Excerpt from an article by Elena Voitsekhovsky in the on-line Russian language publication "Sport Express" of January 26.
The "Golden Waltz", created and introduced in 1986 by an outstanding coach, Natalia Dubova, for Marina Klimova and Sergey Ponomarenko, became a phenomenon at that time. They were able to win the titles of European and World champions. The waltz then appeared as an Original Dance.
“For us, this waltz has never been complex,” Sergey Ponomarenko, who arrived in Turin for the 2005 European Championship as the coach of an English couple. “The dance was convenient as it was specially choreographed for me and Marina. Geometrically, all of the composition were spread precisely out and, I would say, it was extremely logical. Each minor detail was thought through. Still, it was surprising how many coaches asked me for help, to consult them about this or that element. Probably now dancers simply do not have the time to working on compulsory dances. The requirements for the original and free programs have increased too much. But, I think, the main reason for problems is that not so many pairs possess an expressed feeling for a waltz. In fact, the waltz is not so much technique, but a character of the soul.”
“This dance is complex because there are a lot of turns which are performed on arches and in different directions,” Olympic coach Tatyana Tarasova told me a day prior to competition.
In the beginning of a season, when work on the waltz by figure skaters only began, complaints were coming from all directions. According to Ponomarenko, even World and European Champion Roman Kostomarov admitted that it is easier for him cope with a Free Dance, than with the two patterns of the Golden Waltz which are required by the compulsory program.
In fact, very few people remember that the present tricky dance is a less difficult version of the original by Dubova. Klimova and Ponomarenko executed the dance six steps faster. In other words, a series of dancing movements which now last exactly a minute, Marina with Sergey carried out in 58 seconds. When the International Skaters Union made the decision to add the Golden Waltz to the list of compulsory dances (as a way of paying tribute to the Olympic champions of Albertville), the skaters were invited to Davos to shoot an educational video for subsequent distribution around the world. But, at once, they had to compromise and dance more slowly. Otherwise, the majority of figure skaters would not be able to reproduce the composition.
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Translation by Genrikh Sivorinovsky, PhD
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Interview with Albena Denkova (A) and Maxim Stavisky (M) by a correspondent of the Russian Language Newspaper "NewNews" Marina Semenova (MS) printed on January 21, 2005.
Officially the figure skaters Albena Denkova and Maxim Stavisky should be introduced as follows: at the start on January 24 of the championship of Europe in Turin, they would be the main competitors for a victory in ice dancing. But if we are to speak informally, they will hardly be allowed to rise above the second place. In dances much, if not everything, is decided outside the ice arena. If the Bulgarian-Russian duet of Albena and Maxim would have represented not Bulgaria, but Russia, the chance of to adding to their collection of awards a "golden" award would be much higher. Shortly before their departure for Italy the correspondent of the "New News” met with DENKOVA and STAVISKY.
MS - Maxim, you and Albena -are two of the best figure skaters in the world, but in our country very little is known about you. For example, not everyone knows that you are not Bulgarian, but a Russian, and most of the time you practice with Albena in Russia - in Odintsovo. (A region near Moscow -GS). I would suggest to fill these blanks. First, how did you get into figure skating and, second, how did you meet each other?
M - I followed in the footsteps of many Soviet children. I was assigned to figure skating first, because of its wide popularity, and second to strengthen my health. In short, not of my own will. My career began at 4 years of age, when I ran up, slipped, fell and hit hard my forehead at a side of the rink. It was then found out that I actually was very capable. Initially I was engaged in single skating, but then I broke a leg and was out of skating for a long time. When I returned I could see that everyone already executed triple jumps, and I was stuck on the doubles. I decided to go to theatre on ice. But due to one coach - Mr. Andrey Filippov - I had taken a great interest in dance. And this way I returned to ice in a new role.
A - At the beginning, I was engaged in rhythmic gymnastics which was popular in Bulgaria. And when I was 8 or 9 years old, a figure skating coach visited us at the gym practice hall and suggested all interested to join his group. In our country this kind of sport is not widely known, but it is frequently showed on TV, and my parents wanted that I became a figure skater. We met with Maxim as follows. Eight and a half years ago, my Bulgarian partner decided to leave the big sports. And I was left without a partner. Maxim at that time was skating for Russia as a junior with Anastasia Belova. But he overgrew this age category, while his partner had not. The coach of the national team, Ms. Elena Chajkovskaya, talked to our international arbitrator, Ms. Evgenia Karnolsky, and they decided that we could try to pair with each other. We had a try-out. It seemed like we fit each other and we decided to skate together.
