Biddeford, Maine Residency
On July 23, 2022, Equus Projects teamed up with performance artist Heather Lyon and dancer Liz Mulkey to create a performance installation for Biddefords' Main Street. The performers staged a durational event that drew audiences along the Main thoroughfare of Biddeford. The vibrant costumes were created with all recycled clothing. The event was produced by ENGINE with productiomn generous support from Sub Circle.
Dancing with Horses, A Clinic for Advanced Dressage Riders
July 16, 2022: Master Dressage coach, equine trainer and equestrian Patricia Norica, teams up with JoAnna Mendl Shaw to co-teach a clinic for advanced riders in Clinton CT. The focus of the clinic will be working with spatial clarity in the saddle and then riding with a dancer in tandem. Longtime collaborators, Norcia and Shaw began developing a performance form partnering danceres and ridden horses in 1999. They went on to co-create eight large performance projects between 1999 and 2018.
Dancing with Horses Workshop, Jefferson NY
August 11-13, 2022: Two days of exploration into the Landscape of Interspecies Communication. Hands on equine interactions and studio investigations. Hosted at Middlebrook Arts in Jefferson, NY.
Majoda Stables Performance
May 15, 2022: Horsemanship groundskills training is essential for all of the Equus Projects dancers. The dancers have regular monthly horsemanship training at Majoda Stables in Moorestown, NJ. In exchange the company creates performances with Majoda riders. Every October and May for the past five years, Majoda and Equus present a live performance. May 15, 2022 was the 6th performance Equus and Majoda collaboration and featured six Equus Projects dancers - 5 new company members just experiencing dancing with horses for the first time - and five riders ranging in age from 12 to 50+.
Linda Parelli First Annual HHHL Conference, Ocala FL
April 2 & 3, 2022. The Equus Projects presents live demo performamces at this inaugural Happy Horse Happy Life conference. JoAnna Mendl Shaw focused her presentations on explaining, then demonstrating how spatial clarity in the horzontal plane supports and facilitates moving with equines.
Gallery Show: Dancers Turn to Visual Art During the Pandemic
March 14-20, 2022
Janis Brenner - Mixed-Media Collage
Christine Jowers - Digital Collage/Painting
JoAnna Mendl Shaw - Doodles
Dance Differently Virtual Workshops
February-March 2022: Equus Artistic Director Shaw (NYC) and former Equus dancer Rachelle (Seattle) team up with LIVE musician Stuart Smith (Albuquerque) to teach a weekly movement workshop for curious movers. Workshops focus on heightened the Physical Listening skills and real-time decision-making, internal rule structures and developing dynamic choreographic trajectories. 8-week session
Physical Listening LAB: A Virtual Workshop for Curious Movers
February & March 2022
Embodied Explorations for Curious Humans
A somatic practice that sharpens our noticing and creative decision-making skills
An unconventional journey into shared creative process in a virtual space
A LAB for Actors, Dancers, Choreographers, Corporate Leadership Trainers, Educators, Equestrians, Improvisers, Therapists, Writers.
LIVE Performance: National Arts Club, NYC
February 22, 2022
Three Equus dancers share insights into lessons learned in the process of shooting a full length documentary film that follows their horsemanship training and movement research with two mares and their young foals. Filmmaker Stefan Morel captures the two foals' births and the ensuing weeks of horsemanship training, choreographic exploration and dance conversations.
Live performance and excerpts from IMPRINTED are woven into a fluid tapestry designed to draw the audience into the profound world of physical listening.
IMPRINTED, Dancing with Foals
A full-length documentary film that follows the co-creation of a choreographic language between three dancers, two mares and their newborn foals. We witness the dancers inside a research process that merges horsemanship skills with improvisation and leadership with consummate listening. Their triumphs and failures reveal ego and passion, the desire to control nature and the humbling realization that we cannot. Along this journey to create interspecies connection, we witness each person stumbling on their own imprinted history.
Dancing with Horses Clinic with Patricia Norcia and JoAnna Mendl Shaw
Master Dressage coach, equine trainer and equestrian Patricia Norica, teams up with JoAnna Mendl Shaw to co-teach a clinic for advanced riders in Clinton CT. The focus of the clinic will be working with spatial clarity in the saddle and then riding with a dancer in tandem. Longtime collaborators, Norcia and Shaw began developing a performance form partnering danceres and ridden horses in 1999 and went on to co-create eight large performance projects between 1999 and 2018.
Dancing with Horses in the Catskills, November 6-7, 2021
A two-day workshop co-produced by The Equus Projects and Body Stories at choreographer Teresa Fellion's Catskill Artist Retreat in Jefferson, NY. The hands-on equine experiences, co-taught by JoAnna Mendl Shaw and Catskill equine trainer Dan McCarthy of Catskill Natural Horse, introduced dancers to basic natural horsemanship ground skills - moving with a horse on a lead line and at liberty. The afternoon studio sessions translated the heightened spatial, tactile and weight sensing awareness one uses with an equine partner into evocative somatic explorations and improvisations.
Physical Listening Virtual LABs - November 1 -December 20, 2021
Physical Listening is a somatic practice that evolved out of the Equus Projects' horsemanship training. The physical training forcuses on heightened noticing and developing nuanced movement choices. The the investigation of learning styles and equine personalities is re-purposed into task-based choreographic strategies and rich material for improvisational scoring. The detailed attending makes for a practice that demands patience. The non-verbal communication skills inform dynamic team building, fluid collaboration and effective leadership. The virtual Physical Listening LABs offer a three-hour deep dive ino a sinle subject with active participant engagment in movement experiences, journal writing, drawing and doodling and interactive dialogue. https://vimeo.com/629389825
Equus International Film Festival & Horse and Human Conference, Dillon Montana - September 9-12, 2021
Horse and Human Conference, University of Montana West
JoAnna Mendl Shaw is a panelist at the Horse and Human Conference at the University of Montana West (UMW) in Dillon, MT. The Sizzle Reel for IMPRINTED is screened. The completed film IMPRINTED will be screened in the 2022 Equus International Film Festival in Dillon and Missoula.
