The Tutberidze Effect

Edwin

СделаноВХрустальном!
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
The only thing that I worry about is this: We don't want figure skating to become an endeavor where the athletes (specimens) are just interchangeable pawns in some sort of ego game played by adults.

There always is this dormant risk, especially when programs start to fight between themselves for resources and start poaching, or try bending the governor's decision making over building plans, money division etc.
It seems amongst the top Moscow rinks, both Davydov and Panova are already in the race to catch up, but little is known about their setups.
Davydov said in his interview, any skater is free to leave and choose at any time. No doubt the same applies to the Crystal Dome. As long as the skaters themselves feel welcomed, appreciated, I see no problems.

It will be interesting to watch their progress over the run op to 2022 Olympics.

But like Goncharenko said, progress isn't made by leaning back.
 

Edwin

СделаноВХрустальном!
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
The Pulse of Creativity

Thanks to the excellent resource Moskovskiy Figurist proved to be, here is my take on the words, thoughts and ideas of one of the persons closely involved in the Tutberidze Effect, and for a great part responsible for its success.
---------


The pulse of creativity

Daniil Gleikhengauz: “We are approaching the creation of a program, like scientists a formula”

Gleikhenhaus Daniil Markovich
Date of birth: June 3, 1991 (Russia, Moscow). Master of Sports (mens single). Candidate Master of sports (ice dancing).
Club: EShVSM "Moskvich", FSO "Vorobyoviye Gory".
Trainers: Natalya Primachenko, Victor Kudryavtsev, Oleg Volkov, Alexander Zhulin.
Education: higher, RSUFKSiT (GTsOLIFK) (2012).
Currently: CSO Sambo-70, Khrustalniy branch (Moscow), choreographer of the group Eteri Tutberidze.
Awards: medal of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, IInd degree (2018).

- Daniil, you, an athlete with this unique work experience in solo skating first under the guidance of such trainers as Natal'ya Dubinskaya, Viktor Kudryavtsev, Alla Belyaeva, continuing under Alexander Zhulin for a three-year period in ice dancing. Which of these experiences influenced your desire to become a choreographer? Because a soloist career seemed to dominate your sporting destiny and being a choreographer is a non-standard choice.
D: Probably the first thing that affected me was that my mother is a ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater, who from childhood was preparing me for a ballet career. I was engaged in choreography as far back as I can remember, so I really had no choice.

- Where did figure skating come from?
D: Admittance to ballet school starts at 9 years old, and to figure skating - at 4. I was taken to the skating rink so that I could grow stronger, learn to skate, and develop my coordination abilities. But when the time came, by the age of 9 I had already won too many children's competitions, and the coaches unanimously said that I was a promising boy, therefore, when my mother thought of sending me to ballet school, I was categorically against it. So much that mom gave up. But ev then the amount of choreography in my life did not diminish. The day began with an ice training at 7 in the morning, then we went to school for a couple of lessons, at school she picked me up with wrapped up food, while I ate, I was taken to the next training. Then we drove home, where my mother engaged with me in choreography. Then I did my homework and went to bed. Of course, in childhood, I had moments of negative attitude towards my mother and her initiatives. It seemed to me like she tortured me.

- Doesn’t it seem so today?
D: Of course, over time, the older I got, the more I realized that a child is not always able to assess why parents demand something from him and insist on it. In childhood, we often get angry, resentful of parents who make us do our lessons at the time we want to play with friends or watch cartoons. Now that I myself have started working with children, I understand how important it is that parents take care of their children. And vice versa, I see how difficult it is for children who do not feel the love and care of their parents, because they do not devote time to them, do not delve into their lives. Therefore, I always try to convey to our athletes the idea that parental care should be appreciated. It’s easier for me to do this, because I have not yet gone so far from them by age and remember very well how I myself reacted to parental comments and requirements.

- How did you become the choreographer of the Tutberidze group?
D: Eteri Georgiyevna asked Il'ya Averbukh to help find her a choreographer for her group. He recommended me.

- How went the process of joining the team?
D: Of course, at first they carefully watched me: how I and the athletes find a common language, how I teach sliding, how I work with jumps, what my technique was and so on, to understand whether we come to the same things. This was necessary, because in our group there is no kind of division of labour, that someone teaches sliding, someone spins, and someone jumps. We are all completely interchangeable, we have three (and now four, including Sergey Rozanov) on the same common technique of setting elements, and we can all tell the athlete at any time how and what to do. It’s convenient to work because any of us can go to competitions with athletes or, conversely, stay alone at the rink with the group and there will be no problems.

- You were taken into the group as a choreographer-tutor?
D: Yes, at first I only worked out programs, but in the process I started to offer something on music, on ideas. It was the first time that I voiced aloud my dream of staging a program to Swan Lake. I proposed this idea for Yuliya Lipnitskaya, but she refused. As a result, this program was staged for Alina Zagitova in the Olympic season.

- How did you grow up to be an independent production choreographer? How did this transformation happen?
D: Rather, it’s first necessary to talk about how I was able to prove to Eteri Georgiyevna that I could stage. After all, before I came to work in her group, I had been staging programs at Moskvich for three years. By that time I had already done about 80 programs. Plus, just a month before I came to her (it was September-October 2015), I'd just returned from Sochi, where I helped Averbukh to stage Carmen. So at that moment I already had experience working both with Olympic champions and with young children. I didn’t have any fear or self-doubt. I was quite confident in myself. All that remained was for her to believe in me.

- To whom did you stage your first program?
D: We had very good contacts with Adyan Pitkeyev, who told Eteri Georgiyevna that he wanted have me stage his programs. She agreed, although she already had an agreement with Marina Zuyeva to stage programs for Adyan in the States. It was decided that Zuyeva would give him a free program, and I would give him a short one. It was my first big job. That same year, at the summer training camp in Novogorsk, I began to stage programs on the guys from our group, everyone except Zhenya Medvyedeva, whom Averbukh staged the program “I Hear - I Can't Hear”. It all happened that season.

- It was a brilliant program. Is it a pity that Lipnitskaya also refused it at that time?
D: In our group more than once there were such situations when someone refused, another athlete with this program would become champion. But lately there have been no refusals.

