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Bobrova, Soloviev look to snag a medal at worlds

Russian dance pair hopes to build on momentum from Europeans

Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev hope their strong showing at European Championships will translate into a medal at worlds.
Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev hope their strong showing at European Championships will translate into a medal at worlds. (Getty Images)

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By Vladislav Luchianov, special to icenetwork.com
(02/14/2011) - Russian ice dance team Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev used to be perceived as representatives of a lyrical direction of dancing performances. Their gentle, beautiful and heartfelt performances move us into the era of palace ballroom evenings of the 19th century.

But in Bern, the Russian ice dance champions showed that the drama theme also suited them. The Russian skaters executed their passionate short dance to music from the musical Chess.

Icenetwork.com spoke with the European Championships silver medalists about their evolving style, preparation for worlds and more.

IN: My first question is about your impressions of the European Championships in Bern and emotions associated with your silver medal in this competitions.

Bobrova & Soloviev: For us, it was the second European Championships, and comparing with the first, which was in Tallinn last year, this one was more exciting. It was a big responsibility to represent the country in the rank of the first ice dance team of Russia.

At the beginning of the season, and even before then, we did not think about the medals. We just wanted to show our programs at a high emotional and technical level. We were very pleased with our performance in short dance. In free dance, unfortunately, we failed to do so as we could and showed in trainings.

Anyway, for us, this is a great success to become silver medalists at the European Championships with such a strong list of participants.

IN: And what can you say about the extreme cold conditions in which you performed?

Bobrova & Soloviev: We love challenges, and when we are overcoming them, we become stronger and get more experience. It is necessary to be always ready for any extreme and difficult situations. And, of course, we had a very warm support of the public and our fans.

IN: After the Russian national championships you changed the short dance. It's always risky to do so before a very serious competition. Especially that tune from the musical Chess is different from your previous program by its rich dramatic image. Did you have any worries about it?

Bobrova & Soloviev: Such changes in the middle of the season we [enacted] for the first time, but as we said, this is an additional experience. When we first heard this song, we just [got] chills -- so we liked it! Perhaps that is why it was not so difficult to feel deeply [about] this music and skate it. At first we worried about how we can so quickly adjust to a different program. But when we began to train it, we noticed that we will go to the European Championships with a 100 percent ready short dance.

IN: And which image is closer to your couple in spirit -- dramatic or lyric?

Bobrova & Soloviev: It is difficult to answer accurately this question. We are looking for our way. We must look for what we are most suitable. We will experiment.

IN: In your opinion, on what problematic moments should you concentrate the most?

Bobrova & Soloviev: It is necessary to work over stability and cleanliness of programs execution. Also, it is necessary to develop an emotional level in our performances.

IN: Tell us, please, about your preparation for the world championships. Are there any changes?

Bobrova & Soloviev: At the given stage of preparation we give particular attention to all elements. We repeat them many times. Also, we spend enough hours for physical trainings.

IN: You have skated together many years and probably did not imagine yourselves in other kinds of skating. And yet, what attracts you to ice dancing?

Bobrova & Soloviev: We think ice dancing is very interesting [because of] its variety of performances...after [the] introduction of the new judging system, our kind of figure skating became very difficult.

IN: Ekaterina, as far as I know you love to watch biathlon. Dmitri, and what sport do you prefer besides figure skating?

Bobrova & Soloviev: I love very much football [soccer], hockey and not only to watch but also to play. Also, I like field athletics.

IN: Tell us about your goals in Tokyo and your views about the main contenders.

Bobrova & Soloviev: Our goals are to show beautiful, technical, emotional, dynamical and clear skating. All ice dance teams will work hard to approach on peak of the form to the main start of this season. So, there will be a strong and interesting competition.