MS - And what was the first impression of each other?
M - I remember that she looked rather scared.
A - My first impression - it appeared that he did not look similar to that harmonious, high and slender figure skater whom I saw on a videocassette.
MS- But seriously?
M - From the way Albena began practicing with me, I understood at once that she was adjusted resolutely. To be fair, I perceived the trip to Bulgaria as an opportunity to straighten my form. Actually, so to speak, I did not know if there was any figure skating there! But very soon I had to change the attitude to our practices.
A- I had to catch up with Maxim. You know what it means - Russian school. What were the Russian figure slating techniques and what were, or what actually were not Bulgarian… I had to work three times harder than he to catch up.
MS - Do you remember your first competition?
A - We remember very well and we will never forget (smiling). It was the championship of Europe in Paris in 1997. I skated with a fever of 39.8 C, and Maxim - with 38.9 C. (About 104 degrees by Fahrenheit -GS). I remember, I told him that he was an egoist, the ugly creature and the fool because he wanted to pull me out on ice with a temperature close to forty degrees Celsius, when I could not stand on my legs and could not understand what was going on. Moreover, the compulsory dance was “The Golden Waltz " which is difficult to perform even by a well prepared pair. And we were skating together for a very short time. In short, when we arrived five minutes prior to going on ice, I had no time either to make up my hair, nor my face. What a horror that was!
MS- But at the world's championship the same year was it any easier?
M - Of course. Albena's fever was only 38 degrees C. In general, in the first years of our performances she, for some reason, very frequently went on ice being ill. It was almost an omen- if Albena was not ill, it meant that something would be wrong. I am just kidding.
MS- It is funny how you exchange courtesies. Probably you frequently quarrel?
M - No way! What do we have to quarrel about? In the real life we, certainly, are very different. She is serious, and I am a lay-about. She is a pessimist, and I am an optimist. She is more cautious, and I am more a risk-taker.
A - Maxim jokes a lot. At a rate of one thousand jokes a minute. And still he frequently happens to be quick-tempered, basically because he wants everything to happen fast. But his main positive quality - he is always self-assured. Even when he knows that something is impossible, he will necessarily try it, being afraid of nothing. And I am not so sure of myself.
MS - Albena, I heard that you were a very creative person. You design your own costume, hairstyles?
A - About costumes it’s true, but not absolutely. Not by drawing sketches or sewing, there is no time. We usually give the designers an idea. Because our programs are original, the style of our costumes should match the style of the program. And yes, I set my hair myself. Probably, it turns out not always successfully, but I think recently we’ve changed for the better.
M - Well, my hair style has remained the same. After each of my visits to the hairdresser, Albena looks at me and says - who has spoiled you so badly this time? And then she gets used to it and recognizes that it was not so bad.
MS- Now your coach is Alexey Gorshkov, but you began, I so understand, not with him?
M - Yes. At the beginning we skated with Oleg Epstein's group. And Gorshkov was a student of Epstein’s. When Gorshkov came to a summer camp in Sofia, he stayed at his teacher's place. Epstein told him - take a look at these guys. He is still looking.
MS- You live in Russia, practice here, and still officially you represent Bulgaria. Have you decided, to paraphrase a saying, that it is better to be the first pair in a village, than the last one in a city?
M - Yes, due to the actions of the Russian Federation of figure skating. For me, the main thing is that the first pair was ahead of everybody, and nobody would think about the rest. Therefore, certainly, it is better to be the first in Bulgaria, than the second in Russia. For example, Roman Kostomarov who as you know, with Tatyana Navka up till last year always lost to us, considers that it happened because of their then ranking status of "number two.” As soon as Irina Lobachyova and Ilya Averbuh left the sport and Roma and Tanja became the "number one", they started to win against us. However, I do not want to speak any more about the politics. I was perfectly accepted in Bulgaria, everything has been provided to me, they have created conditions for trainings and the attitude toward me is very good. I am recognized in the streets, invited on TV. Here, in Russia it has never happened.
