Imamov's interview with Savchenko

cs.berlin

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Everyone just copies Papadakis/Cizeron since 2014, including Aliona and Bruno.
Let’s not rewrite history here and pretend that one dance team invented music and figure skating. It’s incorrect and incredibly boring.
Aside from that, the whole figure skating world speaks of the FS Olympics as a never before seen choreographic masterpiece, for which no less than Christopher Dean was hired. But presumably, he too has been completely inspired by Papadakis/Cizeron, because he himself had no idea.
(basically, it's idle to respond to some internet stupidity, born of the hollow hand)
 
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MAXSwagg

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Everyone just copies Papadakis/Cizeron since 2014, including Aliona and Bruno. Has anyone ever heard of the Cinema Orchestra or Enzio Bosso before P/C? Not Aliona Savchenko based on her history. When I think of Savchenko I think Pink Panther. Savchenko/Massot programs are forgettable. Same goes to Sui/Han. When I think of Sui/Han I think their countless Spanish-themed programs when they were babies. These post-PC lyrical stuff does not suit either team's personality.
This is absolutely correct!

And she and Ingo treated Robin very badly during the end of the partnership. I love S/S pairing but personally I think she just uses her partners as toys to get what she wants.

I also don’t believe Robin had so much control where he refused to let anyone other person in the team. Especially when she was dating the coach (allegedly!)!
 

TAHbKA

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And she and Ingo treated Robin very badly during the end of the partnership. I love S/S pairing but personally I think she just uses her partners as toys to get what she wants.
Well, if she wants an Olympic or a world medal and the partner is willing to tag along and not stand on her way...
 

Dolore

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Let's not act as if PC have invented the wheel. If anything the credit goes to Gadbois, it's their style that they have crafted together over the years before PC even came to Montreal. PC's original style was pretty tacky Euro trash before Marie France gave them new public personas.
The Picasso program Gadbois choreographed for the Spanish team was a big turning point for them and in my opinion much more original and artistic than anything PC have shown since their move to Montreal.
 

Miezekatze

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This is absolutely correct!

And she and Ingo treated Robin very badly during the end of the partnership. I love S/S pairing but personally I think she just uses her partners as toys to get what she wants.
LOL, that's a bit mean, but I can sort of see the point.
I like Aljona and admire her drive and determination , but actually I never found her to be a particularily nice to watch pair skater, because she was clearly never going to find a partner who was going to be good enough for her expectations and who'd be as obsessed as she was and for me pair skating is about being an union on the ice and not becoming a champion by being the most obsessed with winning and finding a partner who's strong enough to make that happen.

Aljona and Robin were bla to watch for me for that reason, because they always were so discontent and unharmonic in the last years. And Aljona and Bruno were more fun to watch, because aljona seemed a bit less grim without Ingo and they also were a quite nice match, but still no pair with all that much real pair chemistry.

And for what it's worth I think Sui/Han have much more of this.

Aljona is more like a one woman show who happens to need a partner, because she does pair skating and wants to win :lol:

I also doubt that she's ever going to be a successful coach because of this character trait, I think the risk is big it's always going to end like the attempt with the Knierims.
 

rfisher

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Maybe having a child will teach her patience. The dynamics between Robin, Ingo, and Aliona were interesting to observe and clearly difficult for them, but she was much calmer with Bruno and her marriage to Liam gave her a focus outside of skating she apparently needed which was part of the calmness.
 

canbelto

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I enjoyed Savchenko/Massot's skating more because they had better choreography, music choice, and better programs. Oddly I think the fact that Massot and Savchenko both had injuries made me enjoy them more because they had to slow down and focus more on choreography and forming a beautiful program instead of showing off Aljona the Superwoman.
 

Rock2

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Finally someone speaks the truth - you can't hold back evolution in a sport.
Yup. Prioritizing the fans, who get all sadz when a program has a fall or is a bit messy.
I mean, it's a noble objective to care about them but not true to sport.

Loved this interview. You can really see what kind of mentality it takes to be a real champion. So much respect for her. Sounds like she's not done competing, and the scoring system is just made for her +5 bad self. Watch out....

I didn't get the shade over Sui/Han. I couldn't see how this was a copy of S/M, so that was my one head-scratcher
 

Japanfan

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I like Aljona and admire her drive and determination , but actually I never found her to be a particularily nice to watch pair skater, because she was clearly never going to find a partner who was going to be good enough for her expectations and who'd be as obsessed as she was and for me pair skating is about being an union on the ice and not becoming a champion by being the most obsessed with winning and finding a partner who's strong enough to make that happen.
To be fair, some pairs have always been and will always be focused on winning. The Russian fed has long scouted to find young skaters suited to pairs and then invested tremendous resources in those pairs with promise.

And for what it's worth I think Sui/Han have much more of this.
The Chinese federation follows the Russian model to a certain extent.

