Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov, Adelina Sotnikova, Maxim Kovtun, Ivan Righini and many skaters from Elena Berezhnaya’s “St. Petersburg Ice Theatre” were all in Yubileyny Sports Palace, on March 6th, in a figure skating show named “Ice Stories”. The oldest indoor skate rink in St. Petersburg welcomed some of the best Russian skaters right now – and no seat was empty during the night, with the audience warmly greeting the stars.
by Olga Chepurova
Meant to mark the arrival of spring in the city, “Ice Stories” was a beautiful mixture of skating performances and life music. Gold medalist in Sochi, Adelina Sotnikova, and two-time Russian National champion Maxim Kovtun came to St. Petersburg from Moscow despite their tight schedule – and their presence was thoroughly appreciated. Forced to skip this competitive season because of an ankle injury, Adelina is taking part these days in a popular TV show in Russia, “Dancing with the Stars”; in St. Petersburg, the 18-year-old skated two gala programs: one, to Nusha’s song “Only”, and the other one, to Astor Piazzolla’s “Oblivion”.
On the other side, Maxim Kovtun is currently preparing for the World Championships in Shanghai; the 19-year-old Russian has had so far a successful season, winning gold at both Cup of China and Trophée Eric Bompard, gold at Russian Nationals and silver in Stockholm, at this year’s edition of the European Championships. In St. Petersburg, Maxim performed a warm and energetic routine to “Kiss” by Art of Noise.
Another highlight of the night was the presence of Tamara Moskvina’s students, Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov. Two-time European champions – their second European crown was won in Stockholm, two months ago – gladdened the figure skating fans with their brilliant “Carmen” and touching “Claire de Lune”. Yuko and Alexander are among the favorites in the pairs event next week, at the Worlds in Shanghai, and they decided to use every opportunity to check and polish their elements.
The young generation of skaters was also present in the gala, through talented Petr Gumennik, Elizaveta Nugumanova and Sofia Samodurova; all three of them, students of Alexei Mishin, are names for the future, already performing triple jumps and even triple-triple combinations. Also taking part in the show were two famous Russian musicians: Luka Safronov, pianist, and Edgar Hakobyan, violinist. In St. Petersburg, the artists performed a couple of compositions in between the skating performances and even accompanied the skaters during their programs.
One thing is sure: “St. Petersburg Ice Theatre” has become a very important part of the city once Elena Berezhnaya became its artistic director; the company is having the best time of its life, delighting the people of St. Petersburg with colorful, beautiful shows – among those, ice stories like “Princess Anastasia”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “Ice Opera”, “Juno and Avos”…