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Jun 14, 2012

Look at your life, look at your choices

Happier Morozov-less times

UPDATE: Praise be to God, Allah, Xenu, Flying Spaghetti Monster, whatever! It looks like Daisuke Takahashi has not completely lost his mind and is only taking on Nikolai Morozov as an advisor/assistant coach. And best of all, Mr. Takahashi says Mr. Morozov is "probably not" going to be his choreographer this season though it's still undecided. Maybe this won't be such a disaster after all.....though hopefully Mr. Morozov won't strip away all the choreography by the end of next season. We all know how Mr. Morozov likes his empty programs....

Daisuke Takahashi is apparently returning to Nikolai Morozov. See also here.

Only a gif can adequately sum up my facial expression upon hearing this horrible soul crushing disaster of meltdown proportions news:

Well, let's at least try to be somewhat rational and level-headed....

Pros of Daisuke Takahashi returning to Nikolai Morozov:
-Mr. Takahashi has previously spoken about how Mr. Morozov is great at instilling confidence. This may be sorely needed after the results of Worlds in Nice
-Mr. Morozov is good at somehow managing to get his students high PCS despite the fact that his programs are sorely lacking across multiple components of PCS. Example:
-the Russian politiking factor, which will be useful as the Olympics are to be held in Sochi, Russia
-Mr. Morozov was able to bring Mr. Takahashi to his technical peak in terms of jumps back in the day (2 quads, 2 3As in the LP). Maybe he'll be able to do it again.

Cons of Daisuke Takahashi returning to Nikolai Morozov: 
-absolutely wretched choreography and program construction. Case in point here.
-possible return to boring old figure skating warhorse music, especially in the LP
-possibility of horrible recycled choreography (like Javier Fernandez's and Alena Leonova's Pirates, Adam Rippon's and Sergei Voronov's Pagliacci, etc)
-Mr. Morozov has a whole stable of students, thus the possibility of neglect and less individualized attention (remember Adam Rippon? Javier Fernandez? I'm sure Nikolai Morozov doesn't)
-bad blood from last coaching switch.....didn't Mr. Morozov make some rather passive-aggressive and begrudging remarks about Mr. Takahashi and Japanese skaters in general in the past?
-terrible costumes
-possibility of 'disturbing' kiss-and-cry moments à la Florent Amodio, etc

For me, the possibility of dreadful choreography and program construction is the deal-breaker. But Morozombie, you may ask, didn't you like Cyber Swan? Yes, but Mr. Takahashi has progressed as a skater since then. When one is capable at skating at this level: 

...even going back to Cyber Swan seems like a bit of a downgrade. Of course, there's the possibility that Mr. Morozov may be able to produce some intricate artistic masterpiece for Mr. Takahashi next season, but given what Mr. Morozov has choreographed this season:

...forgive me if hope does not exactly spring eternal. The only tolerable thing in this scenario is if Mr. Takahashi uses other choreographers, but given that Mr. Morozov tends to do the vast majority of his students' programs himself, this possibility seems as remote as the former.

I hope I'm wrong. But given the universal revulsion that has greeted this news, I am afraid. Very afraid.....


  1. My goodness, I literally almost dropped off my chair when I read this. It caught me completely unawares. Didn't the Russian Fed discourage Morozov from taking or keeping any more foreign students? The only thing that can justify this move is the OGM, frankly, nothing less will do. Well, I'm always willing to be pleasantly surprised by some miracolously brilliant choreographies but...

    1. I'm not even sure if the OGM is worth it at this point. Shades of Bourne/Kraatz in 2003....

  2. Nothing good can come of this. If Dai gets choreography from someone else, Morozov will edit it into nothing. Dai's tech peak wasn't on a blown-out knee. I could kind of understand JSF forcing(?) Hanyu to a big-name coach, but this move is inexplicable.

    On the bright side, I suppose Dai's programs next year will be so staggeringly sexual that Blues for Klook will seem positively PG.

    1. "If Dai gets choreography from someone else, Morozov will edit it into nothing. Dai's tech peak wasn't on a blown-out knee. I could kind of understand JSF forcing(?) Hanyu to a big-name coach, but this move is inexplicable."


      Plus, Mr. Takahashi has been getting his quad back and improving on his consistency perfectly fine with his current coaching team this season. I really don't see why a major change like moving to the US, and then Russia, is necessary....

  3. I'm clinging to the hope that this is only a rumour. I don't read Russian, may I know whether there has been an announcement from Morozov? There has been no report of this in the Japanese press or fan sites; a search for news only throws up old info on their split years ago. Whatever happens, I guess we can still look forward to an exhibition programme from Kenji Miyamoto. He blogged about working with Dai on next season's exhibition programmes in late May:)

    1. Illusion is the first of all pleasures.....

      Thanks for the Kenji Miyamoto news. At least one of Mr. Takahashi's programs is guaranteed to be palatable next year.

  4. Another AnonymousJune 15, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    Florent Amodio is doomed. He is now relegated to the Fernandez role in Morozov's group. Run Florent, run!