- Daniel, you agree, one story when a choreographer works in freelance mode and is invited by an athlete for a specific production. And it’s completely different when the choreographer works in the group not only as a tutor, but also as a director, who has to stage two programs for each athlete per season. Tell us how you cope with this challenge, where you draw your inspiration from, where you take strength from and more.
D: You are right: it’s easier to be an invited choreographer because there is always an interesting creative story, because the athlete’s ambitions and his potential give the director scope for implementing the most daring ideas. It is much more difficult to find ideas, music for each athlete, each at a different level, from season to season. In our group, the production period starts from end of April - as soon as the last competitions end - until September inclusive. The biggest difficulty lies in the number of productions, but I share this burden with Eteri Georgiyevna, who is always involved in the selection of music and is always on ice during any production. First, we stage programs for the main athletes, then juniors, and then for the 9-10 year old children which we also have in the group. As a rule, this happens at the training camp in Novogorsk, where we have four trainings a day - two in the older group and two in the youngest. From the inside, this process looks like this: we stage programs during the day, in the evening we are going to listen to music and sketch ideas. Therefore, camps in Novogorsk require endurance and strength. It helps that before this we all relaxed on our holidays, although after the staging period we again want to relax somewhere in a quiet place. By the end of August the first competitions will start, and we are entering the main season.

- So you can’t get more rest?
D: Why? In our group it is customary to consider that every time you are at a competition, you're on leave and having a vacation.

- How do you manage to master this whole load of program productions from year to year? How do you avoid repetition? Avoid the temptation to inherit a previously staged program?
D: As for the “inheritance” transfer: we say a categorical “no” to any such approach. This does not respect either athletes, nor spectators, nor ourselves. Of course, staging thirty programs each season is difficult, energy-consuming, but there is no other way. Plus, I really love this business, I get pleasure from the process, and as long as I have the strength and, most importantly, the desire, I think everything will be in order. For me there is nothing more pleasant than spending time searching for music, inspiration, then to come to Eteri Georgiyevna and say - "Ready, I've figured it out". And if I hear her answer, yes, it's cool, there is no greater joy for me. When we all go out onto the ice, when everyone is creatively wound up, including the athlete, the coolest and most interesting programs appear. I do not really like the word "masterpieces", but I can say it turned out to be a special and fitting product.

The task of the choreographer is to develop athletes, expand the palette of their style possibilities

- Still, how does this happen in practice? The choreographer distances himself from the athlete and selects music and a program for him or, conversely, an athlete is selected for the invented program.
D: I would say this happens differently in different cases. For example, I really wanted to stage Swan Lake and, accordingly, while still under this idea looked for, was waiting for the right athlete. She turned out to be Alina Zagitova, because not every skater can be a black swan. But it also happens in a different way: when you need to stage the program for an athlete from the group, you tune in to his wavelength, select music, an idea for him. For example, you look at Sasha Trusova and see that such energy radiated from her that you can’t curb her at all, it’s unlikely that a lyrical program will suit her. At the same time, Alyona Kostornaya seemed to be born for romantic programs. However, if this year each of them skates their inherent programs, this does not mean that the next season will be the same. Sasha can’t always skate some action movie, just like Alyona will not constantly get staged in the form of a “princess”. The choreographer’s task is to develop athletes, expand the palette of their stylistic capabilities, which we do in training: we do some appropriate dances, joining steps together to different music, we dance in all kinds of styles in the dry hall and so on.

- This season you staged your athletes programs under music from the famous hits: Alina Zagitova will perform under "Phantom of the Opera" and "Carmen", Alyona Kostornaya - under "Romeo and Juliet", Alexander Trusova - under the soundtracks from “Kill Bill” and “The Fifth Element”. Is this due to the fact that the images created for them are familiar and understandable to the viewer?
D: I understand your question. You have listed programs whose music is really known to everyone, but for the same Kostornaya, Shcherbakova, Usachyova, Valiyeva and others, their music for the most part is generally unidentified and uninitiated, so we say, we “discovered” that music. When I answer your question, I adhere to a ratio of 50/50. For one program we take a hit, for another - an unknown track. Sometimes we take famous music, but we impose an unexpected image on it. So, Polina Tsurskaya, we once staged a program under the soundtrack of “Game of Thrones”, but the idea of ​​the program was in no way connected with the series. As for Alina and her two programs, here we proceeded from the fact that she is able to 'skate out' these hits better than all the others who previously skated under the Phantom of the Opera and Carmen. It was my desire, to stage to this music like never before. The goal was to make her such programs so that for another three or four years no one would take this music, realizing that they would never perform it better than Zagitova did.

- Is the choreographer able to turn a program based on unknown music into a hit?
D: Of course, this is the work of the choreographer. But only on the condition that an unexpected idea will be staged to this unknown music, some interesting image or the choreography of the program will be fresh, original. Other than that, it’s important the athlete has enough qualifications to carry the program, otherwise it will be a complete failure. Although, I think, it’s even more a failure when mediocre programs for poor skaters are staged under famous music.

- At what point do you understand that it is only this music that will create a full-fledged, strong image?
D: Probably, at that moment when you listen to music with headphones and come up with an idea, see an image, a program. But all these ideas must pass the checking clipboard of Eteri Georgiyevna. If the idea is weak or too strange (which sometimes happens to me), it will not pass her filter right here and now. She can say: “It’s wonderful, but without a libretto no one will understand how you will explain the program to the people?” Then we either correct the idea or discard it. We make decisions together, because you cannot make mistakes in this matter.

My task is to help the athlete show the best version of himself though his program

- Which programs are the best in your ranking?
D: I probably will not surprise anyone with my choice, because these are really the best programs of our time. I grew up on the productions of Nikolai Morozov for Alexei Yagudin - “Winter”, “Man in the Iron Mask”. As a child I was so impressed with these programs that when I went out onto the ice, the first thing I did was depict steps and movements from them. The next were the programs of Stephan Lambiel, I really liked all of his, I reviewed them many times, remembered. Today, since Lambiel became a coach, it is almost always possible to guess it was him who staged the program, his choreography is so original. Another question is that his style is not always suitable for every athlete. Next, I’ll probably name Patrick Chan, Shoma Uno, Yuzuru Hanyu and, of course, Nathan Chen.

