Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov: “We want to establish ourselves as a senior team”

World junior silver medalists Evgenia Tarasova, 19, and Vladimir Morozov, 22, have moved up to the senior level this season. They finished second at Nebelhorn Trophy in September and are competing in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating this fall.

Q: How did you get involved in skating?

Evgenia: When I was little, my mother and grandmother wanted to put me into ballroom dancing. As it turned out, there was no ballroom school in Kazan and so they sent me to figure skating. Since I was two I skated just next to our house as there was a small ice sheet. There was local coach and he said, ‘your child is skating well’, and he sent me to a school already in the city. I’ve continued skating ever since.

Vladimir: My parents didn’t want me to do figure skating but ice hockey. When we went to a school, the coach said, for the beginning you need to learn how to skate. I never even stood on skates and so I started figure skating in order to learn to skate. But I said I like it and so I stayed.

Q: You competed also in single skating.

Evgenia: Yes, until I was 14 years old I skated singles, but then I said, that’s it, I want to do pairs. I really like pair skating. At all competitions I always enjoyed watching pairs. I begged and begged and finally I got there.

Q: What did attract you to figures skating?

Vladimir: I don’t remember, it is a long time ago, but apparently the first impression kept me in for long.

Evgenia: I also was just two years old, I went there and that was it.

Q: What does attract you today to the sport?

Vladimir: You go to practice every day and it is part of your life. You don’t know how to live without it. When you are on vacation in the off-season, for two or three weeks…

Evgenia:… you already want back to the ice..

Vladimir: Yes, you want to go back on the ice, you miss it and you can’t be without it.

Q: Why did you switch to pairs?

Vladimir: I was 14 years old when I went into pairs. My body build is more suitable for pairs than for singles. I am quite tall. My singles coach sent me to pair skating.

Q: How did you react?

Vladimir: Obviously, at first I had my doubts, maybe I should stay in singles, maybe I should continue in pairs. But I quite liked pair skating, and you still have the jumps plus the lifts. It won’t be boring.

Q: You had different partners before.

Evgenia: Yes, the first two years I skated with Egor Tchudin. I was already in Nina Mikhailovna’s group, from the very beginning when I switched to pairs.

Vladimir: I had a partner, Katia Krutskikh, we skated for two years together.

Jevgenia: We both started pairs in the group maybe one month apart. He was paired with her and I was asked by Egor Tchudin. So we skated at one rink.

Vladimir: I had another partner before that, with her I skated for three years. But we competed mostly at national events, with (Irina) Moiseeva. Then I skated with Katia and after that with Zhenia.

Q: How did you team up?

Vladimir: It was the idea of our coach. We had a tough start. We started out, skated for a week and then I broke my foot.

Evgenia: We were skating for a week, then he was injured and we had to wait for three months.

Vladimir: Yes, it took me long to recover. Then we prepared in two and a half month for our first competition, as a new team, for the Junior Grand Prix in Zagreb.

Q: When he was injured, did you think about looking for another partner?

Evgenia: No. I did get offers from other partners, but I said no, I have a new partner and I will skate with him.

Q: Which elements worked best for you right away?

Evgenia: The side by side jumps (laughs). And the lifts, but we did easy ones.

Vladimir: Yes, the jumps and the lifts. We did simple lifts. The twist…

Evgenia: We worked for a long time on the twist.

Q: Now you have a great twist.

Vladimir: We worked a long time on the twist and the throws. Probably the side by side elements worked best in the beginning, then we got to the pair elements.

Q: Until the past season you worked with Stanislav Morozov. Why did you split up?

Evgenia: We had disagreements and we decided to go separate ways, so you can say.

Q: He told me that your characters didn’t suit each other.

Evgenia: There was something like that to it as well.

Vladimir: It was an overall development. Our characters didn’t match plus he got another pair, and the French couple came to him and he has juniors. It didn’t happen for one single reason.

Q: Now you are with Andrei Hekalo.

Evgenia: Andrei Grigorievitch always has been working with us. He always helped us with jumps and pair elements. Our choreographer is as always Alla Viktorovna (Kapranova).

Vladimir: And as choreographer we have Max Trankov.

