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25 SEP 15
While Sergei Filin labours with woes in his day-job as Bolshoi ballet director, he is reportedly co-choreographing a new routine for Russia’s celebrated figure-skating champion, Evgeny Plyushchenko, a double Olympics gold medallist. Plyushchenko is a huge popular icon in Russia, and this news has been splashed all over Russian media today.
This link to the official Olympics site holds a video of Plyushchenko's winning routine in the 2006 Turin solo men's event, a smooth, tedious sequence of perfectly refined technical jumps by an evidently graceful athlete, but to depressingly unmusical effect. It is a long way from expressive dance on ice, but who knows? It seems that he hopes Filin and Possokhov can supply him with a John Curry artistry factor to give him an edge for the 2018 Olympics. (Below, John Curry in his exquisite Don Quixote skating ballet at the 1976 Olympics)
Here’s my translation of the Interfax agency report (one of 28 news articles available to date, so major is this story).
Plyushchenko preparing routine with Filin
Two-time Olympic skating champion Evgeni Plyushchenko has starting preparing new routines with the Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director Sergei Filin and the famous choreographer Yuri Possokhov.
"Yesterday I started work on the programme right inside the walls of the Bolshoi Theatre with Sergei Filin and Yuri Possokhov. It’s turning out very unusually - I’m excited!” Plyushchenko wrote on Instagram on Thursday.
In mid-September it was reported that 32-year-old skater, at the same time as announcing his resumption of his sporting career, was undergoing a second operation on his spine.
At the 2006 Olympics in Turin Plyushchenko won gold in solo skating, and at the 2014 Sochi Games won the men's team competition. In Sochi he had planned to perform in the solo skating on February 13 but due to his back injury withdrew only a few minutes before the start of the short programme.
That same day he announced the end of his sports career, but soon after he said that he might perform at the next Olympics.
Plyushchenko’s tally also includes two silver medals in the 2002 and 2010 Olympics. He is a three-time world champion (2001, 2003, 2004), a seven-time European champion (2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012) and a four-time winner of the world finals of the Grand Prix series (in 1999/2000, 2000/01, 2002/03, 2004/05).
Evgeniy Plyushchenko at the Turin Olympics