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Why is Morozov such a popular coach?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by blue_idealist, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

    I don't know much about Morozov, besides the fact that he might be a bit sleazy, and he makes a lot of his skaters wear strange costumes. I see almost everyone on here making fun of him, yet a lot of elite skaters seem to go to him for coaching.

    What are your opinions on why he is so popular? I did see someone say once that him actually going onto the ice and skating with the skaters when doing choreography was one of the things that might make him good..
  2. MikiAndoFan#1

    MikiAndoFan#1 Well-Known Member

    Well, if many skaters go to him then maybe it's because he does something right. :rollin: I mean, he does seem like a good coach...
  3. AnnieBgood

    AnnieBgood Active Member

    I hardly heard of Morozov before he choreographed for Alexei Yagudin. It seemed the moment he won the gold in 2002 that skaters were asking for Nikolai left and right.
  4. WayCon

    WayCon New Member

    Morozov's unpopularity on this site is a bit of a mystery to a number of us. I have had the opportunity to get to know him a little over the years and to skate with him.

    I think one part of his problem is that he is not particularly photogenic. In real life, he doesn't have the same "sleazy" look that many people complain about. I've taken note how often, when women actually see him in the flesh for the first time, they swoon. A female friend of mine, who is an attorney, just stared at him with starry eyes and her mouth half open, then, after he passed, she whispered, "He's so much more handsome in real life. I had no idea."

    He also has that Eastern-Block aloofness, that Russians joke about, themselves, when they have become more "Westernized"--that trait of watching things from the corner of their eyes, and not looking at anything directly.

    He is also super-intense. When he is with his favored students, he doesn't know anything else in the world exists. Have you seen any of the videos like this one:


    He's as fierce as a tigress over her cubs. You want Nikolai on your side. If you're not one of his skaters, he hardly sees you.

    I feel he is very capable, and very young. I've already seen him change, and mellow, over time. I can only wonder what he will be like in twenty years.
  5. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

    It's not his looks we find sleazy. It's how many blondes he goes through, relationships he's broken up, and women he's cheated on. All that's pretty damn sleazy by "Western" standards. It has nothing to do with his looks, whether people find him attractive or not.

    Beyond that, a lot of us would forgive Morozov his horndog ways if he choreographed decent programs. Hell, if he was a great choreographer, we'd probably APPLAUD his pimpin' large. But all Morozov programs have the same step sequence, same arm movements, are either heavily backloaded or frontloaded, and have no transitions. They aren't very interesting and aren't suited to the skater, though to be fair, this could apply to many other choreographers as well, such as Lori Nichol as of late.

    When the skaters do the jumps well, his skaters score well. However, when the jumps aren't there, they sink as they don't have anything else to help buoy their scores. If you contrast that to David Wilson (another much-maligned choreographer here as of late), his skaters have transitions, choreographical moves here and there, interesting moves coming in and out of jumps, so if the jumps aren't there, his skaters' program scores aren't affected as much as Morozov's.

    Just look at Ando--she won the LP at the GPF, but botching two jumps took her out of the medals because she had nothing else there. By contrast, Czisny had more overall problems with jumps--UR, e!, and doubled--but placed first because of the attention to choreographical details. Same with Kostner who placed second. Miki's a MUCH better jumper than either of them in terms of air height, position, etc., but everything else is subpar compared to other medalist contenders, which is ridiculous for a skater as good as she is.
  6. Pratfall

    Pratfall Active Member

    Matryeshka just about sums it up.:cool:

    I would add the 9 times out of 10 (or more often) ghastly costumes ,and the (frequent ) selling of sex in his programs.

    We all know sex sells , and there's no doubt that skaters who have an innate sex appeal have a little something extra in the charisma department ( and either they have it ,or they don't). But to simply add gyrations to programs that are otherwise lacking , is just a shallow and pretty tasteless tactic.

    E.G. : Dai oozes appeal in last year's and this year's Tango ,and his Mambo SP... and I never tire of watching them , while Amodio's programs this year , with all the crotch grabbing are a cheap use of his talents meant to disguise what's lacking .
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  7. WayCon

    WayCon New Member

    I agree with you; I liked Takahashi's programs by Pasquale Camerlengo, but I think these programs draw on what Morozov was doing before that in, say, the Phantom and Cyber-Swan programs and Bjork exhibition. Morozov does have a knack, I feel, for finding what's inside a skater and drawing it out into a performance. Finding a style.

    I also agree with you about Amodio's program this year, but, again, I feel Morozov may well be on the right track: make Amodio very contemporary, and different, even though in real life Amodio is not someone who does outrageous things, or demands people's attention--as far as I could gather, Amodio is a serious, rather quiet, guy. Morozov is exploring a persona within Amodio which could break boundaries and win competitions.