- How is Nathan Chen interesting to you?”
D: He used to be criticized a lot for his 'run-and-jump' programs, but Chen works a lot in the dry hall and tries to transfer his choreography from the floor to the ice in one piece, which is atypical for figure skating, because traditionally we are more inclined towards ballet. In his programs, I see he is now introducing a different choreography with his various clips and finds, and over time he will show us both hip-hop and characteristic dances. One can see this will become his style, it just needs to be given time. He is sharp, rhythmic, explosive, no one will expect from him "Romeo and Juliet" or lyric programs. He has his own style, he is more groovy, more aggressive, and the more he skates, the more we will see his “This am I”. One also needs to name Javier Fernandez, who concluded his brilliant career at the European Championships. His show number was simply unbelievable. It is so beautifully staged, there are so many interesting things you simply can't stop watching.

- It is interesting that you have now cited a series of examples from men's single skating. And how are things in women's skating?
D: - I don’t even know who to name here. For me, Yuna Kim, Mao Assad, Carolina Kostner have always stood out with their programs. But it was with the programs of Yuliya Lipnitskaya that the so-called “with an idea” programs began. Il'ya Averbukh and Eteri Tutberidze made a lot of good programs for Yulia, which were different from those of other athletes. This is not only Schindler's List, but also Megalopolis, where she seemed to be running after a kite. Then there were already programs for Zhenya Medvyedeva, first “I hear - I don’t hear”, then a short program “Farewell to childhood”, then a program about September 11 and others. These programs stood out against the general background.

- Do other trainers hire you as a program director?
D: I will always be happy to help everyone, provided they are athletes of pair skating or dancing on ice, since we are not direct competitors in these. I would be happy to help them to win, because I want our athletes to be the best in any discipline in which we contest.

- You are the choreographer of the strongest group of female single skaters in the world. Do you realize you are setting any trends in this sport? When you start staging a program, what principles do you follow, what tools do you use so your athletes win?
D: I will not say anything new here. Each athlete is strong in something: one jumps better, the other spins, the third rides. My task is to help the athlete to show the best version of himself by using his program. If he is doing something not that good, I will find a million options for him how to hide it in the program so that no one even guesses anything. We are approaching the creation of a program, the same way a scientist a formula - it will only have the very best. The program should capture the audience in such a way no one even starts to think the athlete is not able to do something. Of course, this cannot be done in all programs and with all athletes, but we are trying our best.

- The prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater, who plays the part in Odette – Odile, cannot change the choreography, no matter how complicated or inconvenient it may be for her. The ballerina either can perform it and then she'll be the soloist, or she cannot and then she dances in the corps de ballet. When staging programs in figure skating, the choreographer exclusively starts from the athlete’s abilities, which is a kind of indulgence. Is this correct?
D: We can say that since choreography is not a constant, since it adapts itself to the level of the athlete, it doesn't present itself as indulgent. But figure skating is a sport in which all the elements are rigidly spelled out, all levels of difficulty for each category and age are prescribed, and if you do not meet these requirements, you'd end your sports career. There is no other alternative. For the rest, there really is more freedom of action, and here it depends on the coach and choreographer how to present the ability of their athlete to perform these prescribed elements. Choreography is just a wide area of ​​self-expression.

The coach chooses the best tactics for his athlete so that he can show his best result

- If the athlete brings you music and says: “I want to ride it,” or during the formulation of the program suggests something to do in his own way, how do you feel about this?
D: I always welcome if the athlete offers something during the stagings. If we and him work together, that's great! But this does not mean that we enthusiastically accept everything that they offer. At the age of 14-16, not all boys and girls can bring an interesting idea for the program, choose music for themselves, and more. If a girl dreams about skating in a tutu, and we see that she is not from the balletic stock, then, of course, we will not carry out her wish. If all of us like the proposed music and idea, we as professionals understand that you can win with this program. Simple as that.

- That is, you limit your athletes freedom of choice?
D: The issue here is not freedom, but professionalism. The coach sees the whole picture, he knows the characteristics of the athlete, his abilities and capabilities, he tracks fashionable musical and staging trends, but he is looking for some innovative moves so that the program 'plays' for the athlete. This process, if the athlete wants to succeed, can not be lowered to the level of "I want, I don't want" or "like, don't like." Imagine if a player on a soccer team tells the coach that he does not want to adhere to the tactics that were designed for the game, that he will follow his own tactics? Or the forward will say that he does not want to play as attacker, but wants to play as goalkeeper? It’s the same here. The coach chooses the best tactics for his athlete so that he can show his best result. The main thing for us is to bring our athlete to success, to help him achieve his maximum in a particular season with the music and programs that we offered and delivered to him.

- I saw this season Kamila Valiyeva short program "Girl on the ball." In my opinion, this program deserves to be seen at the Olympic Games, and not just at the Moscow Championship for older age. Is it a pity to spend such ideas on children's tournaments?
D: The idea itself belongs to Eteri Georgiyevna. She came up with it when we sat in the evening in Novogorsk and thinking about programs. In general terms, we immediately figured out how the production would look like, then we found music that could lean on this idea. When we started staging the program on ice, I realized that I want to add a little modernism to the movements, especially since Kamila is a very gifted girl in terms of choreography, it’s easy to work with her. Yes, this program probably could have been Olympic, but it’s not said that there would have been some other athlete who could have done it the way Kamila did this year when she was 12 years old. And it’s not said that Kamila herself will be able to skate this program the same way when 17-18 years of age. Therefore, if we feel a creative pulse, we are not trying to hold it back, store it for later. Someone will probably say that we are very nonchalant about this, but we have a belief that in the Olympic season we will be able to do something good, something memorable.

------
Source: http://ffkm.ru/images/mf/Figurist_1_2019.pdf

PS: with choreography is mostly meant here: dance training/learning and not so much the artistic practice itself?

Very much hope for an in depth interview with Sergey Dudakov on the bare facts, naked truths and sheer basics of training figure skaters at this level or Sergey Rozanov on working effectively with the very young skaters.
 
