Ilya Averbukh gave a big interview to sovsport.ru http://www.sovsport.ru/gazeta/article-item/704800
I took the liberty to use the translation provided by the user quiqie from another forum (saw no copyright) ETA it is copyrighted.
. Just implemented some minor style/language improvements and added the very last part where he provides overall assessments of Sotnikova, Kovtun, and Lipnitskaia. Enjoy!
Here are some high points. It is all an interesting read.
Q: And the incomes cannot be compared, either. Your tour, which is packed with Olympic champions, is probably the only opportunity for them [Russian skaters] to earn.
A: Especially for those who retired from competitions. Usually, the Olympic prize money is spent on buying an apartment. At least, that was the case for Irina Lobacheva and me. I’m not complaining, after Salt Lake City we bought a great apartment, huge and in a good neighborhood. But we spent all our money on it. We were also supposed to get 50 kg of chocolate for the silver medal. Olympic champions got 100 kg. We got coupons from our sponsors. I never redeemed mine - what would I do with it? But I know that Alexei Yagudin’s mom went to the factory and took 100 kg, then sawed it into pieces and gave to friends.
A: I will say a shocking thing, perhaps, but the choreography in competitive figure skating is just in its infancy. I do not see any problems at the moment at all, working on choreography with amateur athletes. Because if you suggest an idea, and it makes the athlete not just skate waving her arms, then that’s already it. Accordingly, I do not think I’ve done something outstanding with Lipnitskaya. My work in the "Ice Age" is much more accurate, thoughtful, more difficult to perform. And why Julia's program is memorable, why it worked - that's because I told her: "We are not going to suffer to this music, despite the fact that the music is sad, no hysterical movements, no labored gestures."
Q: What’s quite typical for skaters .
A: Especially Russian skaters. And all this suffering in professional circles has its own name: «The Russians have upset stomach again." It’s time to get rid of it, forget that already, a different perception of the world has to come. So with Julia , I just brought some meaningfulness to her movements. It is important to understand what you do, and who you do it for. Very often the choreographer sees only himself in the art and tries to create images as if it’s him skating. I watched Julia for several days, I understood her, I got the feeling of her. And I only had to help her, keeping her brilliance, lightness, individuality, emphasizing what needed to be emphasized. It worked out then, although now we nervously listen to different music, looking for …
Q: Because next season, people are expecting something extraordinary from you again.
A: (laughing) I do realize that!
Do read the whole thing.