Fabian Bourzat: "We have more than enough tough competitors"
(Trophée Eric Bompard 2009)


By Romain Gazave
Photos © Olivier Brajon


After the “If You Were” questions for the series, Fabian took the time to sit down with Romain to answer some more questions.

Romain: For this season, with the Olympic Games coming up, can you tell me more about the whole team working with you; your preparation with your coaches, the choreography and physical training?

Fabian: Some of the people that worked with us in the past are the same: we’re still working with Lionel on a regular basis, for the choreography we worked this year with the same one that did our programs 2 years ago, our physical trainer is from Lyon and our agent is from Lyon as well.

The change is that we have the coaches team from Moscow (Oleg Volkov and Alexander Zhulin) who came to replace the team from Lyon that we had in the past. It really is a plus and the advantage is that we have lots of big names (former Olympic and world champions) coming often to see us and give some advices: for example Krilova, Maxim Staviski and Albena Denkova are coming often, also Tatiana Navka & Roman Kostomarov.

It is so nice to have a bit of help and advices coming from people who competed at a very high level recently and know exactly how to succeed.

Romain: This year is a bit special and the Olympic Games seem to be one of the most unpredictable competitions ever… What is your ambition?

Fabian: It’s true that the OG this year (for the men and especially in ice dancing as well) are very open: there are probably about 7 couples that seem to compete for a medal…

Being consistent during the beginning of the season and getting noticed as much as possible should help, but it’s true that the OG are a very special competition, so it’s difficult to make predictions now… anything could still happen.

Romain: Do you think the winner of the Grand Prix this season will have a mental advantage on their competition for the OG (on the judges as well) and have a bigger chance to access a podium in February?

Fabian: Obviously, they’ll have an psychological advantage and more self confidence by winning a Grand Prix , but the competition being so tied this year, I really think that the couple that will have the public on their side in the OG will have more of a real advantage at that time to do well in the marks… The team that will be able to have a success (as a standing ovation from the audience for example) in the OG should have no problem to get a medal….

Romain: You are standing out as a creative couple , often having a lot of different and original elements in your programs. What is your inspiration?

Fabian: We are just trying to do what we really want to do, trying to push our originality and personality while staying in accordance with the Rules of Ice Dancing (which is sometimes difficult to combine…)

Romain: You seem to be this past few years always in close competition with the Kerr’s (another very creative couple). How do you and Nathalie get along with them off the ice?

Fabian: I think speaking for both of us (Nathalie and I) we don’t have so much connections with skaters in general, but have mostly a group of close friends out of the ice skating world.

However we do speak with them at times and have lot of respect for each other…

Romain: What is your next Grand Prix event?

Fabian: Skate Canada (the last grand prix of the season)

Romain: Who are your favourites skaters, dancers of all time?

Fabian: The Duchesnay for their originality… and Torvill/Dean (that we recently re-discovered) for the couple‘s chemistry… These two couples really changed the world of ice-dancing!

Romain: Would you consider that there is a big difference between the North American’s ice dancing style and the European one?

Fabian: Of course! In general, most of the Americans and Canadians dance couple are very clean (pure),  but quite often not enough creative enough (in my own taste) …

I think the West European (and Russian) way of doing Ice dancing is different: probably more “powerful” about the intensity and the interpretation (like creativity and originality as example).

There really are two different schools and I think for the judges to choose between two very good couples coming from this two different background is very difficult and depends on everyone’s personal taste and sensibility!

Romain: The world of ice-skating seems to be dominated at the moment by skaters from Asia in the women category (Yu-Na Kim, Mao Asada). We also find a lot of good skaters (competing for medals) in the Men and Pairs category. What about Ice Dance? Can you see that coming as well in a close future?

Fabian: I think it will take much more time… Ice-dancing is less demanding physically than in the figure skating, but more focused on the sensibility, interpretation… also the question of the culture of a country is in play (compares to some nations with a long and old tradition of Ice Dancing).

Obviously, the Japanese and Chinese dance-couples still haven’t made yet a real impact in the higher level. To be honest we won’t complain about it, because with the Canadians, Russians, Americans, English and Italians, we already have more than enough tough competitors. (laughing)




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