Equus in ACTION Fall ZOOM Workshop Series

Collaborations witha range of dance artists

For the Fall Equus in Action Series we invited eight seasoned professional to share ideas and ZOOM pedagogy with the Equus Projects company: Audrey Rachelle Stanley,Rebekah Morin,  Melissa Riker, Melissa Turnage, David Norswoorthy, Marielis Garcia, Jenna Pollack and Cynthia Pegado. The 8-Part Series ran through the second week of November.

Equus Projects at Dunrovin Ranch, Lolo Montana

September 8-11, 2020

JoAnna Mendl Shaw spent three days at Dunrovin Ranch teaching a daily workshop and exploring possibilities for developing a Physical Listening program for Dunrovin's on-going webcam programming.

The Equus Projects in Dance Magazine

September 2020 Issue

The Equus Projects was pleased to have a short article on our work in the September issue of Dance Magazine.

Clinic on Pasture Dances with Farah DeJohnette & JoAnna Mendl Shaw

September 5-6, 2020

Shaw and DeJohnette coached clinic participants in finding connection with horses through herd observation, physical listening and embodied joining.

EQUUS in ACTION Summer ZOOM Series

July 7 - August 8th

A workshop series for all curious movers. Each session tauight in collaboration with an equestrian. Footage of training sessions, Equus company in the studio and in performance opaired with guided embodied experiences

The Equus Projects Virtual and Live, June 25, 2020

Despie Covid-19, we are still performing

The Equus Projects created a full evening length performance virtual and LIVE narrated performance as part of the Mark DeGarmo Dance summer Salon Series. The evening featured excerpts from performances and video of trainings sessions with horses, offering the audience a comprehensive overview of the work of the company.

The May Center, Research

March 9-13, 2020

Continuing work with May center faculty to develop and implement a Physical Listening curriculum for 1st - through 8th grades.


Straight from the Heart:A Choral Convening, December 2019

The equus Projects' Salon Series... departs from intimate performance spaces...

The Equus Projects in collaboration with Pastor Luther Mason, Pastor of the Greenstone Church in Pullman  orchestrates a choral convening featuring two choral groups, vocal soloist, musicians and dancers. Envisioned as part communal meditation, part sonic landscape, part choral celebration Straight From The Heart: A Choral Convening will bring together communities from North Pullman, South Pullman and beyond. December 7th at 4:30pm

The May Center for Learning, Santa Fe NM - Research Residency

Building a Physical Listening Curriculum, Phase ll

November 2019, March 2020, August 2020: May Center Research Residencies

The Equus Projects in collaboration with Santa Fe dancer, educator and choreographer Melissa Bransford Briggs have been working with The May Center since 2017, gradually building the foundation for a Physical Listening curriculum to be embedded in the school.

NOTE: This web page has more in depth explanation of Physical Listening

Lane Community College Residency, Eugene OR

October 28-20, 2019, May 2020

The Equus Projects returns to Lane Community College for a second teaching residency , teaches classes ranging from Improvisation to Hip Hop!! Equus Artistic Director and Dance Chair Bonnie Simoa are exploring possibilities for a Physical Listening Independent Study at LCC including studio practice and hands on equine experiences.

Inter-Species Research LAB ll, Oregon

October 26th-27th

A second convening: Somatics practitioners, equine trainers, Contact Improvisers and choreographers.

Our goal is to further define how our multi-sensory presence with equines informs human discourse, education practice, performance presence and choreographic forms. 


NOTE: This web page has more in depth explanation of Physical Listening

Monthly Dance Differently Research LABs, NYC

Explore Right-Left Brain Integration through Movement

Dance Differently is a movement-based LAB that explores one central question for 9 hours each month.

Spatial Knowledge through tactile sensing: We take for granted lots of spatial decisions made through our skin, fingertips. How can we harness that kind of knowledge in new ways? Heightened Noticing: Of change, of patterns, of behavior, of sound. Using this noticing to inform Decision-Making. Strategic Decision-Making and Creative decision-Making, how are these minds sets different?

