Open skates provide us with sneak peeks as top two Russian pairs; withdrawals announced from upcoming senior test skates.
After announcing her students’ program at the beginning of this week, Nina Mozer allowed the public to come in and view them in an open skate. So far we’ve only gotten Instagram clips from that, from her top two teams, as well as a lot of photos. But even those tell us a good deal about one of their programs.
We’ve also received more news in anticipation of the senior Russian test skates taking place early in September. Sadly, that news isn’t good.
Ksenia Stolbova & Fedor Klimov
From Ksenia Stolbova & Fedor Klimov, we have one clip, from their short program:
That really doesn’t tell us much. It’s not even enough to pinpoint exactly which version of “Besame Mucho” they’re using. But their side by sides are pretty impressive, especially considering Klimov had surgery recently (more on that below).
Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov
From Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov, on the other hand, we have three clips. One is from the short program:
They seem to be doing well enough with the Rachmaninoff there. But more telling are the two clips from their “rock’n’roll/boogie woogie” free skate. The first one tells us a lot about how much Western music Russians can put into those categories. This is certainly neither the first or last case of Russians leaving Western skating fans bemused by what they’ve done with our music:
To be fair, Christina Aguilera’s “Candyman” actually does have that kind of throwback feel, at least if you listen while knowing nothing about it. Use of trumpets can do that.
Elsewhere in the program, however, they have wisely decided to make use of Elvis:
That’s his cover of Little Richard’s “Ready Teddy,” so that’s two musical icons being represented.
Russian Test Skate Withdrawals
Sadly, this may be all we see of Stolbova & Klimov for a while. The news also came this week that they’re not going to make that test skate. One thing the brief preview clip doesn’t show is that he actually isn’t lifting Stolbova into the air yet. He had surgery for the umpteenth time earlier in the summer, and the doctors aren’t letting him do that until September 1. They’d have only a little more than a week to run through the program with all the lifts, twists, and throws, not enough time. They’re still hoping to start their season at the Finlandia Trophy in October, which they can manage if there’s no further complications.
They’re not the only ones out. So are both the ladies who skated in Sochi. Russian federation president Alexander Gorshkov confirmed both Adelina Sotnikova and Julia Lipnitskaia being out. He claimed that in both cases it’s for health reasons, and not necessarily because they’re retiring, but it’s not a good sign for either. If neither can recover in time to be competitive this season, they’re both likely to call it a career anyway.