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At the end of the ice dancing event at Trophée Eric Bompard there were Nathalie’s tears – and it was sad to see that beautiful skater on the verge of falling into pieces while staying on the podium and posing for the official photograph. If you allow me, I’ll give those tears a different meaning (and Nathalie should do the same): in their free dance she’s the rose – and a rose needs from time to time some raindrops in order to grow. And this magical program with the prince and his rose will definitely grow while approaching the Olympic Games – I am sure of that. So, beautiful rose, don’t you worry – this is not the end of the road, it’s just the beginning.

by Florentina Tone

Nathalie Pechalat at the beginning of their free skating (2013 TEB)

The podium of the ice dancing event at 2013 TEB:

1. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir: 180.96 points
2. Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov: 171.89 points
3. Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat: 171.08 points

I’ll admit: I love the Russians’ routine too. The version of “Swan Lake” skated by Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov is powerful and theatrical, a drama on ice. But at this point of the Olympic season I was more touched by the soft, delicate, solar performance of Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat – so I’d have preferred the French on the second place of the podium at Trophée Eric Bompard.

Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat, performing a very difficult lift during their free dance

One thing is sure though: leaving aside Nathalie’s tears, it was a beautiful night at Palais Omnisports de Bercy, given the fact that I got to see three of my favorite free dances of the season: the wonderful and smooth routine of the Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (I love the choice of the green dress), the colored and joyful program of the French and the dramatic performance of the Russians, with Elena playing the part of the swan.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are in a class of their own

With this wonderful program, Nathalie and Fabian will fight for an Olympic medal in Sochi

Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov during their free dance at 2013 TEB

But I also discovered a wonderful new pair of French dancers (with Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron the future of ice dancing in France looks bright), the promising, though unpolished routine of Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland (skated on a Michael Jackson medley), the unusual – but very interesting – choice of music of Ksenia Monko and Kiril Khaliavin, the innovative set of programs of the Germans Nelli Zhiganshina and Alexander Gazsi (as if they were drawing a circle: they finished the free dance in the same pose they used at the beginning of their short one).

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron

Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland

Ksenia Monko and Kiril Khaliavin

Nelli Zhiganshina and Alexander Gazsi

Posted by: Florentina Tone//2013 Trophee Eric Bompard, 2013-2014 Season, EVENTS, GRAND PRIX SERIES//2013 Trophee Eric Bompard, Alexander Gazsi, Elena Ilinykh, Fabian Bourzat, Gabriella Papadakis, Guillaume Cizeron, Kiril Khaliavin, Ksenia Monko, Nathalie Pechalat, Nelli Zhiganshina, Nicholas Buckland, Nikita Katsalapov, Penny Coomes, Scott Moir, Tessa Virtue//