    When I watched Morozov working with a skater on a new program, I often found myself wondering how he got all he did, how did he see that. I think he has a pretty complex vision for someone his age.
  8. WayCon

    WayCon New Member

    And in answer to blue idealist's original question, yes, Morozov does choreograph out on the ice with each student. And things evolve. Certainly, other people work along side their skaters on the ice, while others rarely go out there at all. That's a matter of age and personal style. But Morozov is a very powerful and adept skater, and throws himself into his own choreography in such a way that the skater can feel what the movement is supposed to express, and how that movement fits into the dramatic whole. I found it impressive to watch.
  9. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    I've seen Morozov sort of live (at the boards, not up close) and I didn't swoon, though I did find some of his antics entertaining.

    Bachelorette was choreographed by Kenji Miyamoto. Personally, I thought it was a much better program than the (overrated) cyber swan.

    Looking at Amodio and Fernandez, they seem to be pleased with their coaching situation and certainly both have gotten better results since they began working with Morozov. Personally I feel Amodio's programs this year are nowhere near as interesting as those from last season (I think Stanick Jeannette choreographed at least one of them?) but he's certainly been hitting his elements more consistently. Javi's Pirates was a good vehicle for him at that point in his career, but they shouldn't have kept it for a second season. The SP this season is awful.
  10. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your insights.. I wasn't trying to criticize Morozov or support him really.. just wanted to know a bit more about him.
  11. WayCon

    WayCon New Member

    Thank you for the correction, Zemgirl.
  12. WayCon

    WayCon New Member

    Interesting, that there is no ISU equivalent, for coaches, of the skaters' bio page.

    A short bio is on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Morozov_(figure_skater)

    Google searches should give you plenty of data.
  13. a56

    a56 New Member

    I think it's just the nature of message boards and forums. It brings out the worst in some people, who are jealous, bitter, have issues with personal aspects of his life (i.e. his many relationships with women), or just troll. The anonymous nature of FSU posting leads people to say things on their minds that they would never, ever say to Morozov in person. It's not just Morozov who's unpopular on FSU. A lot of skaters are really unpopular, although to my knowledge, Morozov is probably the only coach who's really disliked.
    let`s talk and (deleted member) like this.
  14. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    What are you talking about ? Nothing to do with his look !
    The problem is that he is more of a calculator than a coach. He is not a good technical coach and his choreos are not really good.
    I really don't get the hype over him, and it has nothing to do with his look. ;)
  15. Libertango

    Libertango New Member

    I don't think that true : Igor Shpilband, Robin Wagner come to my mind right now.
  16. Autumn_girl

    Autumn_girl Active Member

    Seems like Morozov has a new student! It's 15 y.o. Maxim Kovtun, very promising skater who already has 3A-3T combo and next year will go to the JGP. I like this kid a lot, he was like a breath of fresh air at the Russian Nationals
  17. shine

    shine Well-Known Member

    Great post. I really wouldn't call him a choreographer, and I certainly wouldn't pay him to do my choreography if I were a skater.
    Lori Nicol could be boring at times, but she has also created some masterpieces. I think she's a much more sophisticated choreographer in general. Kostner's SP this year is brilliant for example. I certainly wouldn't put her on the same level as Morozov.
  18. SkateSkates

    SkateSkates Member

    He has done some nice pieces though - for example Shizuka Arakawa's Olympic winning program, and Oda's Charlie Chaplin. I just think he's a little burnt out now.
  19. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

    That's actually quite good! I can't imagine the facilities in Ekaterinburg are good enough for someone who has potential to skate at quite a high level.
  20. mmot

    mmot Active Member

    blue_idealist, you are interested in why Morozov is popular as a coach, not necessarily as a choreographer - let's hear it from his former and current pupils.

    Daisuke Takahashi on Morozov;
    • Morozov taught me how great step sequences could be, by making programmes which are highlighted by step sequences for me.
    • He drew out the strength in me.
    • While being with him, I started winning competitions. He gave me confidence; I used to underestimate myself but now I can assess my own ability more objectively, thanks to him.
    (Note: he said all these after his rather difficult split up with Morozov.)

    Miki Ando on Morozov;
    • It took two years, but there is mutual trust and respect established between us. I can say anything to him without worrying consequences.
    • Even though he has many pupils, the ways he faces and treats each pupil are different. He understands different strength in each of them and tries to build upon it.
    • It is great that he can show you step sequences by skating them himself. It's great to be able to see deep edges of a former ice dancer so close.
    • It was his idea to have my Olympic season programme (Cleopatra) choreographed by Lea Ann Miller, as he thought it was time to try something fresh.

    What each skater needs and looks for in their coach is highly individual. There is not a coach who is perfect for any skaters, and what is perfect for a particular skater often changes as their career progresses - thus skaters often changes coaches a few times in their career.