Last edited:

Edwin

СделаноВХрустальном!
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Here is a mother's view on the Tutberidze Effect, her fears and expectations:

Yekaterina Samsonova, Daniil’s mother: “We are grateful to all the coaches of our son, because everyone invested in him professionally”

Our son began to practice figure skating by chance. Although, on the other hand, sometimes it seems it was predetermined.
Our eldest daughter Lisa went to the ice rink in Mar'yno. Danya was three and a half years old, and we didn’t plan any sports for him, although he constantly pulled on me: “Mom, I also want to go!” While we were waiting for Lisa from training and PE, I paid attention to this coach Valeriy Meshkov, who led the health group and taught figure skating to adult women.
I liked his approach to teaching very much, he used children's cubes, some sticks, cones, painted figures on ice - I decided to go up to him and ask him to take Danya into his group. Valery Ivanovich flatly refused, simply did not agree to anything. The main argument was: "You'd still leave for hockey anyway." I assured him no, my son isn't a hockey player. Only on this condition Meshkov took him in his group. By then he'd already collected a group of small kids around him, because according to the rules it is not allowed to combine into the same health group people of all ages. As a result, we worked out for some time and would have continued to, but the group was dissolved. Then, for about another year, we skated with Meshkov privately, traveled to various commercial sites, including skating rinks in shopping centers. As a result, Danya skated for two and a half years, while he did not do any jumps but only slided. Valery Ivanovich taught him in the style of the old school: he placed cones on ice, drew trajectories of arcs, forced him to hang in on his edges, after each workout he looked at his boots, checking for abrasions on their outer sides. However, at the age of six, the question arose about competitions, and we did not have any sports guidebooks or a school that could direct us to a start.

We went around a number of skating rinks: we went to CSKA, to Moskvich and many more everywhere. As a result, we came to Olympic Reserve No. 4, to this trainer, which we found following the recommendations from parents of established skaters. And today, whoever asks me, I will answer that Olga Levina is the best children's coach in Moscow. Classes were mostly held on small ice, but sometimes we were allowed on the main ice, usually together with the group of Il'ya Klimkin. From Olga Sergeyevna Daniil learned all his double jumps and combined them into cascades. Apparently, on the sliding base Valeriy Ivanovich had laid, jumps could quickly be added. Once, Olga Sergeyevna called me to her and said that Danya had already learned all the cascades 2-2 while the group, meanwhile, was just continuing to learn doubles, so, in her opinion, it did not make sense to stagnate, we should go further. We then wanted to get into the group with Natal'ya Dubinskaya and were very worried that she would not take us in, because at that time she did not have children as young as Danya in the group. Natal'ya Petrovna took us in, but the interaction did not work out: Danya nevertheless turned out to be too small and was thought somehow of being slow compared to the other guys from the group, so we made a difficult decision - to leave, so as not to get under the feet of the older ones, so as not to to grow some unnecessary complexes in your child.

We went into the group of Aleksander Shubin, and he taught Daniel to be a maximalist. Aleksander Aleksandrovich in his coaching essence is a pedant to bone marrow. If these are rotations, they must be done at the “sixth” level, because in that case the fourth will be obtained automatically. He teaches his athletes to perform elements not only technically correct, but also beautifully. Thanks to him, Danya learned to rotate at high speed, in various positions and centered. The choreographer working at Moskvich was Daniil Gleikhengauz, who in the fall of 2014 went to work in the group of Eteri Tutberidze. In general, I want to say that we are grateful to all the coaches who were in the sports life of our son, because everyone invested in him professionally.

We started the 2014/15 season, got selected for the Junior Championship of Russia, where we took the final 14th place. However, the floor was knocked from under our feet by a 18th place finish in the free program: the judges did not count three cascades of jumps in its second half, since they were superfluous elements. This result was our trigger for the idea of ​​trying to get into the group of Eteri Tutberidze. Having returned from Velikiy Novgorod, I immediately called Daniil Markovich and asked if I could come to see them, and if so, when. He replied - tomorrow. Our son only before going to bed found out that he was going to see Tutberidze for appraisal.

To be honest, I was ready for the fact that we would be refused. In that case, I'd prepared a question for Eteri Georgiyevna: who should we train with so that you can take him later? But it so happened that she took him, because he himself made every effort to get in. I didn’t watch that training session, so when I heard in the corridors of Khrustalniy that some parents were discussing among themselves some kind of triple flip bug had arrived, I didn’t even realise right away that they were talking about my son.

With the transition of Danya to this group, the way of our life did not change much, but he himself became even more serious. Although he was not frivolous before. I was told how, even at Moskvich, one of the parents, having seen the focus on his face before training, asked: “Danya, why are you going to the rink and not smiling?” “Why smile? I’m going to work”, was the answer.


------
Source: http://ffkm.ru/images/mf/Figurist_2_2019.pdf
 
Last edited:

Edwin

СделаноВХрустальном!
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Something different and completely ridiculous: how I picture the core of #TeamTutberidzeForProgress in different roles:

Eteri Georgyevna: a noble woman standing atop a hill, hair blowing in the wind, her arm stretched out, commanding look at the kestrel just about ready to land on her gloved fist
Sergey Dudakov: grim faced northern warrior riding an ice bear, fully clad in black furs and leather with his weapons slung over his back
Daniil Gleikhengauz: a smartly dressed circus artist, intently staring at his trained little fox terriers, making them jump hoops, perform saltos and many other tricks

I wish I could draw you these images from my mind after all this translating stuff ;-)
 

Edwin

СделаноВХрустальном!
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Speaking of Dudakov, I've found an older interview by Olga Yermolina in the #TeamTutberidzeForProgress VK page: https://vk.com/@eteritutberidze-kto-nas-vyvodit-v-mastera

Here is my take on it,

WHO RAISES US TO MASTERS

Coach Sergei Dudakov does not like to give interviews and rarely appears in front of television cameras. He prefers doing - to train, over talking. This material is probably the first, where Sergey Viktorovich tells in detail about himself, his path in sports.