A - And even if you would win five Olympics, it won’t happen. But to skate here is pleasant for us. Several times we participated in shows which Averbuh organized, including in December at their farewell gala performance. It was very pleasant to appear in such a company of stars - Bereznaja and Siharulidze, Slutskaja, Plushchenko…
MS- But with your main competitors - Navka and Kostomarov - the relations I guess are not that smooth?
M - You guessed wrong. If Roman and Tanja even with unclean skating receive madly high points while we are bypassed, and even if we think that our programs are better than their’s, we never say anything bad about them. I consider Navka and Kostomarov to be very good sportsmen.
MS- By the way, for some reason at the important competitions they always perform after you. Could it be that blind lot is so constant?
A - Maxim for some reason always pulls the first number. Perhaps he fixes it up with Roman (smiling)?
M - Generally it is a good starting number. It is better to skate right after the warm-up, than to painfully wait behind the curtains for your entrance. Especially now, when in general there is no difference who follows whom. All is known even before we start, all is decided beforehand, the judges have already made up reports on their desk, and we go on the ice only for the spectators and for TV. But once again, I want to repeat that we do not have problems with anybody - even with the Israelis, Galit Khait and Sergey Sakhanovsky. Though in the world championship of 2002 we arranged for a petition with the request to take away their bronze medals and to give them to the Lithuanians (to Margarita Drobjazko and Povilas Vanagas). That action was not against the figure skaters, but against the unfair refereeing.
A: - For me the most important thing is not the opinion of several judges, but the reception of our skating by the public. Last year in the world championship, after the free dance, we had a standing ovation but our competitors who won first place, did not get one. It was a true national recognition.
MS- Was it the most joyful moment of your career?
A - So far, yes. But in general, I hope that this moment is still ahead.
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Translation by G. Sivorinovsky
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Tatiana Tarasova has been thrown out from the capitol's skating rink "Central"
An Exclusive interview by a correspondent of the Russian language publication, SovSport, Ms. Darya Srebnitsky (DS) published on January 21, 2005.
Coach Tatyana Tarasova and her students, the bronze prize-winners of the championship of Russia, ice-dancers Svetlana Kulikova and Vitaly Novikov, have been thrown out from the municipal capital's skating rink "Central" located in the Taganka region of Moscow. It happened last Wednesday when Ms. Tarasova and her couple arrived for the next practice session.
TT- After the championship of Russia, which took place at the beginning of January in Saint Petersburg, I decided not to come back to the US with my students, and to lead the closing stages of preparation for the championship of Europe in Moscow. Andrey Grjazev, one of her students, (the silver prize-winner of the championship of Russia in man's single skating. - DS) has had an opportunity to practice in "CSCA" (Central Sports Club of the Army - GS). The other students, Kulikova and Novikov, were invited to practice at the "Central" by Ilya Averbuh who works there as a coach. Ilya advised them that their practice would be free of charge as they would be considered members of his group.
For a week, I was torn between my students. Up to four times a day I went from "Central" to "CSCA” and back. But the main thing was that the practice sessions went on without problems.
On Wednesday, Kulikova and Novikov had one practice session with me instead of the usual two, because in the evening I was invited to a friend of mine, Doctor Leonid Roshal. We were going to celebrate his receiving of an award, “The Person of Europe.” . We came to "Central". Suddenly, security guards at the entrance asked us to " Show the pass!” But we did not have passes....
Than we were approached by the chief manager of the rink - Mr. Alexander Tretjak, who started to find out on what conditions we were practicing and who paid for us. Also, he added that supposedly the Russian Figure Skating Federation should pay for our practice. I explained that as long as we did not arrange this payment with the president of the Federation, Mr. Valentin Piseev, I would pay for the session, which was approximately 150 - 200 dollars per hour. But we were denied the practice all the same. Moreover, having conferred with the director of a skating rink, former hockey player Alexander Kozhevnikovym, we were rudely told, "Get out of here!" Mr. Averbuh, who arrived at the skating rink later, only made a helpless gesture. I could see how ashamed he was that we were dealt with in a such a way. But what could he do? He is a subordinate there…. We could not understand what had happened. I will find out! If it would be necessary, I will go up to Luzhkov (The mayor of Moscow- GS).
