Year 13 student Jessica Coull choreographed a thought-provoking dance inspired by the Columbine school shootings in America. She was inspired by a poem about flowers, and rose petals featured heavily in the production.
Jessica said: ‘I am doing BTEC Performing Arts so I decided to devise a piece specifically for the Advanced Dance group. For sociology GCSE we studied the Columbine shootings. I found a poem written about it that changed everything to flowers. Blood became roses and students were getting daisies tucked behind their ears instead of being shot. I wanted to create a dance using that striking imagery.’
Parents and friends viewed the work, which involved Jessica and 12 other students. It was entitled Compliments Returned, Favours Repaid and lasted about ten minutes. Afterwards Jessica said: ‘It went really well today, it was the best performance in terms of how energetic it was. We wanted the audience to interpret the work themelves so we didn’t tell them what it was about beforehand.’
Dance teacher Mrs Duguid Yeomans said: ‘Jessica has put an incredible amount of effort in. She was a single practitioner working with a dance company who were used to my training and she had to step in and give a very different choreography to what they were used to. She was motivated and continued constantly to develop and progress the work. She has done really well.
'We were looking for a climactic piece of music for the final section and were struggling to find something. We eventually took both the English and French versions of 'Je Regrette Rien', layered them on top of themselves about nine times so it is quite discordant. It is a lovely piece and I am excited about it appearing in the next dance showcase. The students are used to doing something that is five or six minutes at most. They are not used to doing a 10 minute piece or working on such endurance-based work so I am really happy with what they have achieved.’