An air of the Olympics might have crept into Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava on January 29, when Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, gold medalists in Sochi, took the ice for their short program. Add here the long-expected comeback of Aliona Savchenko, skating now with Bruno Massot, after a very successful career alongside Robin Szolkowy – and you’ll understand the enthusiasm of the figure skating fans and the sense of anticipation surrounding this particular event. And it was indeed a feast for the eyes the pairs’ short program in Bratislava, with Bollywood rhythms, Irish trademark steps and the emotional performance of Aliona and Bruno, skated to music from Cirque du Soleil show “Kurios”. Without further ado, you’ll find some of the (photo)stories of the afternoon right here, as captured by Natasha Ponarina.
Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov: first after SP
The Olympic champions are in the building – Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov looking serious and focused prior to taking the ice for the 6-minute warm-up
Now that’s what I call an interesting and innovative short program, with Tatiana and Maxim skating to Indian themed music at this year’s edition of the Europeans. Choreographed by Nikolai Morozov, the routine has details, colors, nuances – and their overall packaging is definitely Olympic champions-worthy.
Their twist is text book material – just look at Tatiana’s posture in the air
In the character of the music
What about this risky entrance into the death spiral? An innovation in Bratislava, it might easily turn into one of their trademark moves.
A final move – and 79.77 points for their short program in Bratislava; at the end of this particular segment of the pairs event, Tatiana and Maxim were in the lead.
Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot: 2nd after SP
One of the biggest moments of this year’s edition of the Europeans happened in the pairs event, when Aliona Savchenko, one of the legends of the discipline, came back into the competitive arena alongside Bruno Massot. Playing the waiting game for a time that seemed almost indefinite, Aliona and Bruno proved strength and perseverance, and their efforts really paid off. At the end of the day, they were second, with 75.54 points
In Aliona’s 11th Europeans, Bruno’s 4th, and their first continental competition as a team, they chose to skate to “Créature de Siam”, music from the show “Kurios” (Cirque du Soleil). The program has been choreographed by Gary Beacom.
No twist like this twist – Aliona and Bruno could easily turn it into a quadruple; and this might be exactly their plan for the following season…
Aliona’s joy in Bratislava was purely contagious
The ending pose of their short program, loads of emotions and enthusiasm in it
Thanking the audience in Bratislava for an incredible welcome
Their smiles say it all – and we’re sure glad to have them back.
Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov: 3rd after SP
Two Europeans so far – and already two bronze medals under their belt: 21-year old Evgenia Tarasova and 23-year-old Vladimir Morozov started their senior career in the best possible way. The Russians having Robin Szolkowy as one of their coaches – the teams ranked 1-3 after SP are somehow connected – skated to selections from “The Lord of the Dance” in Bratislava; an energetic, powerful routine, that had them on the third place at the end of this segment of the pairs event
Robin Szolkowy and Andrei Hekalo – Evgenia and Vladimir’s coaching team – paying attention to their students in Bratislava, during SP
Another gorgeous twist in the pairs event
The joy of showing a good routine at 2016 Europeans: at the end of the day, Evgenia and Vladimir were third, with 70.17 points
Another round of applause while heading to the Kiss and Cry
Familiar faces in the audience: Lorenza Alessandrini and a joyous Stefania Berton on the top row; below: Florent Amodio, Kiira Korpi, Kim Lucine
5th after SP: Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès
A wonderful addition in Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès’ team of coaches and consultants: Mariusz Siudek, who used to represent Poland in the pairs event alongside Dorota Zagórska. They won four medals (2xsilver, 2xbronze) at the Europeans and a bronze medal at the Worlds in 1999
This season, Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès chose to skate to “I Put a Spell on You” in their short program; the musical choice suits Vanessa like a glove
Florent Amodio cheers for Vanessa and Morgan in Bratislava…
…and Vanessa thanks him for the support
6th after SP: Nicole della Monica and Matteo Guarise
Taking a deep breath and sharing a smile, seconds before performing their short program in Bratislava
A wonderful musical choice for Nicole della Monica and Matteo Guarise this season: they skate to “Magnificat” by Mina – the music, the costumes, the overall performance make a beautiful “package”
At the end of the day, Nicole and Matteo were 6th, with 61.51 points
7th after SP: Kristina Astakhova and Alexei Rogonov
18-year-old Kristina Astakhova and 27-year-old Alexei Rogonov make a very good pair; not to mention they seem to have all the aces to succeed: great skills, original, innovative programs, and a coach who could show them the way to a wonderful career (the two-time Olympic champion Artur Dmitriev)
Coach Artur Dimitriev paying attention to his students in Bratislava
Great actors: this season, Kristina and Alexei embody characters from the movie “The Artist” and they are really convincing playing/skating their parts. A long series of photos will follow: you’ll see for yourselves this is a wonderful partnership, and the details in the program, priceless
A stuffed toy for Kristina
Kristina and Alexei heading for the Kiss and Cry; the coach looks satisfied with their performance
…and a rose along the way
8th after SP: Valentina Marchei and Ondřej Hotárek
In their second Europeans, Valentina Marchei and Ondřej Hotárek look more and more like a team – and you can’t resist being swept into the story they tell on the ice. Their musical choice for this season’s SP is “Morir d’amor” by Marianna Cataldi
Their connection on the ice is clearly one of this team’s strengths
Wonderful posture in the air
Valentina and Ondřej finished this particular segment of the pairs event in Bratislava on the 8th place, with 58.47 points
Creating magic at 2016 Europeans: Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron
2016 Europeans: a photo recap of the ladies’ short program
2016 Europeans: a flamenco bailarín and other photo stories