My personal opinion: an action against me has been purposefully arranged, although I do not know why. And it happened not for the first time (several years ago Tarasova was asked to leave the Moscow skating rink "Silver" because her students were taking away ice from the hockey players and subscription groups. - DS).
As it became known to this correspondent from her own sources, in this case all the brouhaha arose because of an unplanned visit by a TV crew to the practice of Ms. Tarasova. They were apparently called by Novikov. However all shooting at the rink is required to be arranged in advance with the management of the skating rink, and Kozhevnikov with Tretjak dug their heels in. Probably, it was possible to handle the situation in a more tactful way with the woman, especially such a popular coach and mentor who brought up a galaxy of glorified champions and who brought the country seven gold Olympic medals.
Meanwhile, Kulikova with Novikov have continued their practice at the stadium of Young Pioneers where the national federation has given them ice. Svetlana and Vitaly will practice there up to the time before their departure for Turin on January, 22.
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The silver prize-winner of the 2002 European Championship Alexander Abt: - I am a champion of traumas!
After a prolonged treatment, the Russian skater nevertheless has decided to leave amateur sport.
Interview with Alexander Abt (AA) by a correspondent of the Russian Language publication "SovSport" Ms. Darya Srebnitski (DS), published on January 13, 2005
The silver prize-winner of the 2002 European Championship, Alexander Abt, has been compelled to skip last year's European and World Championships due to the traumas. We hoped that in a new season he would return to the National team. However, as the sportsman explained to a correspondent from "SovSport", problems with his health have not allowed him to participate in further amateur competitions.
AA- I pulled my groin muscle, which is unfortunately an incurable condition. Incidentally, because of precisely the same trauma, Alexey Urmanov finished his skating career ahead of schedule (in 1999). I tried for a long time to treat my condition and have resorted to injections and physical exercises. But my system could not take any more of the enormous load which is present in big sports. I can perform the triples, except for the axel, but for a victory I think I would have to perform three quads. And now my body refuses to work on such a quantity of revolutions because it is severely wounded by time. In fact I am the champion of traumas. (Sadly smiles). Never, for example, shall I forget the terrible fall in the summer of 1996 at an exhibition performances in Mexico - I had bumped into a rink sidewall, having torn the muscles of my right hip by the edge of the skate. I Thought, that after that trauma, I would stay an invalid for good.
DS - Was it hard to make the decision to leave the amateur sport?
AA - Quite the opposite, I had a sigh of relief - less responsibility, nobody demands results. And, at the same time, I stayed in figure skating! I still practice in New Jersey under the guidance of my last coach, Alexander Zhulin. I am engaged in professional business: I perform in shows across America, Japan and Europe. The schedule of performances is very tight - 80 performances a year just in Japan. And recently I went on tour in Hong Kong, England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France and Russia…. It seems to me that now I am even more popular than when I performed as an amateur.
DS - Do you agree to participate in any show?
AA- My choice depends on the fees. I admit that for good money I am ready to skate anywhere.
DS - Even in the American "Disney on Ice,” a recognized second-grade revue?
AA- Well, they pay peanuts there. Besides there is one requirement which is hard to accept for self-esteem reasons: they require that we perform in the masks of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other Disney characters. On the other hand, it is this show, and not the prestigious shows like "Champions on ice" and "Stars on ice ", that packs the eight-thousand seat halls these days. All of the other shows incur losses! Even Oksana Grishuk performed there. Although, as far as I know, she was invited on exclusive conditions - not as Mickey Mouse, but as the great Grishuk. She herself is interesting to the public.
DS- Do you get any special conditions?
AA- I get a personal locker room in Japan. These are tiny rooms with a shower in the style of minimalism, loved by Japanese. With my height of 1 m and 80 sm (about 6 feet- GS), not much room is left to turn around. But it is not because I am so important, it is just their custom. There are always signs on the doors such as "Katarina Witt" or "Brian Boitano" or "Alexander Abt.”
DS- Alexander, what prevented you from realizing your unique talents as a figure skater?
AA- I think, that I did realize my talents. I am a champion of Russia! For me it is a very high title. For eleven years, which I spent in the big arena, I competed with all stars: Olympic Champions Urmanov, Ilya Kulik, Alexey Yagudin and with many times world champion Evgeny Plushenko. I understand that we skated at a different levels, but as long as I won the National Championship (in 2003- DS), I could achieve even more.
