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The figure featured an ice theater battle! Kostomarov and Katsalapov started with this species.

Date: May 28, 2024 Time: 18:34:52

It’s May and figure skating competitions are being held in the center of St. Petersburg. What kind of tournaments can there be at this time, when everyone has already gone on vacation? Special, theatrical.

In spring, in St. Petersburg, the Petrovsky Ice festival has long been held, which brings together ice ballets, ice theaters and other mass figure skating groups. For example, Olympic champions Roman Kostomarov and Nikita Katsalapov began their journey in figure skating from ice theater.

What is this special type of figure skating? Why aren’t athletes fined for lying on the ice and using huge props? How is the development of figure skating in Russia? Let’s figure it out together with the “Championship”.

We also talk about synchronized skating:

Ice theater, miniature ice theater, ice ballet – what do these skaters show?

All teams are called differently: some teams are called ice theater, others are called ice miniature theater, there are ice ensembles, there are ballets. But everyone competes together, the categories differ in age (pre-novices, novis, juniors, adults) and experience (seniors and adults are adults, but amateurs belong to the second category).

Within the framework of “Petrovsky Ice” everyone competed, from young to old, from beginners to adult amateurs.

What elements do ballets have in their programs? Skaters combine elements of synchronized skating, singles, pairs and dance. There are supports that are carried out jointly and there are collective ones. There are also jumps, single and double, but they are in the programs. Intersections, circles and blocks were borrowed from synchronization.

The athletes’ costumes are more similar to those that can be seen at ice performances than at competitions. A vivid example is the program “Chamomile Bouquet” of the children’s team of the Aleko Theater in Moscow. Real daisies come out on the ice with huge headdresses in the shape of this flower and at the end they are tied with a ribbon.

Ice theater “Aleko” with the number “Chamomile bouquet”

Photo: Anastasia Matrosova, “Championship”

What types of events do participants compete in? Who evaluates them and how does this happen?

In the Petrovsky Ice refereeing team was Sergei Roslyakov, current coach of the sports pairs Alena Kostornaya / Georgy Kunitsa and Taisiya Sobinina / Denis Khodykin. For several years now he has regularly judged competitions involving such dance groups, and he himself was a member of the Ice Crystal ballet team (not to be confused with the Crystal Ice synchronized swimmer team, this is a completely different team).

Seniors, juniors and beginners compete in the double event: the short program is a choreographic exercise on a given theme in unadorned black costumes, and in the free program you can already go crazy. In other categories (including adult amateurs) they compete only in the free program.

There are deductions, as in the classic figure, although not as strict. You can also get fines in ballet for falls, and in some places a full point is deducted, and in others only 0.5.

Ballets receive points only for the components they have, and there are many of them: “Composition”, “Choreographic movements”, “Group interaction”, “Elements of figure skating”, “Sliding skills” (yes, in Also observe Skating Skills), “Presentation of the Program”, “Originality and Creativity”, “Theatricality of the Program”. Within the components there is a division into technical and creative components.

Olga Chepurova

figure skating coach, competition judge

“In ice ballet competitions, as in figure skating sports tournaments, we give participants two scores: for the execution technique and for the components. But there is a significant difference. The technical score is not tied to any element: it is a set of criteria by which we evaluate the program as a whole on a 10-point scale in increments of 0.25. In total, we must rate the program according to 10 criteria, which include both artistic and technical aspects. At the same time, the sporting component seems to take a backseat: skating ability rather influences the effect of performance, but it is not always the decisive factor in determining the winner.”

What is allowed here, unlike the classic figure?

First of all, these are accessories. There are many accessories: almost every program has something. Some teams have a screen right on the ice during a performance, and behind it are boxes where everything they need is hidden. If the number is based on the plot of the Angry Birds game, there will definitely be a basket with eggs on the ice. If they capture the story of Leonardo da Vinci on ice, they will show his paintings and even make a replica of one of his inventions. You definitely won’t see this in normal figure skating.

Props from the Mask Theater for the number “Oh, the great Leonardo Da Vinci!”

Photo: Anastasia Matrosova, “Championship”

The most important rule regarding accessories is that they must be safe; otherwise they may need to be removed from the site. There is also no confetti, fire, pyrotechnics, animals and natural plants are also not allowed on the ice: for the program “The Master and Margarita”, for example, large fake mimosas were made.

Another feature of ice ballets is that each free program has its own name, which is announced before the performance, and the festival brochure also informs about the content of the performance. Some teams tell the plot directly, while others use riddles and clues. This is a good idea, for example, for a show program tournament; some numbers will be clearer and easier for the viewer to perceive.

Ice ballets embody completely different stories: in the youngest category, for example, there is the number “Two inches from the pot” (the children’s ice miniature theater “Todes” from Kazan), and in the category of professional adults is “Operation Reinhart.” Based on the music from the film “Schindler’s List”, it was prepared by the Aleko Theater.

Geography of ice theaters: the most distant guests are from Irkutsk

Skaters from different parts of Russia participated in the competition; In addition to Moscow and St. Petersburg, the list included teams from Kazan, Perm, Voronezh and even Irkutsk. The “Baikal Meridian” team presented the “Baikal Yokhor” show based on Buryat folk dance.

One of the team members, Valentina Kiseleva, said that her team is made up of individual skaters.

“We mainly practice figure skating and sometimes we attend festivals of this type. The “Yokhor” routine is a national dance, we have lifts, turns and Axel jumps. There are only girls on the team; There are almost no boys. I have a third sports category, I have been doing it for 12 years. I was four years old, my mother asked me if she wanted to try it and she took me.” The first associations with Irkutsk figure skating are the film “Ice”, the main character of which was a native of these places and regularly skated on the frozen Baikal. In the last part of the film, the Russian figure skating championship took place in Irkutsk, but this plot is very far from reality. “The truth is that it is not like that (smiles). “They don’t give us much time, ice is very expensive.”

In the mixed category (II 15+), the Baikal Meridian team took the silver medal, which is very good for the girls.

Of the famous St. Petersburg singles players, Ksenia Gushchina visited the tournament, supported the Perm team “O2”, and Alexei Mishin’s student Gleb Lutfullin performed a demonstration of the number “Fun”.

You can practice figure skating as an adult!


“Why does my son skate and I don’t?” How figure skating becomes a mass sport

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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