The book 'The Second Mark' talked about how much Bin Yao cared about winning - perhaps because and his partner finished dead last in the Worlds and Olympics they competed in (IIRC). Out of that came his vision of building a pairs school in China.

I expect that Zao and Shen (who I think is President of the Federation, or in another high-status position) are focused on 'winning', envisioning gold for S/H in Beijing 2022 and a second Chinese pair on the podium.

Sui/Han have the 'wow' factor for me moreso than S/S and S/M, but I think it really comes down to taste.

Aljona is more like a one woman show who happens to need a partner, because she does pair skating and wants to win :lol:
Plenty of pairs girls/women are highly competitive and want to win, at various levels.
 
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aftershocks

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the only thing I can do for the victory is skate well. I have no control over the others' skates nor over the judges. Hence why would I waste my time on that? If I made less mistakes than the others - it's fate. But I generally don't care about the other teams results
:respec: :kickass:
 

aftershocks

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I love Aliona! I was always more of a fan of her than Robin
Well, but Aliona and Robin were a team together and Aliona could not have achieved her initial success in pairs without Ingo and Robin. It worked and that's why they stayed together for so long, despite the huge problems because of Ingo's issues with the German fed, and possibly jealousy in some quarters for his success with Aliona and Robin.

The success Aliona achieved with Robin and Ingo laid the groundwork for Aliona to achieve ultimate OGM success with Bruno Massot. Of course, Aliona's forceful determination, creativity and unrelenting desire are also what propelled her in directions few are willing to go. Moving from Ukraine to Germany to find a partner was just the beginning of Aliona's incredible quest. Again, that's not an easy thing to do. Such courage takes a warrior mentality.

I would say the same about Vanessa James who was born in Canada, learned to skate in the U.S. and achieved championship success in Great Britain and in France. But it took Vanessa returning to train in the U.S. before she truly reached some of her most desired pairs skating goals.
 
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aftershocks

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Robin didn't want to listen to anyone else's point of view: he didn't allow inviting a new choreographer or having a training camp with a different coach. We had a close team of 3 people. We needed something fresh.
Hmmm, but was it just Robin, or was it also partly Ingo being controlling? And of course, maybe it's best not to get into the personal relationship on-off which took place between Aliona and Ingo. As well, Aliona herself is strong-willed and as intense as Ingo, while Robin reportedly has a calmer, more peaceful temperament. The threesome were successful creatively for many seasons and at a certain point (the mistaken Bolero decision) their ideas weren't working as well.

The last four years of the partnership were surely difficult. Robin agreed to continue in order to try for another Olympics because Aliona wanted it. Robin's body was worn out and he was ready to retire, particularly after those final four years. Aliona knew this, but she wasn't willing to call it quits competitively. She saw an opportunity with Massot and she took it. That's not a negative. More power to Aliona. Being a champion is not easy. Making tough decisions is not easy. Sometimes in order to achieve personal goals, it can lead to making choices that may hurt others. As Aliona said in response to another query during the interview: "It's in the past. I don't want to talk about it."

Aliona made some hard, tough decisions. The chance she took with Massot obviously wasn't a slam dunk, but she saw it through and they worked as a team with their coaches and destiny was reached. I gain more respect in realizing how daunting the challenges were every step along the way for Aliona achieving Olympic glory. Apparently, coming in 4th place after the sp was a mere drop in the bucket which as she said, didn't bother her. She'd come so far through so much, she didn't worry at all about that stopping her and Bruno. It obviously only made them more determined. Amazing!

Morozov taught me the basics of the pairs skating, I skated for more than 10 years with Szolkowy and my main career achievement was with Massot. So each of my partners had a very significant input in my career. The pairs skating is always a work of two people. You can't win alone.
This is true, and that's what I've always said about Aliona's career. The only thing is, the 10 years with Robin is the major career achievement (5 World championships & two Olympic medals) which laid the groundwork for the ultimate career achievement and icing on the cake -- her deepest desire (OGM).
 
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Mad for Skating

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Wow, this is a very interesting interview. Lots to unpack here.

I agree with her viewpoint on the quads; as much as I care about the health of the athletes, I don’t like how the sport has become a game of who skates cleanest instead of who has the best overall package/skills. Her favorite skaters are my favorites too!

I didn’t have a problem with most of the interview. However, the shade towards Sui/Han and Robin was unnecessary. Sui/Han are here to carry the torch now that Aljona has moved on, and they are an incredibly talented and worthy pair. As for Robin, even if what she said is true, there’s really no reason to bring up water under the bridge.

That said, I still like Aljona a lot.

