“The lyrics of the song really touched us and related to the story we wanted to tell: about how we – as humans – treat our time.” Chock and Bates about their free dance to Pink Floyd
Translation of the interview with Madison Chock and Evan Bates about the idea of their free dance and costumes.
original source: sports.ru dd. 22d December 2023 by Maya Bagriantseva
Here’s a translation of the interview with Madison Chock and Evan Bates made for Russian media and posted on sports.ru
Last spring fans noticed that Madison Chock had added a playlist on Spotify titled “Pink Floyd FD.” That’s how it became known that the pair is preparing for the season and choosing music for the new programs.
Chock told Sports.ru that although it was not planned they weren’t too upset. “It was really funny. Actually Maddie Hubbell texted me: ‘You know, everybody knows you are skating to Pink Floyd, I think your Spotify list is not on private mode”. And I had no idea you could put it on “private”! So we just had a good laugh”.
The duo wanted to skate to Pink Floyd last season but the coaches suggested another idea, considering Pink Floyd a questionable music choice when the world title was at stake.
“Yes, last year when they approached us with this music they were talking about the concept where time played one of the roles. But in our group there was already a program with a time related idea – for the lithuanians, Allison Reed and Saulius Ambrulevicius. Not that I was against it, it just did not click for that season – I was not that sure about Pink Floyd music.
And this year I was driving in my car and on the radio they were talking about the 50th anniversary of the “Dark side of the Moon” album and remastering it. I started listening to the whole album (so iconic!) again and realised that there was a lot of music in it that no one had used before. Yes, Tessa and Scott, Gabriella and Guillame skated to Pink Floyd – but I knew that we could follow a different route with Madison and Evan and choose other music, creating something unique to them,” Patrice Lauzon explained.
As for the costumes concepts, it was Madison Chock’s idea to transfer the Salvador Dali’s “Melting clocks” onto fabric.
“I had this idea when we first thought of this music. When we started brainstorming I had a flash of inspiration and immediately thought of “Melting Clocks” painting by Dali. It is so iconic, masterful and psychedelic – which is kind of what Pink Floyd music is about, you can easily get lost in their music in a psychedelic way. So that’s how it all worked and costumes came to be.
I am representing the concept of time – but time is not fixed, it is very warped, that’s why it works so perfectly with Salvador Dali inspiration”.
Evan Bates’ costume is also not that simple as it may seem. The white line on the right sleeve symbolises the line of life.
“It represents human life, his timeline. The black could be the afterlife. Gold and white stones represent the moments of his life that stuck out to him, his happy memories and milestones. Of course it depends on how you interpret this but that was my idea”, said Maddie.
In summer the couple even travelled to the Museum of Modern Art in New York to see “The Persistence of Memory”. Evan Bates recalls the powerful impression it made on him.
“I was actually surprised by how small the painting is. Yet Dali packed so much detail and meaning into it. I stood there and looked at it for a really long time, it was really impressive.
As for choreography, Bates explained that two parts of the dance are connected by one idea.
“In the beginning of the program we are making many linear shapes and patterns on the ice and skating very monotonously because we want to show how people in modern society are constrained by time. Then the tension builds up and in the middle, and by the time we get to the choreo jumps I am flipping the time around backwards and spinning it upside down, breaking free of that. From that moment we really try to change and move freely, showing the contrast between two parts of the dance”.
The stunning starting pose is also symbolic. The idea is to show how time presses on people today. The concept was brought by Marie-France, but it was Bates’ idea to execute it this way.
It didn’t come easy to the skaters initially: as Patrice Lauzon says maintaining such a position is challenging for people with different weights. So, they fondly recall working on the beginning of the program with jokes.
Yeah, it took us a while to find that balance point, it was really funny. I remember that when I was getting into that position I would shout “play the music, play the music, I am ready!”, – Bates laughs.
The lyrics of the songs are, of course, not chosen by chance. Evan mentions that Hugo Chouinard – guru at the I.Am Academy – did a wonderful job of piecing the music together so it feels cohesive but also the lyrics remain meaningful and deep as originally meant by Pink Floyd.
“It really touched us and related to the story we wanted to tell: about how we – as humans – treat our time. We need to be the master of our own time, appreciate the time that we have and do the most that we can with the time we are given. To love, to create, to feel the moment and to be present. And not just to be caught in a monotony, in all your routines and habits – when suddenly you open your eyes and 10 years have passed by. That’s in the lyrics of the song. It feels very relevant to how modern society lives”.
When asked why the time concept clicks so much with the team now Chock is very open:
“We have been fortunate to have a long career, we’ve really appreciated our time as athletes and we continue to – for as long as we are competing. But we feel that it is probably closer to the end of our career in sports than to the beginning – so we really wanted to appreciate and enjoy all the moments of our life”.
Bates agrees: “This message may apply to everyone in everyday life because as we get older time seems to get faster. For us as athletes towards the end of our career – especially. It definitely represents how we feel about each day we spend on the ice together, it is so special – as nothing lasts forever. It is a reminder for ourselves also to appreciate these last – however many – moments we have together skating competitively”.
“It feels like it is different from what we have ever done before – which is what we strive to do every season. We want to push ourselves, push our creativity. Of course there is always a risk when you are doing something new that some people would like and some not. But we are really happy that so many people enjoy it”, Madison adds.
Related topics: Madison Chock Evan Bates