OPEN AIR ICE RINK ON "Leninskiye Gori"

- I ended up in figure skating thanks to my mother. In the 70's, this sport was very popular in our country, the names of Irina Rodnina and Alexander Zaitsev, Lyudmila Pakhomova - Alexander Gorshkov rung everywhere. Probably, this largely influenced the choice of mom.
As a child, I often got sick - colds, bronchitis. Doctors advised spending more time outdoors, playing sports. Therefore, at 6 years old, they brought me to an open skating rink on the Lenin Hills. In those years in Moscow there were many such skating rinks. They built a “box”, poured ice. Amateur sections were created at these rinks, children were taught figure skating. I hit one of those.

Mom said that as soon as I got on the ice, I skated off right away. Did not know how to turn - I stopped in the snowbanks. But I liked it.
When spring came, the snow melted, we went to Luzhniki, to "Kristall". The famous ice rink, where many of our skaters began and trained. On the “Kristall” was this main ice and an annex with an additional ice rink, 2/3 of the usual size, where the Moscow ballet dancers were preparing on ice. There we kids trained.

Once Marina Grigoryevna Kudryavtseva came to our classes to recruit children for her group. I was among the lucky ones. Then, when I was about 18 years old, I asked Marina Grigoryevna why she paid attention to me back then, because there were a lot of children on the ice, it seemed so erratic , movement? She replied: “For speed. The kid knew nothing, but moved quickly. And besides, red hair color, and the team should have a redhead. There is such a sign: a redhead brings happiness." As a child, I really was very “apt”, over the years, I brightened up. So I ended up in Kudryavtseva's group.

We trained on the same "Kristall". A tiny "ice meadow." But training has already become regular, with tests, ... , selection and dropout. If the kids coped, they moved on. No, sorry. Who skated well, worked, learned something new, showed that he was ready to be released on the big ice. This was a reward for us. We all dreamed of riding with Kostya Kokora, Kira Ivanova, Sergey Volkov, Alexander Krysanov ... We were strictly warned: adult athletes should not be disturbed, be very attentive. And we watched with all eyes how those celebrities trained. Thanks to Marina Grigoryevna, I began to seriously engage myself in figure skating, and it so happened that my whole future life was closely connected with this sport.

DAD DREAMED FOR ME TO DO SPORTS

- My parents were not professional athletes. Mom worked as an engineer at the chemistry department of Moscow State University. Dad was a policeman. My father loved sports. Hockey, soccer... He drove me, his little kid, to the stadium, together we were rooting for our favourite teams. I remember how after the matches we all wandered in a crowd of fans to the Sportivnaya metro station, because the nearest Leninskye Gory station (now Vorobyovye Gory) was closed. When I started figure skating, my dad supported me in every way. He came over the weekend, watched me train. Parents were not allowed to watch trainings back then, but there were large windows on Kristall, and if you put a brick under the frame and climbed on it, you could watch the training. Dad dreamed that I'd go into sports, that I would succeed. He said: "Come on, try, everything will work out." Mom was calmer in this regard.


There was a funny case when my parents for the first time let me go to training alone. We lived on Obruchev Street, which is not so far from Luzhniki, but letting go of a 7-year-old boy alone was scary.

Mom and dad worked, and could often not ask for leave. They began to decide what to do. I remember, dad called me, asked: “Will you go alone?” “I'll go,” I'd say. “Then recite: left the house and where?” I began to tell which bus I would take, which stop I would get off, how I would walk next ... My father made me repeat all this ten times. Examined. And the next day I went to the rink alone. Trained, returned back.

Only then, years later, dad admitted that on that day he went back and forth all the way after me, made sure that I did everything right - crossed the street, did not forget the bus stop ... It's funny! I did not notice anything then. After that first independent trip, this issue was resolved.

FIRST ASSEMBLY IN ZAPOROZHYA

- I had a serious interest in figure skating from about ten years old. But here everything is individual, with someone earlier, someone later. The changes that occurred in me were associated with multi-turn jumps. Skaters overcome the first main barrier when they switch from double jumps to Akels with two and a half turns, then to triples. For children this is always a difficult moment. Although now in this regard, everything has become different. And in my time, a lot of people finished because they couldn’t master triple jumps. I succeeded. Became interesting. I always liked jumping ...


We went to Zaporozhye for the first summer ice gathering. Viktor Nikolayevich Kudryavtsev, who had already started to work with us, took out his entire large group. I still remember children's feelings, the perception of what was happening. For the first time going so far from home, away from mom and dad, and even for three weeks! What's three weeks now - just a blink of your eyes, but then it seemed to me that time dragged on forever.

At the training camp, we did everything on command. Together we went to the dining room, for training, got up to exercise, walked. None of us had alarms at that time, and in order not to oversleep, they turned on the radio. At 6 a.m. the anthem was playing, and we knew that there was still an hour before we'd had to rise. Sometimes adult guys insured: they came in charging, hammering. But it happened that we still overslept. We received for this “head”, but understood - we ourselves were to blame ...

Sometimes in the evenings we gathered and cried - we missed our homes. But after this gathering, everyone became more independent, matured or something, and all the following gatherings were simpler and easier ...

Viktor Nikolaevich was very demanding, but fair. He always remained so. Over my entire sports career, it never happened the Kudryavtsevs did not come to training. They took the matter seriously and responsibly. And Viktor Nikolayevich demanded discipline, first of all, from his disciples. He was always honest with the students, if the skater was doing something wrong, the coach spoke directly about this.

It happened, you come to the training, nothing happens, because your head is clogged with other things, you wander in the clouds, you don’t hear what the coach says. Only now, after I've started working as a trainer myself, I understand how important this is. Inattention can lead not only to memorizing your own mistakes, but also to injuries, so you can’t relax even for a second.

And so it happened, absolutely nothing was going on in training, Viktor Nikolayevich calls up the group, explains to everyone what and how. Then he looks at you, distracted, and begins to speak so clearly and slowly that every word is like a shot. And it becomes so embarrassing you think it would be better for that shot to hit. But it immediately shook you up, returned you to work ...

