TEN YEARS TOGETHER
Three-time and reigning World Champion, Evgeni Plushenko will dedicate his performances in the upcoming Together For Ten Years exhibition in St. Petersburg to all the victims in Beslan, Russia.
A portion of the proceeds will go to the families of the victims from the attack on a Beslan school which occurred earlier this month when a group of 32 terrorists stormed the building located in Russia's North Osetia region. Approximately 1,200 adults and children were held captive in a 48-hour siege that ended with the deaths of over 350 hostages, about half of them children, and over 700 wounded.
"I am so sad for all the children and their families and my heart goes to them. I hope the aid from our show can bring them just a little happiness during such a terrible tragedy," said Plushenko.
While Plushenko and other cast members will have the victims in mind when they perform, the original idea of the show was to reflect the appreciation and respect that a coach and skater have for one another. Plushenko and coach, Alexei Mishin, have worked together for 10 years.
"This special relationship was built on years of respect and loyalty," said Mishin, adding that some students go in and out. "But not us. We are one unit."
Plushenko plans to skate 6-7 programs for both shows. While the 2002 Olympic silver medalist is not nervous, he's excited to have the opportunity to perform for his hometown. "This will be a challenge. I have never skated so many programs in two days before," said Plushenko. "I want to give back to my fans and my country a little of what they have given me. I hope that I can skate well for them."
Plushenko is expected to perform his new short and long programs for this season. "These programs were choreographed by Sergei Petukhov. I like to try new styles," he said, adding that he tries to work with different choreographers each year. While changes in cast may occur, the exhibition is scheduled to include the following talented and world-class skaters:
Alexei Urmanov (1994 Olympic Champion; 1997 European Champion)
Plushenko was slated to perform for his hometown earlier this summer in June, but became ill and was eventually hospitalized. Ari Zakarian, Plushenko's agent and production manager for Ten Years Together, added, "He really felt bad about this. He felt that he let the people down. He promised them he'd be back."
Ten Years Together will be televised on two networks in Russia, however, it is not slated to be shown in the US, Canada, or other countries. "I plan to release a DVD and VHS of the show for those who would like to purchase it," said Zakarian, owner of Xtreme Ice (an ice company which specializes in acrobatic skating and entertainment). "It will be available for sale through the website in the near future."
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