DS- You could have been awarded a victory at the Championship of Europe - 2002 in Lusanne. Was it insulting that the gold was given to Yagudin?
AA- I could win the World Championship as well. But, you understand, I am not a politician, only a sportsman. I was engaged in figure skating and tried to do it the best I could. Besides, certainly I realized that in the presence of Yagudin and Plushenko, I was doomed for a loss. And it turned out that way. I do not bear a malice. I did not push for my rights. I understood, in fact, that it was not only politics, but also that I missed my time. While those guys perfected their quads, I was staying in the hospitals. And for myself I have always remained a champion. The champion of all! It is my motivation. When I step on ice, I am the best.
DS - Have famous coaches invited you (to train with them)?
AA- I did not get direct invitations. However, for a short time, I was coached by Elena Anatolevna Chaikovskaya. We won the championship of Russia. But for the previous eleven years, I was coached by Rafael Vladimirovich Arutyunyan. And when I intuitively felt that it was my time to develop further, I went to Zhulin.
DS- For quite some time now, Mr. Arutyunyan has been coaching World Champion Michelle Kwan. Would you think the American has made a good choice?
AA- As long as Ms. Kwan is an ingenious sportswoman and Mr. Arutyunyan is the ingenious coach, I hope that everything will be fine there. And I do not exaggerate at all the importance of my former coach, who seems not to achieve outstanding results. His trouble, if you want to know, was that he was one of those coaches who had lost their way in time. And me too - as the sportsman. We have been too much in a hurry and were ahead of our time. We should have been performing right now. I think that we would not have equal to us. In fact, ten years ago, we were the proponents of the new system of refereeing that has been introduced right now; we were developing the steps, rotations, turns and our style of skating for it. But, at our time, most of the accent went to jumps. Especially within the last five/six years with the arrival of Yagudin and Plushenko, who have started to perform such jumps, that all the other elements at once faded into the background.
DS- Relations between Yagudin and Plushenko were, to put it mildly, not friendly. On whose side were you?
AA- On my side! I am such a person that I do not admit intrigues and more so, I do not participate in them. I have normal relations with both. Though I spend more time with Evgeny, we are friends.
DS - How quickly did you get used to the American way of life?
AA- I do not have time to get used to it - I spend most of my time on the road. Actually, it is only three years since I have left. One year has been spent in California, two - in New Jersey. To me and my wife (former figure skater Elena Pavlova -DS) it is pleasant. We rent the top floor of a house, three rooms with kitchen, from a policeman. Thus we are under constant protection. We live in Russian-speaking quarters. Friends, figure skaters are nearby. On Sundays, I play soccer with Zhulin, Kostomarov and the well-known Olympic champion Arthur Dmitriev. Lena, on the sly, trains small kids at one skating rink with Zhulin. Our 4 year old son Makar is going to a Russian kindergarten, speaking equally well in his native, and the English languages.
DS - Who thought of such a rare name for your son?
AA- He was named in honor of my grandfather. He was not a sportsman. I was born in a non-sports family. So I have been directed toward figure skating as, I joke, for a bag of rice. Actually, I grew as a sick child, and my parents hoped that sports would temper me.
DS - Is America your final choice?
AA- While I perform in shows, I will not leave the States. I think that my professional career will be prolonged for about five more years. After that, we will see where I will work, whom I will coach: Americans, Japanese or Russians. Probably, I will come back to Russia. By the way, I recently bought an apartment in Moscow, in one building with Irina Lobacheva and Ilya Averbuh (2002 World Champions - DS). Gennady Andreevich Zyuganov has helped me with it.
DS- Do you somehow belong to the Communist Party?
AA- No, just by some chance I was received by him in his office. I have told him about my problems. In Russia I had very difficult living conditions. Five families of my relatives live in a one, three-room apartment - the total of 185 persons as I joke. And so Zyuganov closely listened to me and assisted in the purchase of a government priced apartment.
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Translated by Genrikh Sivorinovsky, Ph.D. Ignel Associates
"Translations and web site content services in real time"
SCANDAL IN SALT LAKE CITY HAS BROUGHT US ADDITIONAL DIVIDENDS
Interview with Elena Bereznaia (EB) and Anton Sikhuralidze (AS) by Mr. Boris Khodorovsky (BK) a correspondent of the Russian Language Newspaper "Izvestia", published on December 29, 2004.
