Figure skaters are known for being serious and focused. But at the Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade, competitors are able to portray happiness, sadness, surprise, joy and so much more as their personalities shined through in their routines.
Take pairs champions Alisa Efimova and Alexander Korovin from host Russia. They start embraced, eyes locked and hands positioned on each other. Then comes the beginning of the music, starting with just a few notes and gradually increasing in volume.
They begin their routine. She’s acting shy, trying to hide behind him. Then, a minute into the act, the music becomes upbeat. Their expressions quickly change from serious to surprised, drums sounding in the background as they march throughout the ice.
Efimova tosses kisses to the crowd as Korovin lifts her above his head and spins her around. As the routine winds down, the music slows down again as well. They finished embraced in a tight hug, looking happy and content to be back in each other’s arms.
Efimova said they have been performing this routine for two years, and they worked with a choreographer to perfect the moves.
“The free program that we have been performing here is a light story that we do show and it provides the joy.”
They also train with a professional dancer, specifically to help them with their short program. The emotions are built into the choreography, and Efimova said portraying the right facial expressions while she performs is very difficult for her.
“We practiced all of these transitions and the special music has been selected for that. This short program is quite energetic and for me, it was a bit complicated but I try to show off the energy and the joy with that.”
For compatriots Alexandra Koshevaia and Dmitry Bushlanov, their routine takes a different approach. They performed to the song Two Steps from Hell and were styled in all black, with armor-like details across their chests. The music was dark and mysterious with vocals in the background.
“Our coach chose the music for us and the short program is more lyrical and the free program is more powerful style,” Koshevaia said.
Anastasia Polunianvo and Dmitry Sopot, who rounded out the all-Russian podium, were dressed in bright pink with gold accents. They performed to classical music titled La Strada de Nino Rota, an upbeat remediation that seemed fitting with the start of spring tomorrow. It was an elegant, beautiful and uplifting performance.
All of the routines were different yet elegant, showing off the varying styles and personalities of the skaters.