The Europeans in Bratislava are already history – but what a joyous, colorful history, unfolding its layers in front of our eyes… We’re on January 28 again, and the last group of dancers is ready to work its magic on the ice of Ondrej Nepela Arena. On this occasion in particular, and with the Waltz being the king of dances, we’re more than ever surrounded by sparkles and precious gems, and layered dresses, and exuberant smiles. Is it as if we’re at a Royal Court on a night to remember – and no efforts are being spared for the sake of a perfect dance. Let’s waltz among Natasha Ponarina’s pictures, shall we?
Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte: first after SD
What a joy of a short dance this is, with Anna and Luca skating to Waltz and Polka from “The Merry Widow” by Franz Lehár. The look, the music, their smiles and costumes, their performance – now that’s an exquisite ensemble, that had them in the lead at the end of the day; the Italians were awarded 72.31 points. And, oh, boy, these two surely know how to dance!
A smiling Anna Cappellini at the end of the dance, with coach Paola Mezzadri in the background
Luca Lanotte and choreographer Ludmila Vlasova heading to the Kiss and Cry
Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron: 2nd after SD
Sitting in second place at the end of the day were the 2015 European and World champions, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, with a completely different type of dance, to “Charms”, music from the movie “W.E.”, composed by Abel Korzeniowski. It was Waltz again, and March in their case – but no exuberance here: just a round, carefully built story, blending the softness with the tempest, the restlessness with the abandonment. A short dance like the life itself, scaled down to 2 minutes of 50 seconds. The judges awarded them 70.74 points. More photos of their short dance, here.
Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev: 3rd after SD
Another short dance, a different type of storytelling on the ice – this time, a powerful Russian drama, with Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev skating to the famous “Masquerade Waltz” by Aram Khachaturian and to the “Dance of the Knights” from Sergei Prokofiev’s „Romeo and Juliet”. They skated their heart out in Bratislava, Ekaterina and Dmitri – and, at the end of the day, they were third, with 68.71 points.
Coaching Alexander Zhulin paying attention to his students’ short dance in Bratislava
6th after SD: Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri
With Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri it’s all or nothing when it comes to performing their programs. They don’t hold back, the Italians, and their joy, enthusiasm, commitment are almost palpable. And their short dance in Bratislava is no exception, with Charlène and Marco skating to “Torna a Surriento” (performed by Luciano Pavarotti), „Maria Mari” by André Rieu and „Italian Fantasia” by Mantovani. At the end of the day, they were 6th, with 64.87 points.
A joyous Charlène heading to the Kiss and Cry
8th after SD: Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland
A huge joy to have these two back at the Europeans – and competitions altogether – after the challenges of last season, involving coaching changes abrupt withdrawals from the biggest events of 2015. Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland are, thus, back into the competitive arena – and, in Bratislava, they skated to “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss. At the end of this particular segment of the ice dancing event, Penny and Nick were 8th, with 64.26 points.
Alongside Igor Shpilband and Adrienne Lenda at the end of their SD in Bratislava
Small medals ceremony after the short dance in Bratislava, with Gabriella and Guillaume taking the silver, Anna and Luca, the gold, and Ekaterina and Dmitri, the bronze
4th after SD in Bratislava, with 68.33 points, were Russia’s Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov – they skated a jewel of a shart dance, to Waltz-March-Polka from Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”.
Glimpses from the press conference after short dance
The winners of the short dance, Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, changed almost completely the second part of their program following the Grand Prix Final in Barcelona. “We tried to improve the short dance a lot. We have made a lot of changes especially in the second half of the dance. We think that it has already paid off but since essentially the whole second part is completely different, it’s not as well trained as the rest of it. Sometimes it has been better than today but we are positive and optimistic for the World Championships”, Anna told the media.
Funny faces in the press room
Sitting in second place after SD, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron looked at the positives of their performance in Bratislava – this was their first international competition after Gabriella’s concussion and the long rest following the accident; they had only competed in French Nationals prior to the Europeans. “It’s our first international competition this season, so it is great to come back and, at the same time, we did a really good job. We did the best we could do today. Of course there is pressure and of course there are people expecting things, but we were kind of in our bubble, so we were not thinking about anything too much”, Gabriella said.
Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev skated their short dance with power and enthusiasm, and, at the end of the day, they were third. “We really enjoyed performing today, especially after we missed the last two European Championships. Maybe Russian Nationals gave us more confidence in ourselves and some new energy. Actually, each competition gives us something new and Russian Nationals pushed us towards our goals”, Dmitri told the media.
Top 3 after the short dance at this year’s edition of the Europeans
A musing Guillaume Cizeron…
…and a delighted pair of Italian champions.
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
2016 Europeans: the comeback of the stars in the pairs event