BK: Twice this season you have performed in your native St. Petersburg. In Arthur Dmitriev's show and in Evgeny Plushenko's benefit performance with different numbers, and for the Moscow public you have prepared a primary presentation...
EB: We are trying not to lower the level of our achievements, even though we became professionals. We are not focusing on complex elements, but we are practicing the new programs with pleasure.
AS: The idea for this number was thought up by our friend, who had no relationship to figure skating. The transfer to the ice was helped by Peter Tchernyshev, the ice-dancer and multiple-time champion of the USA with Naomi Lang. Peter is a native of Petersburg and, when he came to visit his parents in the summer, he worked with us. I was so pulled into the producing process, that I even changed my return ticket to America. It was necessary to bring the program to a completion.
BK: What has compelled you to accept Irina and Ilya's invitation (to skate in Lobacheva & Averbuch’s farewell show)?
EB: For a long time we were members of the Russia national team together. Whatever has been said about mutual relations of figure skaters, our team was friendly.
AS: We always perform with pleasure in Russia in front of the native public. We are accepted nowhere so enthusiastically, as at home. It was pleasant to see the stands of "Luzniki" filled up to capacity. In Petersburg a full house for an ice show surprises nobody, but I was told it was the first time such a result was achieved in the capital. I can only take off my hat before Ilya and Irina, who presented the public with a holiday.
BK: Lobachova and Averbuh have admitted that they deliberated for almost two years whether to remain in amateur sports up to Turin. Did you have an idea to try to protect the title that you won in Salt Lake City?
EB: For a whole year we struggled with temptation, and did not leave amateur sport. Our coach, Tamara Nikolaevna Moskvina, also suggested not to hurry. Perhaps, if it was possible then to find a sponsor who would agree to finance our preparation, we would have done it. Although now we understand what a high level of weariness we accumulated during performances in amateur sports. Being a professional is easier. There are no such stresses.
BK: Don’t you miss the competitive adrenaline rush?
AS: The new experiences suffice for now. Once, in the south of France, we performed at the arena where a bullfight is usually carried out. We skated our program for the Queen of England, it was really something. We are the only figure skaters who have been introduced to her personally (ed.note: Many British skaters, including Torvill & Dean and Robin Cousins have received honors from the Queen.)
BK: How has the "ice scandal" in Salt Lake City reflected in your professional career?
EB: Everything that occurred in the Olympics has no relation to us or the Canadians. It was a struggle of politicians from sports, heated up by the American and Canadian press, especially TV. We always had perfect relations with Jamie and David. They understood that we were not guilty in the scandal that happened there.
AS: From the very beginning of the scandal, Tamara Nikolaevna told us, "No matter how things turn out, they do not have the right to take the medals away from you." Though at first I was in a shock. Especially when I learned how the American press had spun the situation! It sounded as if some unknown Russians came in off the street, skated somehow, and the French judge gave them a superfluous first place. It was unbelievable that the press was able to put such pressure on the IOC so as to get for "their own" the highest Olympic award. Perhaps, after becoming professionals, we are still getting dividends from events of almost three-year past. Any scandal draws attention to his participants.
BK: Is it possible to compare Russian shows with the American ones in which you now perform?
AS: In America, all is put in a moving process: over sixty performances in a non-stop mode. Now, over the ocean, figure skating is in decline. 60 cities - and not a single full hall. Organizers are pleased if 7-8 thousand spectators would come. People are frightened after September, 11. They are afraid to go to large gatherings.
EB: For us, performing in the American shows is simply work. When we trained in the USA, before the Olympics, we even had a permanent place to live there. Now nothing left of that. We spend our nights in buses and hotels.
BK: Are you considering presenting spectators with your own show?
EB: We have some ideas, but we do not have time to engage in its organization. We shall even celebrate the New Year in Japan, where performances with our participation are planned.
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Translated by Genrikh Sivorinovsky, Ph.D. Ignel Associates, Gsivorinov@aol.comTranslations and web content services in real time.
