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“She does not look like a child on ice”: Art on Ice owner Hoener about Kostornaya, a pause in Zagitova’s career and Plushenko’s fee


The owner of the Art on Ice show, Oliver Hoener, said that of the trio of young students Eteri Tutberidze would prefer to invite Alena Kostornaya to her show. Also in an interview with RT, the producer shared his opinion on the suspension of Alina Zagitova’s career, talked about holding the ISU Skating Awards analogue of the Oscar in figure skating, and also admitted that Evgeni Plushenko was one of the highest paid participants in his performance.

- After leaving the sport, a lot of famous skaters tried to create their own ice teams, and for most of them these projects ended in the loss of a lot of money. Did you have confidence that you could handle it?

- Not. In fairness it is worth saying that the show was tiny. Just from the very beginning I had a clear idea of ​​what it was supposed to be.

- And what?

- I did not want to see any pure skating on ice. But the theater too. You know, I'm not too big a fan of ice performances on the theme of The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and other ballet classics. I saw the show as something much more modern both in musical and staging plans. I wanted to show that, as a sport, figure skating is perfectly assimilated with a variety of genres - pop music, rap, hard rock.

- In your opinion, this is the key to the success of Art on Ice?

- Exactly. As long as humanity will be fanatical of good music and cool artists, all this will work.

- You may notice that your shows are very similar to your home. In addition to brightness and colorfulness, representations are distinguished by the presence of a huge number of nuances ...

- The details are really very important. We do not just take the music and release the person to ride under it. Everything matters. The performer, arrangement, idea, choreography, sound volume, light, the skater himself must fit perfectly into all this. Each of the numbers is always a story about something significant. Together, these miniatures make up a great story.

- What did the very first show look like?

“By today's standards, it was very tiny.” He invited friends with whom he skated while he was a skater, and he also went ice skating with them. We represented several different countries, because I immediately wanted to give Art on Ice a certain international flavor. The show was held at a small stadium near Zurich, in Küsnacht, and was generally successful. To begin with - I did not lose money, which greatly inspired me in that regard. Thinking about the continuation, he could already afford a little more than at the very beginning. Not too afraid to take risks.

- Despite the fact that there were simply no outstanding skaters in Switzerland at that time ...

- I was strongly supported at the initial stage by Denise Bilmann (world and European champion in 1981. - RT ). In Art on Ice, she became the first real Swiss star. I myself performed on ice for four or five years, at the same time I was a producer, organized rehearsals and choreographed. Then it was a little easier, since there were no group numbers in the show.

- At first glance, that concept was pretty simple ...

- I still think that that external simplicity played a big role even in my own attitude to the project: I took up the idea, managed to successfully implement it, and there was no fear of taking on the next one. The audience reacted very well to the format itself, in which two stars were simultaneously on the site at the same time - pop and sports. Moreover, she was waiting for such exits with great excitement.

- Now on your shows, music is performed exclusively live ...

- And then I could afford no more than five invited musicians. Everything else was under the soundtrack.

- Well-known music artists are now the main expense item?

- Yes. As well as technical equipment.

- Skaters with great pleasure agree to perform at your shows. How do you manage to regulate the flow of comers?

- I would not say that I see this as a problem, it is much more difficult when there is no one to choose from. As a producer, it’s important for me to have in the show not only stars of the first magnitude, but also those who create balance on ice, performing characteristic numbers and participating in group ones. This is by no means a corps de ballet. All these skaters do a tremendous job, create the mood of the whole performance.

- At the same time, in the world of show business, there is successfully a team like the Cirque du Soleil circus, where there are no famous athletes ...

- This is the concept, that's all. It is organized in such a way that they become simply unnecessary. The show is not built around them.

- The main star of your current show is Alina Zagitova, who recently announced that she is taking a break from her career. Do you see the problem that the age of skaters in single skating is now getting extremely short?

