The PSA (Professional Skating Association), during his annual PSA Awards Dinner held this in Boston on May 24, awarded Pasquale Camerlengo with the "Paul McGrath Choreographer of the Year Award". The other nominees were Phillip Mills, Scott Brown, Jeremy Abbott, Sheryl Franks & Deidre Williams.
In previous years the prize was awarded to Shpilband and Zueva (2010 and 2011), David Wilson (2009) and Lori Nichol (2008).
The other categories of PSA Awards were:
"Coach of the Year": John Nicks, coach of Ashley Wagner;
"Developmental Coach of the Year": Tammy Gambill, who has worked with Vincent Zhou, 2012 U.S. Novice Champion;
"Pieter Kollen Sport Science Coaching Award": Kat Arbour, an expert in medical sciences and sports.
The most successful choreographer of the year, Camerlengo worked with Alissa Czisny, Adam Rippon, but also with Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek and Daisuke Takahashi. And now, he has started working with the 2006 Olympic gold medalist, Evgeni Plushenko.
"He is very good," Camerlengo told Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com. "Of course, it is very different to work with him, because first of all, there is Mishin always there, right behind you. He will say, 'I want something like this, I want something like that, I wish he could go like this.' Even before you are doing something, he gives you direction of how he wants it. So it's a kind of a different procedure for me. Normally, I create [choreography] and then I show it, and then a coach may say, 'This part, I don't like.' With Mishin, it is before I even create something. It's, 'I want something here, then he turns, then he goes faster, and then he slows down.'
"Evgeni is really capable," the choreographer added. "He surprised me with his ability and skills as a skater. I'd ask, 'Why haven't you done that before?' He did so many things, but in a competitive program you have to consider all the time the elements, the jumps, the timing, the stamina, many things. So you cannot really skate a program using all of your skills, [including] all the steps you can do and all of the other things you can do on the ice. Because you have to think, 'If I overload the program, I'm not able to do the elements.' And in the end, the elements give you the results."
Plushenko has been criticized for a lack of transitions between elements, and that's what he and Camerlengo worked on. "We worked on having full transitions," the choreographer said. "I said, 'I want to see you doing something that is not crossovers.' And we went for that, and he was really, really positive. He feels so motivated; he wants to show everybody, 'I can do this, I can do that.'"
And even if Plushenko has turned 30 years old and he's going to be the oldest one at Worlds, according to Camerlengo "he has everything he needs to compete at the same level with all the others and even more, because he has such amazing experience, and he has a charisma that is so amazing on the ice. Already, when he is just standing on the ice, the people watch him so [intently]."
Sources: Professional Skaters Association, ArtOnIce, icenetwork.com