I wonder what Savchenko would have looked like skating with Radford...
Eric is pretty, but isn't very strong. She would want someone to seriously pitch her. Like, um, Bardei...
Actually, I think Eric would’ve been a great partner for Aljona. He has a leaner build than Bruno but he’s much bigger than Robin, and Robin had no problem throwing and lifting her. I liked Duhamel/Radford together, but I would’ve loved to see what Aljona and Eric might have been.
 

TAHbKA

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Well, Hotarek, Enbert and Moscovich were switching pairs after 2014. Am curios whether it was one of them.
 

aftershocks

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I recall liking Tara Lipinski a lot as a kid. It was such a shame she retired right after the Olympics.
Interesting discussion about the rules changes. I agree with Aliona about how these changes have hurt pairs skating...

As far as Lipinski, she had seriously worn out her hip with the jumping. She had to undergo hip surgery, so her skating career was not going to go very far after she won the ultimate OGM. Plus, Lipinski no longer had any incentive to face Michelle Kwan again in competition, and likely be beaten by Michelle after having won against her at the Olympics.
 

aftershocks

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Well, frankly I don't think Aliona was giving too much shade to Sui/Han. Yes, there was a bit of putdown in favoring Yu/Zhang I suppose. She also slighted James/Cipres a bit, just as a lot of criticizers and dismissers even here do all the time, which I don't agree with.

But Sui/Han were Aliona/Bruno's serious rivals for OGM. I'm not surprised that she's not particularly charitable toward them. Sui/Han probably aren't exactly charitable toward Aliona either. Meanwhile, Meghan Duhamel and Aliona have appeared to be friendly and very respectful toward each other.

I completely agree that Sui/Han's fp last season is not exactly great. It's not particularly memorable in and of itself. It's the way S/H skated the heck out of the program that's memorable, not the program itself. It's pure will and desire that I find remarkable about Sui/Han. They were never my favorite pairs team. I thought they lacked a bit aesthetically until the last several years or so as they have grown under Hongbo Zhao and Shen Xue tutelage. I now have huge admiration for Sui/Han because of their undaunted courage and remarkable competitiveness, added to the growth they have undergone aesthetically. I respect them, but I don't think they are as invincible as they seem.

I didn't pay that much close attention to S/H choreo in their fp to notice it being similar to Aliona/Bruno famous fp. However, it's unsurprising that pairs teams copy other pairs teams. It's normal to gain inspiration from what champions are doing. I say that all the time about how some of the moves and incorporation of ice dance choreo that J/C and S/M have made successful are being emulated. It's how the discipline is pushed forward. The key is in taking inspiration from others and then putting your own stamp and vision on that inspiration, which doesn't always happen.

M-T/M's choreo for their new programs is an amalgam of Marcotte moves, along with S/M innovations as well as some J/C moves from their recent programs, etc. In their heyday, Savchenko/Szolkowy were huge influencers in impacting pairs moves. In particular, S/S and S changed the way pairs was dominated by an overriding Russian aesthetic. Instead of the dominant Russian pairs aesthetic ruling forth, teams began aspiring to discover their own individual dynamic No longer was it an unspoken necessity for teams to try and pattern themselves after an idealized physicality they may not possess. Teams like D/R, Stolbova/Klimov, and Ashtakova/Rogonov et al were positively influenced by S/S's unique, outside-the-box approach to pairs skating.
 
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hanca

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Well, Hotarek, Enbert and Moscovich were switching pairs after 2014. Am curios whether it was one of them.
I thought it was posted at that time that Enbert was one of them. I don’t have the link anymore, but I believe he admitted that she approached him, but he took his time responding and next thing he knew she was already with Massot.

I don’t think it could have been Hotarek because his switch happened VERY quickly. There wasn’t any gap between his partners for searching for a new partner. It looked like he made a decision one day, stopped skating with Berton and immediately started skating with Marchei. Didn’t Marchei find out from the media that he has a new partner? There was something posted on the internet, it was denied and then she found out that actually it was the truth? I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember that the way he did wasn’t very good.
 
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sykr

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Wow, this interview really made me sad. Actually, I was always rooting for S/S and I was so excited for S/M, when they appeared on the scene. Aliona’s life seems just ideal now, she won everything, she’s famous, she’s certainly not suffering financially. Normally, I would guess she’s unhappy because she’s going through that after retirement transition of „all I know is to skate and now I’m lost and don’t know what to do with my life“. But this can’t be a problem either, as she’s married, has a baby now. So what is her problem? Why is she so bitter?

I mean, I hate how she calls her partners by family names. I think the word „tools“ is very appropriate here. I hate she can’t even name a pair she was working with, calling them „2nd Chinese couple“. Then she throws all the young skaters together, calling them not mature... I’m sorry, but I find Valieva 100 times more artistically pleasing, then let’s say Brezinova (sorry, Eliska….btw I’m Czech J ) The shade on Robin was really not necessary. I mean, after all, Robin was the one, who agreed to wear her crazy costume creations,…I highly doubt she had no influence in their couple, but even if that would be true….why to tell it the way she did?

