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The skaters of the Russian national team went underwater on skates! All in order to present a new dance.

Date: May 22, 2024 Time: 18:34:42

Skaters underwater? And even on skates? With suits similar to competition ones? It seems that our athletes have not yet presented a program for the new season!

Ekaterina Mironova/Evgeniy Ustenko is a very creative dance duo. They brought the story of Medusa the Gorgon, the drama of The Hunger Games, and the sci-fi plot of Dune to the ice. A new free dance is an unusual new experiment.

For the 2023/2024 season, Katya and Zhenya took the music from Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar-winning film “The Shape of Water” and, shortly before the Russian team’s skate tests, went underwater themselves. Right on skates. And after the unusual photo session, they told the “Campeonato” in more detail about her new free dance.

What’s it like filming underwater on skates?

To conduct an unusual photo session, Katya and Zhenya went from St. Petersburg to Moscow. The only photo studio with a pool in the Northern capital turned out to be unavailable, but we really wanted to make the idea a reality, so we looked for an option in another city.

The photograph of the couple in the pool was taken by experienced underwater photographer Slava Grebenkin; He had previously collaborated with figure skaters, for example, Daria Pavlyuchenko and Anna Pogorila.

Evgeniy Ustenko and makeup artist Natalya Grebenkina

Photo: Anastasia Matrosova, “Championship”

It took 40 minutes to do the couple’s makeup and a whole hour to do the couple’s makeup: after all, turning a skater into an amphibious man is not so easy. In the photo studio there was always a stuffy atmosphere, unlike any other skating rink. But this allowed us to stay in the water for a long time in comfortable conditions and not catch a cold.

The skates that the guys used during filming are also not easy: Mironova/Ustenko skated on them throughout the last season, including the Russian Championships in Krasnoyarsk, where they placed fifth and qualified for the first time for the main team. After diving into the pool, the skates weighed twice as much and swelled.

Skates by Ekaterina Mironova

Photo: Anastasia Matrosova, “Championship”

Instead of competition suits, those that looked as similar as possible to them were used: those in which the skaters will perform on the ice had just gone through the painting process at the time of filming, so it would be completely wrong to spoil them . .

The main reference is the poster for the movie “The Shape of Water,” in which the main characters hug each other underwater and a shoe flies off the girl’s foot. The depth of the photo pool is 1.65 m, so difficulties arose when photographing the poster: to repeat the original image, the skaters had to go directly to the bottom and photograph in a horizontal plane. Katya has no problems with the water element, she swims well, but Zhenya had to overcome her fear of it and learn to exhale while she dives.

But the result was worth it: the image turned out truly fabulous.

The image turned out really fabulous.

Photo: Vyacheslav Grebenkin

Completely new sign language and elements: what to expect from the new dance?

Previously, the skaters took on something more epic, but now they decided to try their hand at lyricism and reveal a new side.

Ekaterina Mironova


“The idea has been around since last season, I proposed it then, but Dune took over. At the end of last season Elena Yurievna. [Ушакова] on social media he once again gave us the idea by mentioning the film. This led us to the Shape of Water program. No one has ever transferred this film to the ice: neither dancers, nor single skaters, nor hothouse skaters. Normally, if there is a lyric in a movie, the skaters accept it immediately.”

For the new season, the skaters decided to completely renew themselves. If, for example, the individual skaters prepare new jumps and waterfalls, the dancers are creative in terms of lifts, choreography and all other parts of the program.

“All elements of the program are new. We have three new lifts, a new choreographic element and rotation,” Evgeniy emphasized. “In previous seasons we left the lifts and rotations that were developing, but this time we can’t afford it, the total arc is new,” added Ekaterina.

What is the story behind the program? 1962, peak of the confrontation between the USSR and the United States in the Cold War. The partner is an amphibian man being studied in a secret military laboratory, the partner is a deaf-mute cleaner with scars on her neck. Feelings arise between the characters, and these unusual feelings must be expressed somehow through dance.

“We were looking for sign language specialists to convey some details of the film and immerse ourselves in the images,” said Ekaterina. In preparing the picture, Evgeniy was helped by acting teacher Marcin Rui, a Polish actor who has been working in Russia for a long time and in recent years has been working closely with Elena Sokolova’s group.

Evgeny Ustenko


“All the images that the boys in our group show in the programs are all of Marcin. He is an actor, he works with everyone individually, Katya has her own work, I have mine. My main task is very interesting: to show the sensual side of the program with the help of arms, hands and fingers. The main emotions that my character will experience will have to be transmitted not only and not so much by the face, but by the plasticity and position of the hands.”

If the rhythmic dance of Mironova/Ustenko this season is energetic and charged with positivity, then the free dance contrasts greatly with it and the couple wants to play with this variety.

“We have grown towards lyrical music. You should skate any program knowing what you are skating. Children’s lyrics, teen lyrics, and adult lyrics are three different things. Since we are reaching a serious level, we need to show serious programs, show that we can be versatile,” says Evgeniy Ustenko.

The premiere of the program “The Shape of Water” will take place at the skating trials of the Russian national team in Moscow on September 17, and this is definitely one of the reasons to go to Megasport.

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

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