In a short span of time, French choreographer Benoit Richaud swiftly ascended to become a highly esteemed figure in his domain. Gaining first attention by choreographing Deniss Vasiljevs’ free program to Tron in the 2015-16 season, he now works with high level athletes from all over the globe. This season, the 36-year-old was nominated for the International Skating Union’s (ISU) “Choreographer of the Year” for the third time, a nomination very meaningful to him.
This season Richaud especially gained attention for his choreography for double European Champion Adam Siao Him Fa and Belgium’s rising star and European bronze medalist Nina Pinzarrone. In fact, he accompanied both skaters to most of their competitions this season.
In this interview he explains why his presence helps his students during competitions and how he evaluates the outstanding success and development of these two students for the year. He additionally shares why Siao Him Fa’s free skate to music selections by Max Richter is his favorite program of this season.
We also learn more about Richaud’s process of creating a program as he evaluates how his student inspire him. This includes how the music is chosen and how the stories his skaters often tell in their programs are created. He explains why telling a story in a program can be valuable for the skater as well as for the audience. Meanwhile, he shows a lot of empathy to the personal needs and development of his students and points out that no one knows what exactly is going on in a skater’s mind and thoughts.
On a personal level, Richaud characterizes himself as a person and reveals why he prefers the colors black and white on his social media and his clothes while creating colorful programs on the ice.