- Of course. It seems to me very important that the career of champions in figure skating should be as long as possible. This is one of the reasons why fans still remember Brian Boytano, Katarina Witt. When a champion rides for a long time, this is another story, his own. And she is not only about medals. Frankly speaking, I look at the same Eugene Medvedev or Alina Zagitova with much greater pleasure now than when they were just starting to win.

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Published by Art on Ice (@artonicemagic) Feb 13, 2020 @ 2:40 am PST

- Why?

“You can tell me that quadruple jumping is the future of figure skating.” What exactly is it that drives the sport forward. But as a spectator, I am primarily interested in the personality on the ice. Therefore, I consider the trend to some extent dangerous when an athlete performing several quadruples leaves no chance for anyone to compete with her. Yes, it’s great, it’s cool when there are several such skaters in the country at once, but it also creates many problems for the sport as a whole.

- It is possible that next year, an athlete from the three students of Eteri Tutberidze, who is shining now, may appear in Art on Ice. Who would you choose?

- Alena Kostornaya. I like her more than others - as a person and performer. Moreover, on ice, she does not look like a child.

- As far as we know, Austrian law prohibits minors from participating in public events after ten in the evening. Can you invite a skater who is not 16 to the show?

- A couple of years ago a little girl was involved in the play, and we took special permission so that she could ride. To my knowledge, the law is not too harsh in this regard. Permission is required only if it is a long daily tour. And by the way, getting such permission is not so difficult.

- This year, you are the producer of the first ceremony of the ice Oscar - ISU Skating Awards. What does this mean for you?

- When my long-time friend and partner Ari Zakaryan came up with all this, he did not for a second assume that such an idea would ever be realized. But he fought for her for several years and won. Until now, sometimes I think that we are all very lucky. The International Skating Union (ISU) has not only given the go-ahead for holding such a ceremony, but also provides us with all kinds of support.

- What has changed in the worldview of the ISU leadership?

- It seems that they finally believed that, from the point of view of show business, demonstrations at the end of tournaments are not the last century, but a caveman. What we are going to offer should give a very strong impetus to a change in the situation.

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Publication by Art on Ice (@artonicemagic) Apr 23, 2019 at 9:20 am PDT

- Do you want to ask the ceremony a certain format, inside of which everything further goes on the thumb?

- Nothing and never goes on the thumb, if we are talking about a successful project. Get Art on Ice. The show, as you see, is more than successful, tickets are sold out even before it starts. Each year we have approximately 80,000 spectators. But every new season I start from scratch. I come up with an idea, an implementation, take care that one of the sponsors does not leave ...

- Sports success implies, above all, medals. Is the success of a show measured primarily by money?

- If everything was determined by money, there would be no need to fence this whole garden with live music and special effects. Art on Ice is a very expensive show. And I spend more and more on it. It gives me pleasure. As well as to see full stands.

- Who during the existence of Art on Ice was the most paid skater?

“So I won’t answer right away.” Stefan Lambiel, Evgeni Plushenko, reigning Olympic champions like Zagitova. I can say that throughout the entire existence of the show I have not had a single refusal due to the fact that I do not pay enough for my artists.

- One of the most famous Russian filmmakers during his lifetime was famous in our country not only for his films, but also for the fact that in each of the films he left for himself a tiny episodic role ...

- No, no, I don’t go out on the ice, if you are talking about this. Since many years ago he carried his skates to the pantry, they have been there. I must say that the show only benefited from this - I stopped spraying. Otherwise, perhaps, he still would not have figured out how to tie ice, aerial acrobatics, ballet, and pop artists into one picture. Accordingly, the performance would not have the form that it has now.

- Would you like to do something more exciting in the future? For example, organize a championship for those who have already completed a sports career. Invite Mao Asad, Adeline Sotnikova, Yuna Kim, Carolina Costner ...

“I never even thought in that direction.” Although, it seems to me, it would be interesting.

Source: russiart

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