Finally after much searching, Nichol found a quote describing the memorial: "Both inside and out, the marble reflects the light and mood of the changing day. Dazzling at noon. Warm and glowing at dusk. Soft and ethereal in the moonlight like the varying moods of a beautiful woman."
And based upon that description, Nichol and Carroll created the choreography-the imagery of the sun as it shines against the white marble of the building casting various shadows and creating different moods. The artistic movement climaxes in the evening when the story reveals the spirit of Mumtaj rising out of the crypt, searching through the halls of the mausoleum for her husband and then dancing with him. Then, just before the sun rises for a new day, she disappears in despair back into her grave.
According to Nichol, so many details have gone into choreographing this piece, even down to the smallest rippling movements of the body and facial expressions. The performance is filled with such subtleties.
"Part of what I'm trying to do in the choreography is to touch the hearts and imagination of people," Nichol confides. "That's what Michelle is trying to do, too. We're trying to give a gift to the people who are watching. And if, in the process, we're able to attract attention and focus upon a culture such as Azerbaijan's that is relatively unknown, because of our choice of music, well, then, that's an added bonus!