Поэзия Движений:  Елена Валова 
Олег Васильев   
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What is figure skating for you?

E.Valova Sport with  bright elements of art.

O.Vasiliev: Art embodied in sport.

(from an interview for a Russian magazine)  

Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev. Olympic champions, pride of Russian sport. Having won every possible medals and titles, they have forever entered their names in the history of world figure skating. Not only for that is this pair significant. Unique style, original elements became their distinctive feature and signature on ice. Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev have brought new colors into pair figure skating and made a weighty contribution to its development.

The issue of style was always the most exciting one for Elena, Oleg and their coach Tamara Moskvina. Well, where is the enigma of Valova&Vasiliev’s style? What distinguished 1984 Olympic champions from their predecessors and rivals?

Figuratively speaking, the distinctive feature of the pair Valova - Vasiliev was in skill to hear and understand the melody of lines and edges, the melody of a jump, the melody of gesture and to create poetry in motion on ice.

First of all, it is necessary to note, that Valova and Vasiliev together with Moskvina have creatively developed the style, which is named harmonious in the international practice. They did not concentrate, for example, only on jumps or lifts; their programs, especially long, were very well balanced with particular feeling of measure. At the same time each step, each element did not exist in their own on order to just only show them to the judges – every movement in the programs was directed on that to fully open the music, to show the understanding of the theme, to create a memorable image. Merge of sport and art  almost fully occurred. Skating style of Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev was an example of the ice aesthetics and the beautiful balanced skating. They distanced from already existing ideas; they were always in search for synthesis of music, plastics and expressiveness.

In T. Moskvina’s opinion, one of the main reasons of breathtaking rise of her students is that from the very beginning Elena and Oleg understood how important is the merge of art and sport, that the resources of art are endless. Musicality and virtuosity were always combined with technical difficulty in Valova and Vasiliev's programs. Maybe, namely for these reasons, it is considered that Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev have opened a new era in pairs figure skating development. The era of combination of artistism and the complicated techniques of skating. According to Elena and Oleg, they set for themselves the goal to make pairs figure skating more entertaining, to catch up the dancers in artistry and also not to be behind the single skaters in execution of technical elements.

Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev included in all their programs difficult jumps, lifts, but never forgot to continue the search for new elements. The signature feature of Elena and Oleg is fast movements, speed, power and stability. Due to this feature, they were able to execute the most complicated, almost acrobatic elements. There are several unique elements that were created and executed by them. Here is the list of some of them:

  • Death spiral in opposite direction is of particular pride of Valova and Vasiliev. This element now can be seen in T. Totmianina and M. Marinin’s programs.
  • The Valova’s somersault when the female partner lands on the ice from a lift while executing a somersault. This element has been officially registered by ISU.
  • Parallel spins when both partners from the sit-spin position rise and continue spinning while holding their free legs with one arm (see photo).
  • Lift, in which the female partner has the position of the well known “billman spin (see photo). This element Valova and Vasiliev first executed being professionals. It is considered one of the most beautiful elements in pairs figure skating.

Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev were the first:

  • to execute side-by-side  triple jump;
  • to executed side-by-side triple jump in combination;
  • Soviet pair to turn professional;
  • to repeat the achievement of Irina Rodnina and Alexei Ulanov – to win World Championships in their first attempt in 1983.

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For the preparation of the page, the following sources were used:
- A.Chajkovsky, " Zakonomernaya Slucgainost”, a year-book " Sport i Lichnost " 1985 # 5 
- an album " Figure skating in the USSR " 1989. 
- A.Sheluhin of " Romantiki na ldu", a year-book "Panorama sportivnogo goda1984 " M. 1985. 
-S.Olgin " Na Svoem Konke ",  magazine "Olympic panorama " 1984 #1 

 

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