Evgenia: Max has mounted our two programs. When we talked about new programs at the end of the season, Nina Mikhailovna said, Maxim Trankov want to try himself as choreographer. And we said right away yes, no question. We are all for it and we started in the summer. He first skated in shows, then he came back and started to work with us on the programs. First we did the free program at the training camp in America. “Hello” is a song by Lionel Ritchie and it is performed by the London Orchestra. Maxim also suggested the music for the free skating.

Vladimir: The free skating we had quickly, but we searched for the music for the short program for a long time, which theme to take. We had many versions that Zhenia liked but I didn’t …

Evgenia: … and the other way round.

Vladimir: Finally we agreed on this one, Sarabande. We liked it and Max also liked it and we put it together. There were also versions that Zhenia liked but Max didn’t.

Q: How was it to work with Maxim? He is also an athlete, he skating with you and suddenly he is your choreographer.

Evgenia: It was interesting. First of all, he always was helping and gave some advice during practice. It was not weird, on the contrary, Maxim Trankov himself suggested to do the programs. Not everybody gets this chance.

Q: This season you have completely moved up to the senior level. How do you feel about it?

Vladimir: It is definitely more interesting than in juniors.

Evgenia: Because there are more difficult elements and you need more variations.

Vladimir: We know have to cope with the senior programs and I think it will take a little while. We will get experience.

Evgenia: We also skated seniors last year.

Vladimir: Yes. It was getting easy for us to skate in juniors. The content was much easier than now, of course.

Q: But you already did two different side by side triple jumps and triple throws in juniors.

Evgenia: The lifts (in juniors) were easier.

Vladimir: There is a third lift (in the free skating), then the jumps, last year we did a sequence and now we do a combination. The rules for the side by side and the pair spins are more difficult. They took away the second half bonus. The rules are changing year by year and you cannot skate the same way.

Evgenia: When we were preparing our junior program last year, and then did a senior program at the Universiade, we competed at the Universiade and thought, now we are going home and will skate the easy program, the junior one. It is shorter and there is one lift less.

Vladimir: There was a double twist in the short program.

Q: You have a great twist. How did you learn it?

Evgenia: Stanislav Morozov taught us the twist.

Vladimir: Like he did for Tatiana and Maxim.

Evgenia: In the first year when we started skating together, we did many twists, off the ice in the warm up and after the ice we went back to the gym. We threw and threw.

Vladimir: Before I teamed up with Zhenia, when I was skating with Krutskikh, the first year we also did a lot of twists. I threw her constantly. We achieved it through quantity and technique.

Q: Is this your favorite element?

Evgenia: You can say it is our little specialty.

Q: Did you ever try a quad?

Evgenia: No, we never tried it.

Q: Would you like to?

Evgenia: Maybe.

Vladimir: It is not necessary now to do a quad twist. You need a quality performance at a high level.

Evgenia: As the boys proved, you win without a quad when your elements are of quality. You can win if you skate with good quality doing the triple jumps and triple twist.

Vladimir: Yes, this is better than doing a quad and a lot of the other elements then go wrong.

Q: What goals do you set for yourself this season?

Evgenia: We want to establish ourselves as a senior team this season.

Vladimir: First of all we want to be remembered, by the judges and the audience that we exist and will fight.

Evgenia: We want to recommend ourselves. We’ll try our best.

Q: I heard you are also a couple off the ice. Is that true?

Vladimir: Yes.

Q: How difficult is it to separate your private life and your work?

Evgenia: Sometimes it is difficult.

Q: Do you quarrel?

Vladimir: Anything can happen. This is just normal life like for all people. There is nothing special to it. We combine life and sport together.

Evgenia: 24 hours a day.

Q: Do you sometimes wish to take some time off from each other?

Vladimir: So far no.

Q: How can you describe your partner in three works?

Vladimir: In three words…

Evgenia: Just don’t say what you are always saying.

Vladimir: The best girl, easygoing, good natured, sweet, amicable.

Evgenia: He is very nice, sometimes too nice and sometimes on the contrary he is strict and he always gets what he wants. When he wants something, he achieves it.

Q: If he was sent to an isolated island, which three things does he take?

Evgenia: Probably the computer, maybe he also takes a flashlight and a knife and warm socks.

Q: What does she take?

Vladimir: I know, me, a dog and probably another person.

Q: Was your partner right?

Vladimir: No. If I ended up on an uninhabitated island, I would take a boat and a compass, because at home I have everything else what I need.

Q: Thank you for the interview!