Poe Classical Residency, Pullman District

Physcial Listening for Poe 3rd Graders

The Equus Projects returns for its 6th Residency at Poe Classical, a school for gifted learners in the Pullman District, far south Chicago. The focus of their work at Poe will be Physical Listening...all those multi-sensory skills that are the foundation of Executive Functioning and building compassionate humans. Mid week, learning takes place at Hannaberry Farm where all the Physical Listening gets translated into hands on experiences with horses

Co-Presenting with David Gaines, Equine Trainer for the New Orleans Mounted Police

Presentation for Training Magazine Tech Learn Conference, September 2019

The experiential learning component of the Tech Learn Conference orchestrates immersive experiences in each host city. The 2019 Conference was held in Nee Orleans and Equus Projects Artistic Director JoAnna Mendl Shaw co-presented a session on Physical Listening and Partnership with the Equine Trainer for the New Orleans Mounted Police.

Presence & Performance: A Research LAB, Oregon

July 9-11, 2019

A convening of dancers, somatics practitioners, corporate leadership trainers, Contact Improvisation practitioners, therapists, scholars and equestrians to experientially research and creatively brainstorm. A collaboration with dancer and equestrian Alissa Mayer, A Somatic Approach To Horsemanship.


Dancing With Wild Mustangs, Bend OR

LaPine Oregon

In July 2019 Equus dancer Kat Reese and I both got to dance with Jessica Ealy's wild mustangs. Jessica, a dancer and equine trainer, lives in La Pine Oregon. She teaches 15 dance and exercise classes a week and  trains wild mustangs for the Bureau of Land Management. Jessica has gone through the rigorous TIP training for the BLM and trains the mustangs on her small horse farm in La Pine.

PHOTO: Laura Holbrook

Presence & Performance: A Research LAB, Vermont

June 26, 2019

A convening of dancers, somatics practitioners, educators and equestrians to experientially research and creatively brainstorm. A collaboration with dancer, dance scholar, educator and equestrian Karima Borni, Faculty Middlebury College.

Pullman Salon, Vol III

June 12-15, 2019

JoAnna Mendl Shaw and Sarah Rose Graber present the third in an on-going series of Pullman Salons, sited works created for intimate spaces that celebrate the residents of Pullman. Vol. III is a collaboration with North Pullman resident Deborah Jackson: Educator, Artist and Activist

New York State Dance Force: Ithaca Research Project

May 18-24th, 2019

NYS Dance Force presenter Jim Self brings The Equus Projects to Ithaca NY to explore the intersection of horsemanship and choreographic chance operations in a week-long residency.

Film: Equus & Friends, Ithaca

Demo at Liberty: April 27th, Performance April 28th

A collaboration with world renowned equestrian Bettina Drummond,  The Equus Projects participates in a 2-Day Intensive, April 27th & 28th. The weekend features a new work created with Bettina riding her Lusitano, Macho with music composed by Todd Reynolds. Tickets: http://apaha.us/tickets/

Pullman: April Creation Residency

Sarah Rose Graber and JoAnna Mendl  Shaw return to Pullman for a Creation Residency with collaborator, visual artist and educator, Deborah Jackson. The team is preparing for their June 2019 Pullman Salon, Vol III that celebrates Jackson's art and life in Pullman. 


Pullman Livingroom Salon Vol. II

December 7-8, 2018

Shaw and Graber return to Pullman to create Pullman Livingroom Salon Vol II, based on the life of Pullman resident Alfons Quiroz and staged for the Monsart Art Space.

NEXT Salon: June 2019

The Equus Projects Creates & Performs at Majoda Stables

October 28, 2018

Equus dancers maintain their horsemanship ground skills via hands on equine sessions with  Carrie Christiansen, who is the equestrian director of the therapeutic riding program for challenged teens at Majoda Stables in Moorestown, NY. In exchange for on-going skills training, Equus creates and performs with the Majoda Hipsters several times a year.

Clinic / Workshop for Equestrians and Dancers

October 20, 2018

The Equus Projects brings together horsemanship and dance improvisation in this unique workshop / clinic designed to deepen the equine-human dialogue. Hosted by C&K Farm in East Aurora, NY.

Poe Classical Residency, Pullman

September 17-21, 2018 / September 24, 2018

The Equus Projects teaches its 5th residency at Poe Classical Elementary School bringing text devising and Physical Listening into 3rd and 4th grade classrooms. Physical Listening weeks conclude with an Equine Day at Hannaberry Farm in Crete, Illinois where the children re-experience the Physical Listening via hands on work with horses. Funded in part by Beverly Arts and the NEA Community Engagement.