    I cannot be expected to put together a coherent statement regarding Mr. Takahashi's decision. Morozov won't magically take him back to his pre-knee injury days and artistically this can only be a downgrade. Why? Why would Dai do this? What does Morozov have in his photo stash?

    I blame Marina Zoueva.

  5. Thank you for the post morozombie.
    I love your gif.

    Btw, the Japanese news has just come out.
    For your reference, the news is here:

    One of the sentence is "アドバイザーとしてコーチの一員に迎えるという", which means Mr.Morozov will be in Dai's coaching team as adviser.

    "adviser"... can we assume that there is still hope about Dai's choreography?

    1. Sigh. Thanks for the link.

      I'm guessing that the coaching situation will be similar to the one Florent Amodio has with Nikolai Morozov and Bernard Glesser....

      "adviser"... can we assume that there is still hope about Dai's choreography?"

      PLEASE! I'd even be grateful for Lori Nichol at this point!

  6. According to Japanese media reports, Morozov was the one who approached Takahashi about working together again. Seems like its more of Morozov joining Takahashi's coaching team, not a full-fledged return to Morozov per se. I'm hoping this means greater autonomy and non-Morozov choreography. But honestly while this was surprising I'm not too pessimistic about it. Dai's breakthrough on the senior circuit came while he was coached by Morozov, though his greatest successes and progress as an artist was achieved after the split. I don't see Dai and his team eating up Morozov's choreography wholesale, but I'm quite terrified by the prospect of Morozov designing Dai's costumes

    1. "Morozov was the one who approached Takahashi about working together again"


      Even if Mr. Takahashi outsources his choreography, I'm afraid Mr. Morozov will strip it out so that Mr. Takahashi will be more likely to land the jumps. We all know how Mr. Morozov likes his empty programs!

      But what's done is done. I'm slightly optimistic about the fact that Mr. Morozov is only going to be an "advisor." Hopefully someone on Team Takahashi will be able to check his more negative tendencies.

  7. The problem is Morozov has repeatedly stated in the past that he himself does all of the choreo/packaging/coaching and the skater has no say (other than yes/no to the music, at least I hope).

    My opinion on this cannot be summarized in anything other than uncensored expletives so I will refrain completely from commenting.
    (well, almost)

    1. That was my exact response when I first saw this news, Anon.

  8. What if this is just a move by the Russian/Canadian Fed to compromise Dai's chances at OGM, ensuring that Morozov does everything he can to hurt instead of help Dai's skating?

    1. Or maybe it is a move by the Japanese Fed, to promote Hanyu's chances over Dai's... seing as the young one beat the elder in the fs portion alone at worlds. ;)

      *konspiracy for k(r)ooks*

      Btw it seems as Dai will not be working with Nichol this season as per his own words, "circumstances have since changed". Blaaah! Nichol at least can create wonderful, complex program with the right skater material...

    2. The next season will be very important to see how things shape up with all these crazy coaching changes.

      If there is a conspiracy, hopefully Mr. Takahashi has enough sense to get out of it before the Olympic season.

  9. I'm much more concerened at this point about the obvious deal that is being going on behind closed doors than Dai's imminent doom. Morozov approaching Dai is even more shady than the original version. What votes is Russia trying to gain?

    1. I'm not entirely sure if all this is due to Russian politicking. I think it's equally plausible that Nikolai Morozov wants to coach another possible OGM/OSM/OBM. It's not like any of his current students have that much of a chance as things stand now....

    2. Well, as scary as it may sound but IMO he has lots of possible OBM-hopefuls amongst his students. All they need is a tiny bit of luck. Sometimes it feels like Morozov is a full fledged federation of his own.

    3. Hmmm....does he? I think he needs a LOT of luck and even more politicking. Let's see:

      I/K: They need to surpass W/P and P/B at least. I guess it's possible...but they need a ridiculous amount of favorable politicking and maybe a fall by P/B or something. Personally I hate most of Mr. Morozov's dance choreography and would hate to see one of his programs win an Olympic medal again, especially if W/P and P/B have far superior programs. Plus who knows with I/K's infamous work ethic (or lack thereof)...

      Florent Amodio: Possible but not probable. Patrick Chan and Daisuke Takahashi are currently beyond his reach. Yuzuru Hanyu should be beyond his reach by 2014. Evgeni Plushenko may come back. Others like Javier Fernandez will easily place above him if they skate decently. The men's field is too deep....

      Alena Leonova: She may have been able to win a World silver last season, but that was one of the weakest ladies fields in a long time. I have feeling that one or more of the Russian superbabies will surpass her easily.

  10. I will approve of this reunion if Morozov really loves Dai and really wants to help him to win OGM and NEVER tries to choreograph him. At the press conference, Morozov looked really really happy. I wish his big smile reflects his pure love for Dai and they will never end up with another heart breaking split after the next season.

    1. I actually hope Mr. Morozov's big smile reflects his pure desire for Olympic gold medals....if Miki Ando's programs are any indication, pure love is not enough!