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Beginnings Pt6

Updated: Jan 13

Two months passed without any contact or communication between Edward and myself after my, ”I don’t know if this is a date, but I’m going to push my agenda anyway” encounter with him. This was partly due to the open company classes being finished at the studio for the Christmas and New Year season. As a result, I didn’t get back to practicing at the Tripsichore Headquarters until early February. And when I show up for that first practice no communication about either topics took place between us, and for reasons I wasn’t sure of, I was afraid to ask. From what Edward had said back in December, I knew that the company would still be performing their current show for their Spring 2007 Tour, so, in the back of my mind I thought it would be wise to just wait and see what happens when the summer months start to roll in. On my way home from that first class, to my surprise, Edward rang my mobile and asked me out to dinner that evening. “What is this?” I asked point blank. “Well, dinner I hope.” He responded. The Universe’s enrolment procedures for its emotional development courses it signs one up for are so on point. Because, at that moment I was on the rebound of two failed dating attempts over the past Christmas Season. One was with my ex who in reality was trying to get back with me in the most non committal way possible, and the second was with a random handsome guy I met while shopping in Canary Wharf. The random, whose name escape me, so let’s call him Dick, asked me out to the movies. It turned into a complete bust. We ended up going to see “Apocalypto”. Trust me, as great as that movie is, as a first date choice, it’s a killer. I remember feeling all the attraction and chemistry slowly fizzle out as we sat next to each other in the cinema watching the horror of the decline of the Mayan Empire. The movie’s story of the superficialness of humanity exposed my Karen Millen bandage dress and full face of MAC Makeup as cheap parlour tricks, and left me feeling embarrassed, barely clothed, and very uncomfortable. At the end of the movie instead of going out for dessert, we awkwardly said our “Goodbyes” outside the cinema and I walked back to my flat self-consciously pulling at the stiff Lycra fabric of my bandage dress’ neckline to try and convince it to cover up more of my cleavage. I blame Mel Gibson. This is the second time that a Mel Gibson movie has done me wrong. The exact same thing happened when I was living in L.A. and on a first date with a handsome bartender we went to see “The Passion of The Christ.” Both times, amazing movies. Both times, attraction killed. Both times, never saw him again after. I did score with the ex though. But who wouldn’t after a recent breakup, and as an attempt to salvage a friendship you agree meet up for drinks, and deliberately drink one too many. So you see, in the wake of those experiences, Edward’s invite to dinner felt like a “Why the hell not!” moment. So, that evening he took my long journey from Canary Wharf to Tripsichore Headquarters in reverse. We met at Cabot Square for dinner at a cosy little bistro that was chucked full of bankers. My expectations were low as I was still confused about what his intentions were, so I just thought I’d roll with whatever happens. What happened was, we ended up going back to mine after.

After that evening Edward and I entered into a casual relationship that lasted about four weeks. When spring came around I put an end to it due to yoga gossip going around London that Edward was in a long-distance relationship with a New York based Jivamuki teacher. When I confronted him with this information he denied it, but my gut was telling me it was the truth. Even though we were casual, the relationship felt “off” from the beginning especially as Edward wanted to keep it a secret, which I assumed was due to not creating friction with the other practitioners. But when I was told of this rumour by a friend who knew I was seeing him, my “off” feeling made sense. So by March I finished with Edward and began to seriously contemplate ending my time with Tripsichore. And that’s when the topic of my performing arose again.

On a sunny day in April 2007 I reluctantly showed up at the Tripsichore Headquarters to practice. This particular company class was attended by Toby Gillingham, Berti Russell, and myself along with Edward, with none of the current show members in attendance. Therefore, after we did the practice there was no hustling us non-performers out to do current show work. As a result, the three of us took advantage and starting mucking about with Edward. Then, Berti openly asked Edward about performing. This surprised me as I was completely unaware of the others being invited to perform, but the way in which Berti asked, and his use of the word “WE” made it clear he was speaking about all present. Then Toby chimed in with questions of when and how it was supposed to happen, which further confirmed my ignorance. Edward replied that he would only consider those who can hold a handstand for a full minute. Toby was the best practitioner of us three, so he jumped into a handstand right away while Berti and I were left frantically kicking about trying to just get up and failing spectacularly. Edward accepted Toby’s handstand, however Berti and I were given until the beginning of the summer to prove that we could.

I wasn’t sure how to read this experience. Was I lucky enough to be at the right place, at the right time to be included in on the conversation and it’s outcome? Or, was Edward always going to have me perform, but just hadn’t gotten around to giving me any details? From the time of Edward’s initial offer in December 2006 to the moment Berti broached the subject four months later, the emotional turmoil between Edward and I’s dating relationship had dampened my original desire to perform. In hindsight, I can see that this was another warning the Universe had given me to tread with caution, however at that moment I didn’t see it that way, I took it as a sign to “Carry on my wayward son.” Regardless of what the truth was about Edwards business practices, I left the class that day with a restored desire to be a Tripsichore Yoga performer. For the next two months I got to work on hand-standing everyday to meet the deadline. It was stressful, but I did it, and even worked through a shoulder strain as a result. Then one day in June, Edward sprung it on us in a company practice class, where again, none of the current show members were in attendance. Edward said he wanted to see our handstands. Berti and I both delivered, and the next week we started working on choreography.

The first piece of choreography I worked on was called “Spiders” which was a duet with Berti. The process of creating the choreography was very new to me when held against my acting experiences from University and the few jobs I had after. I kind of assumed that like those jobs, the moves would already be worked out, and it would be just a matter of Edward teaching it to us, and us learning them to music. As it happened, Edward just put on some music and then asked Berti and I to play around and see what we came up with. At first it was awkward, as neither of us had done anything like this before, and yoga practice is a solo sport on one’s own mat, but, us both being creative types, it didn’t take us long to start coming up with moves. When we did something that Edward liked, he would stop us and get us to do it again and that was how we came up with a six minute piece called “Spiders”. It was a fun experience and it felt like we had a part in the creative process. After about a two weeks of working “Spiders” into great shape, Edward put together a small show case at the Tripsichore Headquarters on a sunny summer afternoon in July for us to perform it to a small group. Berti and I knocked it out of the park and I was ready for more.

After the success of the showcase, Edward wanted to get right to work on a new show for 2008. At the end of a company class one day in August I stayed behind chatting with Edward over ideas for a new show and it’s storyline. Edward wanted to use Berti and I’s choreography from “Spiders” in the show, so naturally our ideas began to form around a bugs and insect themes. I asked about the number of performers, and that’s when I found out that both Holly Coles and Eileen Gautier from the pervious show had left the company for good. So the timing was great in that regard due to Edward needing to build up a new group of performers and thus a new show. After spitballing ideas for about an hour that afternoon in the studio, Edward and I came up with a storyline for the new show called “The Insects”, which would include himself, myself, Berti, Toby, and Julia Horn, who was Eileen’s understudy from the previous show. We found a great working harmony between us that afternoon and it felt really wonderful. I believe, there is a natural tendency to confuse creative synergy for romantic attraction when you have two creatives of the opposite sex working together. Especially when one, myself, is not emotionally mature to understand the difference. So, even-though I left right after with no Hanky Panky happening between us that evening , I just knew it was going to be on again with him.

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