Daft Punk continue to influence the world in ways you’d least expect it.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates, a U.S. pairs figure skating team, brought the influence of electronic music’s favorite robots to the world’s oldest Olympic sport. The two crafted a stunning routine structured around a medley of Daft Punk tracks including “Contact,” “Touch,” and “Within” from Random Access Memories.
The routine was performed at the 2021 Free Dance Finlandia tournament, where Chock and Bates smoothly glided their way to a second place finish. Though they may not have walked away with top honors, Chock and Bates were praised heavily online by figure skating fans for their risk-taking spirit: “I can’t recall anything similar, with so much nuance, to this type of music,” one fan said of their routine.
“We’re proud of taking a risk and doing something that maybe is unconventional,” Bates said. “I don’t think people expected us to do a Sci-Fi outer-space program for an Olympic year but we were confident that we could pull it off.”
In pairs free skating, contestants create their routines by mixing dance and rhythm-based moves with a series of technical skill requirements. Pairs must perform a series of parallel moves (tricks performed separately but synchronously) along with moves performed in tandem. The tandem piece of the routine includes various classifications of lifts, spins, and jumps, where one partner assists the other.
Chock and Bates’ career includes two Olympic appearances and medaling in two skating World Championships, respectively.