The May Center, Santa Fe, NM

Designing a Physical Listening program for The May Center, August 14-20, 2018

The Equus Projects partners with Santa Fe dance educator Melissa Bransford Briggs and Equine Learning specialist Machel Jordan to design a Physical Listening curriculum for The May Center for Learning, a school dedicated to creative strategies for challenged learners.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Project Development, July 7-15, 2018

Working with producer Lisa Morgan, Equus Projects' Artistic Director JoAnna Mendl Shaw spent 10 days in Jackson meeting equestrians and dancers, teaching a Master Class for Dancers' Workshop and presenting a demo performance with community dancers and horses for an audience of Jackson locals and visiting company, Hubbard Street Dance. Plans are in the works for a 2019 series of projects.

Elizabeth and Fort Collins, CO

July 5-7

Visit with equine trainer and animal communicator Anna Twinney in Elizabeth, CO, Master Class for Impact Dance, visit to Hearts and Horses Therapeutic Riding Center with plans for future collaborations.

An epic drive from Fort Collins through the high desert into the mountains, shooting small films along the way.

Ithaca, NY - June 2018

The Equus Projects has been invited to create a project in rural Western New York with New York State Dance Force Producer Jim Self, in collaboration with Theater Director and equestrian Norman Johnson. The multi-stage project will begin creation process in 2019. June 24-26th, dancers spent round pen time exploring kinetic dialogues with Norm's horses, taught a master class for Ithaca area dancers and presented an informal lecture demonstration performance with horses.

Buffalo, NY

June 18-27, 2018

For the second year The Equus Projects presents a full day Spark Session and Breakout Sessions at the annual Creative Problem Solving Institute Conference at the University of Buffalo. The company also teaches a master class at Wasteland Studios, Buffalo and teaches a Parkinson's session.

Pullman Livingroom Salon Vol. I - June 6, 2018

A whinsical intrepretation of Pullman history

The Pullman Project team of JoAnna Mendl Shaw and Sarah Rose Graber collaborate with Pullman historian Andy Bullen and Pullman graffiti artist Ian Lantz, to create the first in a series of Pullman Livingroom Salons created for the historic Florence Lowden Miller Historic Pullman Center, Pullman. Funded in part by a grant from the NEA, Pullman Livingroom Salons are also slated for September, and December 2018.

The Breaking Ring, Performance in Washington Square Park, June 1, 2018

Celebrating the 2018 Laban Conferenfce, NYC

Site works are presented in Washington Square Park on June 1st from 6 - 7:30 pm

The Equus Projects will perform an excerpt from The Breaking Ring

Zurich, Switerland

Red Ascending, Zurich Tanz 2018

Site-specific work created for the Landes Museum, Zurich

May 6, 2018

Majoda Stables: Dancing with Horses, May 27th

The Equus Projects & Hipsters Celebrate Horses

The Equus Projects dancers join a team of exuberant hipsters to celebrate horses in a performance to raise money for Majoda Stables, its riding and community outreach programs. Majoda Hipsters train under the direction of Carrie Christiansen.

Majoda Stables

620 Garwood Road, Moorestown, NJ 08057

(856) 231-7552

Poe Classical Creative Residency: JoAnna Mendl Shaw & Sarah Rose Graber

Shaw and Graber are in residence for the 6th visit to Poe Classical Elementary April 22-26, 2018 where they will create a performance piece with the Poe 3rd graders that celebrates the historic and current leaders in the Pullman community. The project is co-produced by Poe Classical and Beverly Arts as part of the school-wide Celebrate Historic Pullman event to be presented in June.

Wisconson Tour

March 11- March 31, 2018

ArtStart, Rhinelander

The Warehouse, Eagle River

Trees for Tomorrow, Eagle River

The Conserve School, Land O Lakes

UW, Milwaukee

Majoda Stables Moorestown, NJ

January - May 2018

Equine Training

Collaboration with Youth Program

May 19, 2018 Performance Event

The Pullman Project: Research, Interviews

On-going Commuynity Engagement

The Pullman Project: Interviews

November 2017

January 2018

April 2018

June 2018


Horsemanship Training

December 2017

The Equus Projects dancers maintain their horsemanship skills via on-going ground skills training. Since early 2017 the company has been traveling down to Philadelphia to work with dancer and equestrian Susan Deutsch and her horse, Caetano and more recently to Morrisville, NJ to work with Carrie Christiansen at Majoda Stables.

