- In recent years, it has become the norm that the strongest sports couples turn to dance specialists for performances.

How serious is your work with Anastasia Mishina and Alexander Gallyamov in this respect?

- The coach of this couple, Tamara Moskvina, if you notice, in general, constantly changes choreographers.

Irina Zhuk put on a free program for the guys, I'm working on a short one.

Prior to this, Moskvina quite often turned to Pyotr Chernyshev, Igor Bobrin, Natalya Bestemyanova.

- Is it difficult for a skater when a mentor changes his staging hand so often?

- It seems to me that this makes the athlete develop more actively.

You try different directions and choreography, and accordingly, in the Olympic year, there is a wide opportunity for choice - you already know which choreographer is more comfortable to work with, which style is more suitable.

For example, I love to stage programs myself, but at one time I was very pleased with the experience of working with Radu Poklitaru - a very peculiar choreographer, whose style in productions is immediately visible.

He invited him to stage a free dance for Katya Bobrova and Dima Solovyov.

- What is the originality of Poklitaru as a director?

- If you explain in simple terms, Radu really likes some movements out of time.

According to music, one thing seems to be logical, but he puts on several, and everything begins to be perceived many times faster.

Pieces like this stick in my memory.

Over the years of staging work, I have also developed my own techniques and findings, but when I start staging the next program, I try with all my might to abstract from what I have already done.

For some reason, you always really want to get as far away from any standards as possible.

- If you were so attracted to Poklitaru's style, why did he give your skaters only one program?

- Yes, somehow there was no need.

And besides, our team employs an outstanding and versatile specialist - Sergey Petukhov.

We have been working together for a long time, and I know that no matter what task he sets, he implements it very well and with high quality.

- Over the two years that Mishina and Gallyamov performed at the adult level, I got the impression that both are not the easiest “material” for the director.

They fit the style that was used in the programs "Time Forward" or We are the Champions so well that it is tempting to continue to move in this vein and further.

— I do not agree.

If everything was as perfect as you say, then with the production of “Time Forward”, the guys would now be Olympic champions, and not bronze medalists.

Yes, I am ready to agree: such a musical style creates a very definite mood, courage, but Nastya and Sasha need to continue to develop.

For me, despite all the titles, they continue to be juniors in some ways.

- What exactly?

- When an athlete has not completely got rid of junior psychology, he offers little in training himself.

Usually he just looks at the mentor or director and repeats what he is shown.

This is not a minus, but a property of age that disappears with time.

In return comes the ability to live each program, to pass it through oneself.

I think that Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov beat Mishina / Gallyamov at the Beijing Games precisely because of this quality - they showed more mature skating, more soulful, soul-stirring.

- Music for the short program of Nastya and Sasha is still a secret?

- With this question it is better to turn to Tamara Nikolaevna.

I'm not sure that it would be right for me to release the information until it is announced by the coach.

I can only say that I really like the music, it suits the guys very much. 

- Doesn't it scare you that every year the programs of sports couples become more and more dance-oriented?

After all, the question arises: why not combine the two types into one, abandoning “pure” dances?

- It seems to me that the International Skating Union, on the contrary, is trying to separate them as much as possible using the rules, since visually there has really been a strong convergence lately.

“That's why I asked the question.

— I don’t think that dancers will be very happy with the prospect of learning outstretched arms lifts, twists and throws.

Dances are already getting more complicated every year in terms of steps - it is no coincidence that both singles and couples borrow so many ideas from our type of skating.

Everyone must do their job.

Look, Sasha Trusova jumped 4.19 in long jump.

Were you curious to see it?

- Not.

— Neither do I.

Sasha is much more interesting when she jumps quadruple jumps.

And Alina Zagitova is interesting not because of how revealing she is boxing in the ring.

I have a girl skating now who owns all the triples.

So what?

Insert these jumps into the program?

- In ballet, it is believed that every dancer must necessarily undergo classical training "at the barre", because this is the base on which the entire profession is built in the future.

Is it possible to say that a figure skater must go through a certain number of classical programs?

- Classics, of course, develops, but I must say, it is far from being for everyone.

Katya Gordeeva and Sergey Grinkov, Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze or Vika Sinitsina / Nikita Katsalapov are unusually good in the classics.

Madison Hubbel and Zachary Donoghue or Madison Chalk and Evan Bates - absolutely not.

If you set up a program for acrobatic athletes who do not have ideal lines, it is useless to take on the classics, you will never achieve a wow effect.

In the same way, a classical dancer cannot always show modern well.

- Do you stage both programs yourself for Sinitsina and Katsalapov?

Yes, we are in the process right now.

I especially enjoy working with Vika and Nikita.

They are a very fertile "material" for any director.

If, for example, I say that I need a bunch of a certain duration along a short side, the guys immediately offer me a dozen options to choose from.

The same were Tanya Navka with Roman Kostomarov.

- I remember the times when Vika was only silent and listened in training.

At what point did you feel that she had become an equal member of your team?

- It was the season when the guys rolled Piazzola's Tango.

In that program, it somehow immediately became clear that two equal partners were performing.

It is clear that Nikita is so charismatic that he constantly pulls the blanket over himself, but when he remembers that he needs to work for a partner, the dance immediately begins to play with other colors.

Yes, and Vika immediately blossomed as soon as she began to feel the emphasized attention to herself on the ice.

- The Russian skaters will most likely have to spend this season inside the country.

Is there no temptation to try to go beyond the rules in programs?

- What's the point?

You can, of course, take risks in choosing music, some other things, but globally we still have to keep in mind all the technical requirements: tracks, key points.

Another question is that we need to come up with new formats such as the jumping championship.

There are many options.

The main thing is that all this should be interesting for athletes, and not slip into some kind of nonsense.

But personally, I still keep the World Cup in my head.

I really hope we get a chance to go there.