Interview with Anna Semenovich (AS) by a correspondent of the Russian Language newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets, Ms. Uljana Kalashnikova (UK), printed on Sunday, January 2, 2005
"Behind a bust they do not see the person "
At first, the name Anna Semenovich conquered the hearts of big sports fans, and now of all of men, regardless of sports preferences. Initially, her partners were exclusively men, but now the young woman spends the majority of her life among ladies. For that there is a simple reason: The 24-year old with auburn hair and a gorgeous figure that knocks down her admirers on the spot, is singing in a group, "The Shining".
Who could think that just four years back, Anna was among the leaders of Russian figure skating. Now her life consists of an uncountable quantity of concerts, presentations, shootings of videos... The last one was seen on the air a month before New Year's, and has caused many discussions: why do all the members of the "The Shining" have a hat on their heads, while Ms. Semenovich has a bow?
We too were puzzled with this question, but not only with it...
UK: Anna, I have heard that your fans write messages to you on the windshield of your car. Does it bother you?
AS- In general they write mostly good things, such as "you are the most beautiful and charming.” And it is certainly pleasant. To tell you the truth, when such words are written on the dusty glass of the car, it is one thing, but when someone scratches them on the paint of my black Toyota Jeep, it is somewhat different. I go constantly to body-shops for painting.
UK- As far as I know, that is not the worst. In fact, you had to change some apartments because of this excessive attention?
AS- Yes, I have already changed a third apartment.
UK- A third? It looks as if your life will consist of continuous sales and purchases!
AS - No, I rent apartments. I do not earn so much yet as to buy one. Although, certainly, it would be nice to have my own place, to live in my own home. My parents have an apartment, but I cannot bother them with my erratic schedule.
UK- What is your favorite corner in the house where you can relax?
AS- It is in the bathroom. It is there that I am getting ready for work when I get up in the morning. There I have my breakfast. While I make up my face, I drink a cup of coffee. If there were time, I would get in the water two/three times a day! My sign is the Fish! And one more favorite place in the house is my bedroom. I always pay attention to it when I choose an apartment. The bedroom should be dark. It is said that the hormones necessary for a good night’s sleep are developed when windows are darkened. So the windows of my bedroom are always curtained.
UK- You had success in figure skating. What forced you to quit the big sport?
AS- Actually, there is a lot to tell in this area. For example, the judging is prejudiced in figure skating. It is not a secret for anyone, we saw it even in last Winter Olympic Games. Somehow to get up in the ranks one needs connections. I did not have those. Therefore, although our pair was second in the Russian rankings after Ilya Averbuh and Irina Lobacheva, we were seldom in first place. For example, it was very insulting, when I skated in international competitions with Denis Samokhin, and the other contenders skated with serious mistakes. They even fell down. But in the end, we were only in second place, and they in the first. I was tired of such unfair refereeing. Besides, the big role in my decision to quit was certainly my trauma. I had a meniscus operation.
UK- And how did you join “The Shining" group?
AS- After returning from the USA where I lived for three years, practicing sports, I become a sports channel commentator. Then "Danja,” Mr. Daniel Mishin, my former boyfriend with whom I lived for three years at that time, he convinced me to take up singing. We created a group, "Charlie's Angels,” but for the lack of finances, the project had to be cancelled. And then I became Anchorwoman at the Sports TV Station . The producer invited me for the casting in the (musical) group. I came. I already had some choreographic and vocal preparation. In two weeks, I received a call and was told that it was necessary for me to come immediately to the studio for recording because in two days we were to leave for the tour.
UK- And where do you earn more - in sports or on the stage?
AS- All depends on what level you are at. If you would compare Alla Pugacheva (Russian Singing Superstar) and (World Champion) Maria Butyrskaya, than Pugacheva makes more. Though both are stars. I made more in sports. Figure skaters earn big salaries, and I made huge money for my the age.
UK- You are a girl who is not afraid to make money. How do you relate to the wisdom, that "with a beloved, paradise is even in a tent?”
AS- The concept of a "tent" is different for everyone. If your girlfriend wears broken shoes and takes a bus, it is not quite normal. I think that if there is a head on one's shoulders, it is possible to find a job in Moscow. I always worked on something. After I left the sport, I sat at home for two months and then understood, that I could not do it any more - so I went on TV.
UK - There is a gossip that you are involved with some businessman...