I studied with the Kudryavtsevs from the very beginning until the moment I decided to quit. But never ever thoughts arose in me to leave my trainers. Although everything happened. We grew up, it seemed we can do everything, became independent. At times we hooligan'ed, cursed, argued with coaches. But to get away from the coaches - never. We were different ...

I am very grateful to Marina Grigoryevna and Viktor Nikolayevich for everything they have done for me, for the knowledge that I use now in my work.

I REGRET MY EARLY LEAVE FROM SPORT

- Of all the competitions in which I participated, the 1986 World Junior Championship were the most memorable. I still dream about it. And the guilt that I let everyone down - the coach, the country, the people who supported me, stayed with me for a long time. I was well prepared for the competition, but failed to do everything as planned. Even now I ask myself the question, why? .. At that championship I took 7th place.


In sports, I was "average", 6-8th place in the national championships. Naturally, I wanted more, to rise higher, to qualify for the European championships, the Worlds, but it didn't work out. In 1991, I decided to end my sports career. That year the CIS Championship was held, not the USSR, but we, the athletes, did not feel much difference. We haven’t shared anything yet; all were “ours”.

For me, those competitions turned out a “blank sheet” - neither the short, nor free program worked out. By then the desire to leave has ripened. I returned home from Kiev and mentally put an end to it. Then I regretted it more than once. Probably, it was necessary to persevere, still work on yourself. I saw that the guys who stayed in the sport got results. Igor Pashkevich became the silver medalist of the European Championship. Ilyusha Kulik successfully performed ... But what has been done is done. Although - yes, I regretted leaving ...

ARTISTS LIFE

- Sport went on after the end of my sports career. I tried myself in the Moscow ballet on ice. The artistic life into which I plunged did not resemble a sports life at all. At first, even thoughts appeared: what about the regime, but how, is all this right? Adult fun life. A large team - 52 skaters. Tours, performances ...

Ice ballet gave me the opportunity to look at figure skating from a slightly different perspective. While I was riding, I honestly say that thoughts about choreography and imagery rarely visited me. Just open your hands nicely, in fact, that’s all. And in ballet - different roles. It was necessary to switch from one number to another. And for me it was an interesting experience. I worked in ballet from 1992 to 1995 and left for England to perform in shows.

English producers in Moscow announced a set of skaters for the ice show "Phantom of the Opera." A lot of people were assessed, I passed this "sieve". For two years we toured England. Volodya Kotin, Frantsuzova - Gorshkov, Seleznyeva - Makarov, our other skaters. The troupe consisted only of Russian athletes. The first tour lasted 11 months. Every week another city. Then, too, these 11 months seemed like an eternity to me. Then I really understood what an artist’s life is, when you need to cook for yourself, clean up after yourself, wash, get used to moving, living in hotels ... But I managed.

After England, I went to Germany for 8 months to perform in a park show. It was a real “juicer”. Four shows a day, and this 6 times a week, one day off. A show of 35 minutes, and all this time you are in motion ...
After such a busy schedule, my next job — on a cruise ship — seemed like a “walk”. This was the end of my “artistic career”. A huge cruise ship, 16 decks, 5 thousand people on board. We left Miami and sailed along the islands.

There was ice on the ship, 1/6 the size of a regular ice rink. Four times a week we performed. The performance was dynamic, you had to constantly keep yourself in shape, warm up, train, do your runs to look decent. A ship is an enclosed space. From my cabin to the rink a 3 minutes walk, so, in general, we had little exercise. Compensated by training in the hall, jogging along the deck ... By the way, despite the fact that we were artists, everyone was assigned to the ship like sailors. Everyone knew what to do in case something happened. That was also a certain experience.

Each cruise lasted for six months. After the third "sea voyage" I began to think, what next? I was over thirty, the young guys were "running out". And by that time I already had a family, a son was born. Life “in two houses” - half a year in Moscow, half a year on a ship - weighed on me. The third time I went on a “tour” when my son Yegor was a month and a half. I returned - he is already a completely different person. Then I called Igor Pashkevich, who by that time he was working as a trainer in America, and asked for his advice. Igor said that the new Khrustalniy skating rink is opening, they say, try it there.

BELYAEVO, “Khrustalniy”

- In Belyaevo I took a group of beginners, it was interesting to me. Until that moment, I've never worked with children, I wanted to understand, can I handle it? I myself was pretty good at ice skating, but it’s one thing to ride while the other is to teach figure skating. I started with a group of "health" - three times a week I worked with them. Slowly my guys went. The best of them moved up to sports groups.

Two years later, Masha Butyrskaya invited me to the skating rink in Krylatskoye. I worked there for five years, but then returned to Khrustalniy. This was my other lucky ticket. The first lucky draw was aided by Marina Grigoryevna and Viktor Nikolayevich Kudryavtsevs. The second - Eteri Georgiyevna Tutberidze. The Kudryavtsevs taught me figure skating, Tutberidze gave me the opportunity to realize myself as a coach. I am very grateful to her. Eteri Georgiyevna is always ready to work, 24 hours a day. With her energy, her desire to achieve results, she motivates the rest. Working with her, it became possible to engage with mature athletes. In the group then trained Polina Shepelen, little Zhenya Medvyedeva, came Yuliya Lipnitskaya ...

It was not difficult for me to find a common language with Eteri Georgiyevna, because she is always fair. Sport is a tough discipline and self-discipline. And if the athlete works with loose sleeves, he pays for it. Over the years, we had a lot of guys, everyone’s sports career developed differently. I was very worried about the departure of Adyan Pitkeyev, I was happy over the success of our girls and guys. Because every athlete is part of our coaching life. The successes and failures of each student are the successes and failures of trainers.

SON TOOK A FANCY TO THE CZECH LANGUAGE, WANTS TO BECOME A TRANSLATOR

- My son did not become a skater. It’s like a saying: a shoemaker without boots. I left for work at 8 in the morning, returned at 9 in the evening. And so on. When Yegor was younger, he was probably jealous of my students, offended that I spent so little time with him. But now, I hope, he understood what my work is, what it means to me.


Our son choose his own path. He entered a teacher training college. Despite the fact that he knows English well, he became interested in the Czech language. He wants to be a translator. My wife and I support his choice, his desire.