The same goes for her comments regarding Sui/Han. Come on. She has every single right to feel like they copied her (no matter, if I agree with that or not), but you can say „I’m happy the style I introduced into pairs skating is inspiring other skaters“….or you formulate it as she did. To be completely honest, I feel like Aliona should feel sorry in front of the Chinese (actually, she might do and that is why she’s so aggressive towards them? To hide it?). If I’m not mistaken, it was S/M or their team, who were spreading information after GPF about them, going for quad twist and throw 3A for the Olys, correct? And this made Sui/Han to start practicing the quad again….and get injured…again. I mean, you can pick any strategy you wish and nobody forced the Chinese into anything. But to intentionally frighten your competitors with elements, you probably never tried and never intended to do? I think true champions, and even more so in pairs, where such serious injuries happen, should play more fair play than that.

That said, her determination (and skating of course) are impressive, I just have an impression she plays hardball way too much and now, it is really not necessary anymore.
 

Japanfan

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The same goes for her comments regarding Sui/Han. Come on. She has every single right to feel like they copied her (no matter, if I agree with that or not), but you can say „I’m happy the style I introduced into pairs skating is inspiring other skaters“….or you formulate it as she did.
Do you have links to performances that actually show that S/H copied S/M? Does anyone else? If not, it's only idle speculation.

And as I think I said previously, it's easy to argue that many pairs are emulating other pairs. And, perhaps they are. Especially given that coaches have been influenced by their favorite skaters and programs, perhaps unconsciously. And that coaches have their preferred style, or style they are most comfortable with.
 

Zemgirl

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I hate how she calls her partners by family names. I think the word „tools“ is very appropriate here.
It's a translation from an interview conducted in Russian; it's possible that using last names, or any other references to skaters, are an editorial decision. It's also possible that Savchenko did use last names, but didn't mean anything by it. Massot is referred to by both first and last name interchangeably.

It seems like Savchenko is in a good place personally, but she's always been very competitive, and I think the interview reflects that.

Do you have links to performances that actually show that S/H copied S/M? Does anyone else? If not, it's only idle speculation.
Savchenko (not skyr; read the post again) thinks they did. That's her opinion, and she's not obliged to clarify her reasoning. You've made it very clear that you disagree, can we move on?
 

Japanfan

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Savchenko (not skyr; read the post again) thinks they did. That's her opinion, and she's not obliged to clarify her reasoning. You've made it very clear that you disagree, can we move on?
No, I have not made it clear that I disagree - I neither agree nor disagree - although I did say that would be unlikely to copy S/M. IMHO.

And while S/S is entitled to her opinion, unless she or others are willing to provide examples of the alleged copying, her opinion isn't worth a whole whole.

IMHO S/H would be unlikely to copy S/M given how vastly different the two pairs are - neither is 'cookie cutter'. And given that S/H were groomed for stardom at a young age. I'll consider that it is possible, but want some evidence. But I think S/H want to create their own unique style.
 

Zemgirl

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I hate she can’t even name a pair she was working with, calling them „2nd Chinese couple“. Then she throws all the young skaters together, calling them not mature...
I reread the interview and she mentions three younger skaters positively: Kostornaya ("great... mature and feminine") Zagitova ("love how she skated last year") and Trusova, whom she "really respects". She also refers to various other skaters that she likes - Kostner, Tuktamysheva, Boikova/Kozlovskii, Tarasova/Morozov.

And while S/S is entitled to her opinion, unless she or others are willing to provide examples of the alleged copying, her opinion isn't worth a whole whole.
If you don't feel Savchenko's opinion is worthwhile, why read an interview with her?

Aljona Savchenko is not reading your posts. She is not going to provide you with annotated videos. Let it go.
 

sykr

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Do you have links to performances that actually show that S/H copied S/M? Does anyone else? If not, it's only idle speculation.

And as I think I said previously, it's easy to argue that many pairs are emulating other pairs. And, perhaps they are. Especially given that coaches have been influenced by their favorite skaters and programs, perhaps unconsciously. And that coaches have their preferred style, or style they are most comfortable with.
I think it is more about everybody's perception of what "to copy somebody" means. I would formulate it this way. S/H have understood, what works well with the judges and they went for it with their music choice (instrumental modern piece, which builds and gets dramatical by the end). This also means both programs give somehow similar feel. Imo, that is all that these programs have in common. The composition is completely different (kudos to Sui/Han for not going with that calculated and horrible layout S/M had - twist, jump, throw, jump, throw....lift, lift....everything else, because we are tired and we hopefully will not mess the rest.). To me, S/H's program is also much better connected, transitions are more interesting, both are doing more or less equal amount of steps,...
 

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