Wisconsin Residency

October 2017

Bringing the Arts to Rural America



Land O Lakes

Eagle River


October 7, 2017

Northwestern Stables


Poe Classical and Pullman Elementary Residencies: Physical Listening

3rd and 4th Grade

The Equus Projects returned to Poe Classical and Pullman Elementary schools for a week-long residency focused on Movement and Physical Listening skills. Equus dancer Audrey Rachelle and JoAnna Mendl Shaw taught a week of in-school classes that culminated with a Field Day to Hannaberry Farm where Physical Listening was re-experienced through hands on work with horses.

Buffalo Residency

September 2017

On the Edge, A Performance Workshop

Hosted by UB Music Professor, Jean Kopperud

Dancers' Workshop with Horses

Hosted by UB Music Professor, Jean Kopperud

Buffalo Dancers Master Class: WASTELAND

Discover the Inter-species Dance: A Workshop

August 27, 2017

Workshop with Horses

Santa FE, NM

With Machel Jordan

Bates Dance Festival

July 2017

The Bates Dance Festival produced The Equus Projects creation of works for dancers and horses in 2006 and  2011 and supported creation research in 2005 and 2008.

INSITU Mandala

​ July 8th & 9th, 2017

Commissioned BY INSITU Site-Specific Dance Festival, this intricate score for 24 dancers was created for the Circular Playing Field at Hunters Point, LIC

VIDEO: INSITU Site Specific Dance Festival

​ The Arts & Horses Come to Pullman

June 2017

Horses and dancers come to the historic Pullman landscape on June 10th with a series of short performances that highlight the beauty and grace of both human and equine dancers. 

Horses in Pullman

The Breaking Ring, Boston

March, 2017

Residency: The Dance Complex, Cambridge

Master Class: Boston Conservatory

The Breaking Ring, NYC

April 23 & 26, 2017

Agnes Varis Center for the Performing Arts

Gibney Dance Center


After Image Swamp DanceFest, University of Florida Gainesville

July 2016

Collaboration with visual Artist Erin Curry. Dance as task and the intersection of movement making and drawn image. Inspiration for this version of After Image is S. A. Andrée's Arctic balloon expedition of 1897 - an ill-fated effort to reach the North Pole. The three expedition members perished. As the work progresses, the substrate occupied by the dancers becomes destabilized and fractured.

ERIN CURRY: Collaboration

VIDEO: After Image Excerpts

Sedona Artist Colony Residency

June 2016

The Equus Projects joined by choreographer Rachel Barker spent a week in residence at the inaugural season of the Sedona Artist Colony, housed at the Verde Valley School in the heart of the epic landscape of Sedona, AZ. Choreographer material was devised and filmed at four high desert sites. Dancers: Audrey Stanley and Kacey Katzenmeyer

VIDEO: The Equus Projects, Sedona

The Breaking Ring: Round Pen Duets - Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe

June 2016

A movement installation commissioned by Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe for the M12 Installation: The Breaking Ring, an installation focused on cruelty to wild horses. A progression of round-pen duets seek authentic kinetic dialogue by responding to and shaping given behavior. Six choreographed duets shape the periphery of the space.  The 3-hour installation for ambient audience draws willing spectators into a round pen experience.

VIDEO: The Breaking Ring: Round Pen Duets (Excerpts)

#Is This A Dance, OnSite NYC

May 2016 & June 2016

#IsThisDance merges performance with social research in a choreographed event that looks to define the line between everyday movement and the art-form of dance. Conceived in collaboration with David Norsworthy the event was presented in two different venues for two very different demographics: DANY studios presented for Stella Adler actors and invited guests. The Raw Space, Harlem co-produced with the Harlem Arts Alliance for a gathering of 40 early, mid and late career Harlem-based artists.

Poe Classical and Pullman Elementary School Residencies, Chicago

​ May 2016

JoAnna Mendl Shaw and Sarah Rose Graber sin residence teaching 5th and 6th graders in sessions focused  on devising text and creating accompanying movement. Collaboration with Be The Groove performer Kevin Brown introducing body percussion. Residency funded by Chicago Public Schools

Video: Clint Mosley

VIDEO: Poe Classical

VIDEO: Pullman Elementary

After Image

May 2016

Gibney Dance, NYC

The movement generates layers of drawn images with the seemingly chaotic markings gradually orchestrated into cohesive visual statement. The performers function in a state of constant decision-making, operating within a sequence of rule structures. Task-based interactions create visual after image and simultaneously expose an emotional terrain that negotiates constant, subtle power shifts. 

VIDEO: After Image (Excerpts)