„A love story between two famous artists” – Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin continue partnership with choreographer Antonio Najarro

A photo that is worth a thousand words: Elena Ilinykh, Ruslan Zhiganshin and Antonio Najarro in Moscow, refining every choreographic detail of the new free dance. (source of the photo: Antonio Najarro's facebook page)

A photo that is worth a thousand words: Elena Ilinykh, Ruslan Zhiganshin and Antonio Najarro in Moscow, refining every choreographic detail of the new free dance. (source of the photo: Antonio Najarro’s facebook page)

I’ll tell you a secret: given the amazing short dance Antonio Najarro choreographed for Elena and Ruslan last season, I was really hoping they’d work together in the future, creating magic and astounding once again the figure skating world. Well, the future is now: the Spanish choreographer spent three days in Moscow at the beginning of May, putting together the pieces of the Russians’ new free dance. And while it may be too early to discuss in details this new program, Antonio Najarro’s enthusiasm is already speaking for itself: „It will be a very modern choreography, with many different styles of dance and full of different feelings. I really love the entire program”. As for Elena and Ruslan, „not only they are amazing skaters, but, what is more important for my artistic vision, they are really artists and performers. When I see Elena acting, I can see all the feelings I want to describe – and that makes me very happy, I’m so proud of them”.

by Florentina Tone

You have to trust Najarro’s words when saying he loves this new free dance created for the Russians. Last year’s „Carmen” was a hit – la pièce de resistence in Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin’s first year as a team on the international stage. That particular short dance was one of the highlights of the season – it was obvious for everyone that Antonio Najarro’s choreography suited them like a glove. With that in mind, one can only applaud them for choosing again the Spanish choreographer – this time for their free dance. Antonio Najarro gladly explained the context: „While preparing the Carmen program, Elena and Ruslan were very satisfied with the feelings of the choreography and with my way of working – since I’m giving a lot of importance to the movements, positions, to the energy and soul of each movement. Being extremely passionate and expressive skaters, they felt very comfortable with me and decided to call me for choreographing their new free program for this season”.

As he told Inside Skating, the Spanish choreographer spent a couple days in Moscow at the beginning of May, laying the basics of this new free dance: “I was working with them for three days, in the studio and also on ice. The choreography and the feelings of the choreography are very difficult, but I was really impressed with how fast they learned everything, dancing and expressing the movements I taught them. Now they need to assimilate all the choreography and I will come back again to work with them to fix the program”.

As for the actual content of the dance, not much can be revealed right now; one thing is sure though: “It will be a very modern choreography, with many different styles of dance”. And, since the black-and-white picture with all three of them is really intriguing, Antonio Najarro agreed to tell us a little bit more – but still keeping an aura of mystery: “Elena and Ruslan will be in the skin of two very important artists in the world; the program will turn around the love story between these two famous artists, showing many different sentiments, from sadness to happiness, desire, passion, love”. Curious? We sure are.