    My understanding is that Morozov is a coach known for taking on young skaters, giving them confidence, and establishing their own unique recognisable style. That's what he is trying to do with Amodio and Fernandez now, and one can say he's successful by looking at their competition success - regardless of whether we like that particular style or not. ;)
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
  21. victoriajh

    victoriajh trying to ignore rod and find the eurosport feed

    i thought his work with yagudin was epic- winter and the race car sp were the beginning of some great programs- i have seen him at several events and still find him kinda sleezy (sorry) looking and not just in looks but in the way he carries himself and such- alwasy gives off this arrogant and better than thou attitude- wwalking through a door at national jeff buttle opened it for me- morzorov expects YOU to open it for him!
  22. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

    Edited when I thought better of it
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  23. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Morozov gave Michelle Kwan TFB, Aranjuez, Tosca, and Spartacus; All memorable programs for Michelle. He gave Sasha her best SP: Malaguena. Therefore Michelle's fans and Sasha's fans should adore him :)
  24. Pratfall

    Pratfall Active Member

    :) Well, I wouldn't expect a former student ( and certainly not a current student.. pretty well known to be a girlfriend) to have anything negative to say about him. It would be very bad form...For that, you probably have to wait for their memoirs..;)

    And I don't think he finds each skater's style , but rather imposes his own style, or expression on them. To my eyes , there's been improvement in all after they left him.

    I agree he can impart confidence and that's important , and it's very true that a skater can improve their skills by working with an ice dancer.(and I believe he enlists the services of a very fine jump coach ) I don't even say he can't produce a good program , but they're getting more and more rare, IMO.

    Whatever his strenghths may be , I think they were greatly exaggerated from the outset. I think his reputation benefitted enormously by working as Tarasova's assistant ,then by having some of her top students ( particularly Yagudin ) follow him when he branched out on his own.
    At the time, IIRC, Tarasova had health and family problems and was cutting back on the number of students she was coaching. Also, politics played a more noticeable role at that time, and he fell heir to a certain amount of her clout.
    What skater wouldn't want to enroll with the coach who could get them to the top ( for whatever combination of reasons) ? Soon, in fact, pretty well immediately, he was attracting the top talent , which increased his chances of success and bolstered his reputation.

    These are my main reasons for not liking him as a coach. Sure , I find the personal relationships distasteful ; the skaters are mostly young when they go to him , and not in a position to make the wisest choices in this regard.
    But mostly it's that he's recieved acclaim as some sort of miracle worker and ace choreographer, that's quite undeserved. The Emperor is at least half naked , and I'm glad to see that CoP has been exposing this to some degree.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  25. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    If TT was indeed the genius behind Yagudin's programs when Morosov was working under her then why wasn't she able to produce any good programs for anyone once she and Morosov split?
  26. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    I don't know him personally. I can only tell you my own experiences with him, and what I've been told by the skaters I know.

    I know many skaters who've been coached by Morozov. They all tell me how much he improved their basic skating skills. They feel they benefitted greatly from working with him. I didn't ask them about him - this is info they volunteered.

    He's never been anything but nice to me, and he does not know me more than having seen me around the rink - I'm probably just some fat old skater mom with a seven year old in Basic 4. Worse, I'm *gasp* an adult skater. :lol: Really, he's been nothing but pleasant. That includes treating me kindly when I was the only adult who obviously COULD NOT DANCE in a modern dance clinic he held during our adult skating camp. :lol: During which one of the moves was, yes, face stroking. ;)

    Beyond that, I can't comment.
  27. bek

    bek Guest

    I think that everybody has their good points and bad points. I'm really not sure how it can be argued that Nicolai is a bad coach. Look at how inconsistent Florent was and how much more consistent Florent is now. I think Daisuke did gain more confidence with him. And Shizuka was a much more confident skater when she went to him. I thought her long program (of course redone) was lovely.

    No Morosov isn't perfect, but I don't think he can be called a bad coach. As for him and Tarasova, I think choregraphy wise they worked well together.
  28. mmot

    mmot Active Member

    I think Dai has every reason NOT to speak kindly of Morozov, considering how they ended up splitting up though - and how UNKINDLY Morovoz has been talking about Dai since their split. ;) Besides, the quotes I made are from Dai's autobiography, in which he could have chosen not to mention anything about his days with Morozov. He did not mention anything about Tat, although as far as I know he remains friendly with her, unlike with Morozov. As for Miki, what you said remains as gossip so I refrain from commenting.

    The subject here is not about what we think about Morozov, as a person or choreographer, but why he is actually a popular coach with many pupils. (And wasn't that popularity the reason why Adam left him?) You and I may not appreciate him but many skaters and federations continue to do so. (The French Federation chose Morozov for Amodio.)
    let`s talk and (deleted member) like this.
  29. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    I think Morosov is #1 choice for the JSF, because they believe that he was responsible for giving Japan their first Olympic gold medalist in Arakawa.

    He was a natural choice for Joubert, because Brian wanted to be a Yagudin clone for a while. I guess skaters like Rippon, Javier, and KVD flocked to Morosov also because they admired his work for Yag.
  30. WayCon

    WayCon New Member

    In a way I agree with you. But I see this in a more positive light, I think, than you do. As a writer, who has worked with a number of editors, I have found myself thinking how much Morozov is like an editor for skaters. Writers hate editors. Editors slash and change things for the sake of their audience, but, when the editor is good, the changes are good after all. Morozov has a good eye, a strong aesthetic sense, but he never, never forgets that he must fulfill the COP requirements and please the judges. He can be brutal, but he wins events.