AS - All this is just gossip. My heart is not occupied with anyone in particular now. I am still waiting .
UK- And what kind of man could win you over?
AS - First, to not be a boor. I cannot stand rudeness and insincerity. Second, to be patient and not try to suppress me. He would have to understand that I am a strong woman. He should not be afraid to approach me and to get acquainted. And of course to love me.
UK- Do you notice, that when men look at you, they look not in your eyes, but at the advantages of your figure?
AS- Yes, it happens. And it irritates me very much that they stare at my bust instead of talking to me as person, first of all.
UK - Do they frequently overdo it?
AS- It happens! I remember, on our debut, I was singing with the girls at someone's birthday. And it turned out that one of the tipsy rich businessmen decided to kidnap me. He seized me and dragged me away directly from the stage. The girls were singing and glancing at me and were shrugging their shoulders, while he dragged me. The people around me thought that it was a part of the act. Fortunately, security caught the expression on my face. They had to tear him off me literally by the hands and legs. I was in a shock. Then the girls told me: "Yes, such things happen. Not frequently, but they happen. Please Anna, do not leave the group!!! "
UK- Anna, let me on the secret : how did you get such a figure?
AS - From my mom. In our family everyone is so beautiful. When we taped the first video of "Charlie's Angels,” I could hear insulting words that supposedly I had pumped up my breast and my lips. Actually, my breasts are from my mom. The female line of our family all has beautiful breasts. I am half Ukrainian and Ukraine is known for it's beautiful women.
UK- Do you keep a diet?
AS- Earlier I adhered to Volkov's diet. But then I could not observe this schedule: to eat during certain times and certain products. Without a diet, as I found out, it was quite good for me too. The main thing is not to eat too much fat and fried food.
UK- Are sports present at your life?
AS - Mountain skiing in the winter. I like to skate for nostalgia reasons and as not to forget professional skills. Who knows how my destiny will turn up? May be I well get on the ice again...
UK- Do you have problems with the selection of clothes? In fact the current standard of boutiques is high and flat.
AS- Yes, it is a real problem for me. Especially the choice of lingerie. Therefore, I try to buy abroad. In our shops I am already known by sight: "Hello Annechka, what do you want?…. I want a complete set of red lingerie with a small bottom and a large top…. Sorry Anna, but we do not have such things." It is necessary to improvise. I ask to save for me some stuff from the new deliveries. Therefore there are boutiques, that call me at once, as soon as they receive a new collection.
UK- And successes in figure skating were not prevented by your magnificent forms?
AS- No, it was my advantage over the others. In fact, it is beautiful when a girl has forms. I would put on a tight dress and would go on ice.
UK- Are there disagreements with colleagues - "The Shining"? There are four of you…
AS- If it happens, it is only on trifles. One wants to put on a black dress, and I want red. Or vice versa. But at the end we all come to the same general opinion. For example, on the shooting of a New Year's video, where we were transformed from pretty girls into witches, as far as all could notice, the girls were in hats, and I was with a bow. At first it was simply decided that everyone would be in hats, I did not like the way that I looked in the hat and therefore I was unique - with a bow.
UK- Before New Year it is fashionable to speak about superstitions. Do you adhere to any special traditions?
AS- Yes, I do. And my superstitions do not depend on a season. For example, I would enter the skating rink always only from the left foot! In the world championship in Nice in 2000, I entered the rink from the right foot and fell in the original program! Ten seconds before the end - on such an element on which I never in my life fell before. And I always put my shoes on from the right foot. There are other signs, but they are very personal. For example, I have a talisman. But I shall not talk about it as to not to jinx my luck
UK- Your Year of the Monkey already comes to an end. Was there anything good in it?
AS- It was a very good year for me. I became more popular than one year ago. I acted in a movie. My brother has been admitted to the university. I flew to Malta which I have dreamed of visiting for all of my life. And in general there were many happy moments.
UK- Tell me, do you have any material dreams?
AS- Sometimes I dream to have a house with a big garden and a pool. And a big sentry dog for protection.
For a chance to win free copies of “Murder on Ice” and “On Thin Ice,” visit www.AlinaAdams.com !
Translated by Genrikh Sivorinovsky, Ph.D.
Ignel Associates. Gsivorinov@aol.com
Translation and web content service at real time.