Updated: Jan 13
My first experience of creating choreography was having to solve the problem of bringing to an end Valentina’s character who we decided to call Nursey. Up to this point the new Nursey character had been easily incorporated into the initial Insects storyline and scenes, which coincidentally was a great addition, because it added depth and dimension to the overall story. But when it came to the resolution, Nursey’s story had no end, therefore one had to be created. Time was running out, so we took the easiest route and decided to kill her off. Unfortunately, Edward had to travel abroad with the current show’s final fall tour, so he didn’t the have time to be present to choreograph a “Kill Nursey” scene. To my surprise, Edward asked me if I wanted to have a go at choreographing it. I was unsure, but I had ideas on how it would flow, so I decided to give it a go. Before Edward left, he gave me the music, and responsibility to produce something by the time he got back. The first thing I did was listen to the music on repeat for a day or two. However, because I was in the scene, I couldn’t use Edwards process. So, in my bedroom the night before I was to meet with Valentina for a rehearsal, I physically blocked out our movements with the music. Then Valentina and I met at the studio the next afternoon, I told her my ideas, and we began to worked on it together with the music. My blocking was the skeleton that the “Kill Nursey” scene was built on, although the end product was definitely a joint effort between her and myself. I remember we had a blast doing it, and in that one afternoon we completed a four minute piece. When Edward came back and looked at what we created, to my surprise, he made no changes. I was afraid we wouldn’t have done a good enough job and he would have to find time to rewrite it. However, in rehearsals the day after he arrived back, Valentina and I performed it for him, and all he said was “In Pincha your legs need to be straighter.” We were both shocked and elated that he approved in his lack of disapproval. I was mostly relieved. The first performances of The Insects was on the 7th and 8th of December 2007, which at the time of Edwards return to London was less than a week away. And in my harsh self-critical mind back then, I chalked up Edward’s acceptance as a consequence to his lack of time to make changes. In retrospect I realise that he didn’t change any of our choreography because it was good. And when I now, over ten years later, look at a recording of us performing it, I can actually see my latent talent for creating choreography.