Hi there! First of all, let me introduce myself and the blog that you are about to start exploring. My name is Mikhail Lopatin, I am a musicologist from Russia who really likes figure skating, and also likes to think and write about figure skating from a musicological perspective, which means thinking about music and choreography, about the ways choreography ‘fits’ into musical structure, phrasing, into its dynamic and melodic profiles, and so on.
Just a few introductory words about me as a musicologist — after all, that’s my main ‘persona’ in real life, so you might want to know a bit about that. I got my PhD from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in 2011 and have been traveling a lot since then, working and winning grants and fellowships in Switzerland (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Basel), Italy (Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies), UK (the University of Oxford), and Germany (the University of Würzburg). I’ve been publishing widely, in Russian and English, on the medieval music of the 14th-15th centuries, mostly on Italian trecento (think about Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, but more in a musical direction…). If you want to explore this part of my ‘persona’, just click here and you’ll get to my academia.edu page. But I assume you’re here for other reasons. Right!
I’ve been following figure skating for quite a while now — at least since the early noughties. I think the first thing I remember is Alexei Yagudin winning those Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002. That was marvelous, it was indeed. Then my interest had its ups and downs, but since the emergence of Yuzuru Hanyu and then, crucially, Shoma Uno, I became quite an ardent fan of this sport. In 2015 I created a blog (in Russian) on sports.ru, which initially meant to be a fan blog of Shoma Uno. I soon realized, however, that my interests were slightly wider, and that’s when I started writing about other athletes, other programs, other choreographers, etc. One thing led to another, and then at some point you discover yourself in the midst of figure skating life, writing and translating, thinking, watching, going deeper into the history of this sport, and so on. That’s where I am now. And that’s why I am opening this English version of my blog here.
In this blog you will find my analytical materials which deal with choreography and music. I’ll be analyzing individual programs, or sketching portraits of the leading choreographers of our time, or writing about jumps, spins, step sequences, etc., and how they enhance, or are enhanced, by the musical material that accompanies them. You can already get a sense of all this by reading the articles uploaded to this blog. There are more to come, I promise.
So, have fun and I hope you enjoy your time here!