on that wonderful knowledge.
  23. walei

    walei Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the translation and I really love Krylova as a coach!

    It is a bit sad that Krylova obviously loves Ice Dance but is currently disenchanted by the current scoring rules. Hope she can come up with a way to give her students programs that transcends just doing the elements and bring out the beauty she is looking for.
  24. znhurston

    znhurston Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the translation. I really enjoyed reading this interview.
  25. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    I didn't realize Krylova was training Russian skaters. Oh, wait. I mean, really? She'd rather have Russian skaters win over her own skaters? And even if she ends up with a Russian couple, then P&R and W&P are gonna get gypped.
    maggylyn and (deleted member) like this.
  26. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    That is rather presumptive isn't it to make that assumption?
  27. Primorskaya

    Primorskaya Trummerlotte

    It's not just you. It's a cultural thing. Political correctness really isn't a Russian concept. Make mealy-mouthed answers and people will call BS on you to your face. Personally I love it.:D

    Anjelika is perfect, and "I want beauty" is going to be my new catchphrase hehe.
  28. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

    Who are P&R? :confused:
  29. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

    If you look at the whole interview and not just one sentence, she makes it very clear what she thinks Russian skaters used to bring to ice dance in terms of technique and "beauty". She thinks this is missing now and wants it to come back. And so do I. :)
  30. cholla

    cholla Fearless musher

    Péchalat/Rumbzat ?
    Finnice and (deleted member) like this.