Over time, you understand that family is very important for any person. If there is a reliable backup, everything is fine at home, you give all your best at work.

Coaching is contact with people. Students, their parents, colleagues, various specialists. We need to find a common language with everyone, be able to speak on different topics, explain some things, and convince. Therefore, a coach, in my opinion, should be universally able. A specialist in his field, a teacher, a psychologist, to know a lot, be able to do. I believe that you need to teach and educate children by your own example. Do not be afraid to admit your mistakes, put yourself in the shoes of athletes, try to understand why he did it, what went wrong, why it happened.

I think that the coach should be first and foremost demanding of himself, and then he has the right to demand the same attitude, return from his athletes. Athletes must be loved, and I love them all very much, because without love nothing will work out.

---------

Very nice interview indeed, the man that prefers to stay in the background but provides huge contribution to the Tutberidze Effect. That last paragraph says it all.
Still, in any new interview I'd like to hear his view on actual present day working, the challenges, the problems, the solutions, the group dynamics and something on how to teach elements, jumps, leaning into the edge etc.
 
Last edited:

tokoyami

On the Ice
Joined
Nov 9, 2018
didnt really read through this thread all i know is that some people really equate results to being a good person and that's not good. Eteri can collect as many medals as she wants, it wont change the fact that many of her students have spoken out about the harsh conditions, that students have developed eating disorders and unhealthy habits during the competitive season, many have shaky technique, etc. :sarcasm: i dont care how many essays yall write about the "glory of eteri georgevina tutberidze and what she's done for russia" imo she hasnt done anything until her methods stop including dietary restrictions and poor technique that leads to harmful behaviors of teenaged boys and girls
 

Orlov

Medalist
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
didnt really read through this thread all i know is that some people really equate results to being a good person and that's not good. Eteri can collect as many medals as she wants, it wont change the fact that many of her students have spoken out about the harsh conditions, that students have developed eating disorders and unhealthy habits during the competitive season, many have shaky technique, etc. :sarcasm: i dont care how many essays yall write about the "glory of eteri georgevina tutberidze and what she's done for russia" imo she hasnt done anything until her methods stop including dietary restrictions and poor technique that leads to harmful behaviors of teenaged boys and girls

:palmf:
 

Elucidus

Match Penalty
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
Well, I didn't like her part on 'immigrants from the East' probably hinting on Chen, Liu and the other successful US skaters with Asian ancestry.

Why? It's truth :confused2:

Score the same let's say a huge triple jump with a tiny or mediocre quad. Both can have the same or similar amount of difficulty. For example, if a skater A can do a quad, but cannot do a triple with 65 cm height and a skater B can do a 65 cm triple, but cannot do a quad, we can come to a mutual agreement that both are extreme human capabilities and should be scored similarly. I mean here the base value not GOEs.

What a ridiculous nonsense :drama: Sorry if it can offend you - but I suspect one can write such suggestion only due to two reasons:
1) he just don't understand mechanics of a multirotational jumps, how difficult they are
2) he is so biased towards his favorite skater with big triples (let's say someone like Dalemen, for example) that he is ready to equalize all her potential rivals with much more technical prowess to her level

Just so you know - difficulty of a jump multiplies manyfold with each rotation. It has nothing to do with jump height or other qualities. Even the most awful quad imaginable - many times more difficult than the most beautiful triple. Exactly because of it we know each quadster by the name. It's that unique trait. Maybe you would understand it better if you tried to learn mere single and double jumps yourself.
That said, trying to equalize difficulty of such conceptually different elements under any pretext - I can perceive only as a sign to regress the sport side of fs - since it will discourage skaters to learn quads even if they are able to do it and discourage quadsters to jump them at all. Because jumping high triple for a quadster/potential quadster with strong legs - is manytimes easier. To learn just one quad the skater can spend many years - it's just such huge, tremendeously difficult achievement. And you want devaluate it? Then why don't you just ban the quads at all? In practice it will be the same result anyway :rolleye:
 

Elucidus

Match Penalty
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
didnt really read through this thread all i know is that some people really equate results to being a good person and that's not good. Eteri can collect as many medals as she wants, it wont change the fact that many of her students have spoken out about the harsh conditions, that students have developed eating disorders and unhealthy habits during the competitive season, many have shaky technique, etc. :sarcasm: i dont care how many essays yall write about the "glory of eteri georgevina tutberidze and what she's done for russia" imo she hasnt done anything until her methods stop including dietary restrictions and poor technique that leads to harmful behaviors of teenaged boys and girls

Unless you can prove that most of other coaches in any countries have less injuries than Eteri - you don't have any ground for criticism :scratch3: Of course it's not easy task to do - considering that each and every Eteri student is widely known - and therefore all their issues are made public immediately as well. While not so famous coaches (Davydov,Tsareva, Plushenko, Zakraychek etc.) or famous coaches but not under such scrutiny (Buyanova, Mishin, Orser etc.) - whether they have "good" technique or "bad" technique - have TONS of known/unknown novice, juniors and seniors skaters - who suffered multiple injuries, were forced to retire, have health/mental problems etc. And each year they accept new crop of them - and each year they destroy them almost completely. Noone writes about it though. Why - it's not interesting for public, just typical sport "selection process". Unless it's Tutberidze, of course :scratch2:
Still, I believe for a person prone to such drastic claims - examining fs coaches more deeply won't be such a hard task to complete ;)

P.S.: of course I could help you a little - providing with a list of.. let's say Orser's injured students for just last couple of seasons and compare it with Eteri's. But why should I? If you are willing to slander - it is expected proving part is on you.
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Just so you know - difficulty of a jump multiplies manyfold with each rotation. It has nothing to do with jump height or other qualities. Even the most awful quad imaginable - many times more difficult than the most beautiful triple. ...

Well, we used to think that, anyway, back when only a few skaters could manage a quad, however poor in quality.

But now it appears that everyone and his little sister can do it, if you get them early enough.

I do think that there is another side to the story. Just because something is hard does not mean that it is the whole game. A backflip is hard. But you don't get any points for it. It would be hard to tie a skate to the top of your head and skate around the rink upside down, but that would be silly.

