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in The Catskills

A Workshop for anyone who:

Has always dreamed of dancing with a horse

Wants to move into unique creative territory

Is curious about embodied communication

Would like to become a better leader


August 13th - NYC Studio Session

August 14-16th, Jefferson, NY

November 7th - 10th OR November 14-17th

(November dates still to be confirmed)












A Workshop that fluidly merges equine communication

with creative decision-making

   The Equus Projects teaches a unique workshop several times a year at the

Middlebrook Arts Research and Residency Center in Jefferson, NY.

  The workshops are taught in close collaboration with natural horsemanship trainer

Dan McCarthy

 Dan brings a lifetime of experience with horses and a truly gentle and compassionate way of training horses. He is also a professional musician.

Dan brings into the pasture, arena and studio, his perspective

both as a horseman and a musician

The 2024 workshops will run 3 full days - plus travel 

June Workshop includes one NYC studio day

Middlebrook is a 3.5 hour drive from NYC

The Equus Projects provides transportation

Each workshop includes deep dive studio investigations in the Middlebrook dance studio. These include a daily warmup with 5-6 hours of embodied explorations each day.

        We occasionally also conduct site-specific explorations in natural settings

on the Middlebrook land.


The equine explorations include 3-4 hours of hands-on equine exploration each day

These take place at a beautiful farm across the road from Middlebrook.

The equine work begins in the pasture and gradually moves into a covered arena.

We work with the horses at liberty and on lead lines.


All our equine work is guided  by Dan McCarthy.

Workshop Length : 31/2 days


Each workshop formally begins with an Opening Night Dinner, hosted by the Equus Projects. All other meals are collaboratively prepared in the Middlebrook kitchen.

Often the Saturday evening meal is a restaurant excursion nearby restaurant where a masterful chef makes magic with fresh, home-grown produce and locally sourced meats.


Workshop participants share rooms but each have a comfortable bed.

All pillows, blankets,  linens, towels are provided.





The studio work always begins with guided somatic explorations:

Head-Tail Connectivity

Contra-lateral Body Organization

Inhabiting Effort States

Hands-on Tactile  investigations

Working with Spatial Intent

Integrating Eyes and Body

Energetic Phasing



Equine work begins with simple observation: Watching horses in the pasture followed by simple embodied exploration that work inside the equine landscape. The horses are not asked to move.


Afternoon studio sessions introduce an interspecies perspective into the embodied work

Personal, duet and group investigations.

Working with clear spatial intention in an equine arena

Integrating Eyes and Body

Energetic Phasing

Defining the Task, Defining the ASK

Participants will learn how to move in synchronous tandem with an equine partner and remaining congruent when improvising inside an equine landscape.



Conducted in the pasture & paddocks

Learn basics of leading a horse on a lead line and moving with a horse at liberty.



Somatic explorations, improvisational scores and choreographic strategies taught from an interspecies perspective.

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The Interspecies Research  Workshops offer rich territory for deepening one's own embodied awareness, exploring an interspecies approach to improvising

and experiencing the simplicity of moving inside

clearly defined choreographic scores.


Early Bird (Before May 31st) - $550

This fee includes all studio sessions, equine sessions with Dan McCarthy

 lodging and the opening dinner

After May 31st - $600



For more information contact:

JoAnna Mendl Shaw

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