Men's skating has already become, "Whoever does the most quads wins and nothing else counts." Well, OK, I have become resigned to it. But still I don't rejoice in the direction that figure skating is taking. I think it can be argued that this lop-sided emphasis on rotating in the air is a distortion of the of the core principles of the discipline.
 

Orlov

Medalist
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Men's skating has already become, "Whoever does the most quads wins and nothing else counts." Well, OK, I have become resigned to it. But still I don't rejoice in the direction that figure skating is taking. I think it can be argued that this lop-sided emphasis on rotating in the air is a distortion of the of the core principles of the discipline.

And here we enter on a very unsteady sand :) The fact that for you the "principles" for another can be nonsense. In general, this is a word with a very vague meaning, convenient for building sophisms.

For example, for me, the "principle" of figure skating is creating beauty online in extreme (i mean high level sport) conditions. You are not just dancing - you are dancing with a barbell on your shoulders. Beauty takes on a special flavour - flavour of risk, the artist becomes not only the creator, but also the protector. And multi-turn jumps, the constant technical race fits perfectly into this view. But this is for me, this is my vision, I do not impose it on anyone. Therefore, please be careful with these self-confident "principles of sport", because it is always a hidden attempt to impose one’s vision.
 

zounger

Medalist
Joined
Jan 18, 2017
At least you are sorry. I m on my way to Amorgos so don’t have much time to reply now. I will try to remember to do in a couple of days.

Just to let you now I know physics and math at an excellent level. And my favorite are not Delman or someone with huge triples. My second favorite has multiple quads.

Until I return I will give you the time to add or think about a third option.
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
You are not just dancing - you are dancing with a barbell on your shoulders.

Well, that is kind of my point. What would possess anyone to dance with a barbell on his shoulders? The only reason I can think of is so he can say, "Look everybody, I'm dancing with a barbell on my shoulders! Now, does anyone want to see me do it blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back?"

As for the "principles of figure skating," I feel confident in saying that historically the exercise is about blades on ice. To me the value of a rotational jump is not just to "make skating harder and riskier by putting a barbell on you shoulders" but to serve as an embellishment and exclamation mark in service to the program.
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Why? It's truth :confused2:

I think that what is wrong with unexamined statements along the lines of "Asians are good at math" is this.

Yes, it is true that for whatever reasons figure skating in the U.S. is popular among Chinese American and Japanese American kids -- more so than in the general population. Many of them work hard. Many are pushed to excel by their parents. Etc.

But major league baseball is dominated by Hispanic Americans, people whose family roots come from Mexico, Cuba or various Central American countries. Is there something about a Spanish-speaking gene or the Spanish-speaking culture that makes these kids naturally gifted baseball players or that makes them work harder than anyone else to succeed in the sport?

The sport of Nascar (stock car racing) is dominated by Americans from the Southern states -- Northerners, you are wasting your time if you take up this sport. The annual spelling bee for school children is won year after year by American kids whose parents or grandparents came from India. Irishmen and Swedes can't spell worth a darn. Well, I suppose that a sociologist might find this phenomenon an intriguing study, but in general such blanket statements do more harm than good.

The 2019 U.S. spelling bee winners:

https://static01.nyt.com/images/201...arge.jpg?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale

Not only that, but three of these kids are from Dallas, Texas -- the spelling bee capital of America. What are we to make of that salient fact? (But do Indian-Dallasonians excel in the sport of bicycle-riding?)
 
Last edited:

Orlov

Medalist
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
I think that what is wrong with unexamined statements along the lines of "Asians are good at math" is this.

No one says "Asians are good at math". I gave an example when I brought a photo of the US team at the International Physics Olympiad - 16 Asians out of 20 team members. Of course does not indicate that “Asians are good at maths” because, for example, the team of Russians is always ahead of the Asian team of the USA (but in most cases our team lose to China). This reliably only indicates problems in the education and training of youth in modern America. Cuz if [read bold]

Yes, it is true that for whatever reasons figure skating in the U.S. is popular among Chinese American and Japanese American kids -- more so than in the general population. Many of them work hard. Many are pushed to excel by their parents. Etc.

cuz if the key to success is those remnants of the mentality of the original society that have not yet completely disappeared into the "melting pot" - well, there are serious flaws in an education system of USA.

And you are conducting a friendly fire - the "discussion" about Asians began from this moment in an interview with Goncharenko

There, coaches and parents are in a direct monetary relation of service and delivery. For parents, an athlete is an expensive investment, so abroad it is not the trainer who ‘demands’, but the athlete’s parents. Especially if they are a family of immigrants, particularly from the East.

Just read carefully - she says the same thing as you, only in other words.

This talk about Asians is completely unnecessary. It began with inappropriate(irrelevant) remarks of Edwin which was made, in my opinion only for PC-reasons :laugh:

Dude, believe me, we are on the same page in this matter.
 

dante

a dark lord
Final Flight
Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Country
Russia
Men's skating has already become, "Whoever does the most quads wins and nothing else counts."

Figure skating is a sports, and quads are spectacular and intriguing. And we don't always have an outstanding quadster who can outjump outstanding artists. In fact, the last 2 years seem an exception from the rule.

But major league baseball is dominated by Hispanic Americans, people whose family roots come from Mexico, Cuba or various Central American countries. Is there something about a Spanish-speaking gene or the Spanish-speaking culture that makes these kids naturally gifted baseball players or that makes them work harder than anyone else to succeed in the sport?

Maybe so. Maybe not. But if I were a baseball player and I saw Hispanic Americans rapidly gaining superiority in this game, I would try to figure out the reasons for it, be it genetics, mentality or a random burst of interest among Spanish speakers. I understand (or at least I believe so :)) why many people in the West are so sensitive to the topic of statistically significant differences between peoples, but why can't we set it aside, call things by their names and try to analyze them?

Coaches who often see skaters training at international competitions (Eteri, TAT, Goncharenko) notice that Asians and Asian Americans have a particular attitude to their work. Nina Mozer suggested that Asians have a more sturdy structure of muscules, but personally, I find her hypothesis far-fetched.
 
Top