IMPRINTED, The Film
A Documentary that captures an extraordinary occurrence: The co-creation of a choreographic language between three dancers, two mares and their newborn foals.
Three Equus Projects dancers merge improvisation with natural horsemanship to bond with to mares and their foals. The dancers translate human and equine behavior into an evolving shared language and transform play into choreographic dialogues. The film is a story about listening, compassion and interspecies communication - themes that have powerful resonance in 2021, as the world emerges from a devastating pandemic. IMPRINTED Website: https://www.imprintedthefilm.com/
Equus in ACTION Fall ZOOM Workshop Series
The Fall 2020 Equus in Action was a virtual workshop series that featured collabrations with eight seasoned dance professionals who shared with the Equus Projects company pedagogy, choreographic strategies and insights about dance and beyond. Choreograpghers: 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 2020.
Equus Projects at Dunrovin Ranch, Lolo Montana
JoAnna Mendl Shaw spent three days at Dunrovin Ranch in Missoula, Montana teaching a daily workshop for equestrians. Shaw and Dunrovin owner SuzAnne Miller are working on developing Physical Listening virtual programming for Dunrovin's on-going webcam series for senior centers nationwide.
The Equus Projects in Dance Magazine, September 2020
A short article on The Equus Projects in the September 2020 issue of Dance Magazine.
Clinic for Equestrians: Pasture Dances with Farah DeJohnette & JoAnna Mendl Shaw
Shaw and DeJohnette coached clinic participants on intention and movement strategies for finding connection with horses in the opasture and paddock. Acivities included herd observation, physical listening exercises and experiments in embodied joining with the equines.
EQUUS in ACTION Summer ZOOM Series
EQUUS in ACTION Summer ZOOM Series: A virtual workshop series for curious movers. Each session was taught in collaboration with an equestrian and focused on concepts ranging from SPACE to Defining the ASK. guided emboied experiences were augmented by footage of paddock training sessions, the Equus company workinh in the studio and in performance. The series attracted attendees nationwide and in Great Britain and Italy. Equestrian Collaborators: Carrie Christiansen (NJ), Alissa Mayer (OR), Taby & jessica Ealy (OR), David Lichman (CA) and Machel Jordan (NM).
The Equus Projects in Virtual (and LIVE) Performance
Covid-19, we are still performing
The Mark DeGarmo Dance Summer 2020 Salon Series invited the Equus Projects company to present a full evening of virtual and LIVE narrated performance. Video excerpts from past performances and recent training sessions with horses was accompanied by LIVE narration. The evening offered the large virtul audience a comprehensive overview of the work of the company.
The May Center for Learning, Research Residency - March 9-13, 2020
Beginning in 2018, the Equus Projects has been developing an on-going research project with The May Center for Learning in Santa Fe, NM. Working with a small nucleus of faculty Equus Artistic Director Shaw and Santa Fe dance educator Melissa Briggs Bransford have been gradually developing and a Physical Listening curriculum for 1st - through 8th grades. The March 2020 visit was designed to observe some of the faculty's Physical LIstening strategies in action. Taking place on the eve of Covid lockdown, this Physical LIstening research and remains on hold as of November 2021.
Straight from the Heart: A Choral Convening,
The Equus Projects Pullman Salon Series... departs from intimate performance spaces:
The Equus Projects, in collaboration with Pullman choral directors and Luther Mason, Pastor of the Greenstone Church in Historic Pullman, orchestrate a mutli-sensory performance featuring two choruses, soprano soloist, musicians and dancers. Envisioned as part communal meditation, part sonic landscape, part choral celebration Straight From The Heart: A Choral Convening brought together communities from North Pullman, South Pullman and beyond. The staging filled the entire santuary of Greenstone Church.
The May Center for Learning, Research Residency: Building a Physical Listening Curriculum, Phase ll
November 2019, March 2020, August 2020: The May Center for Learning: Research Residencies
The Equus Projects in collaboration with Santa Fe dancer, educator and choreographer Melissa Bransford Briggs initiated a project with The May Center in 2017, with the goal of gradually building a Physical Listening curriculum to be embedded in the school teaching methods,.
Lane Community College Residency, Eugene OR
The Equus Projects returned to Lane Community College for a second residency, teaching classes ranging from Improvisation to Ballet to Hip Hop!! Equus Artistic Director Shaw and LCC Dance Chair Bonnie Simoa explore possibilities for a Physical Listening Independent Study at LCC to include studio practice and hands on equine experiences with equestrian collabirator Alissa Mayer at her horse farm in Oakridge, Oregon.
Inter-Species Research LAB ll in Oakridge, Oregon - October 26-27, 2019
A second Inter-Species Research LAB convening, the two-day workshop brought together somatics practitioners, equine trainers, Contact Improvisers and choreographers. The LAB goal was to further define how our multi-sensory presence with equines informs human discourse, education practice, performance presence and choreographic forms.
Monthly Dance Differently Research Workshops, NYC
Exploring Right-Left Brain Integration and Embodied Decision-Making
Dance Differently is a movement-based workshop that meets for nine hours each month. Participoants take a deep dive in to one central question each session: Tactile sensing; Spatial awareness and architecture of movement; Heightened Noticing: Pattern; Change and Adaptability; Strategic Decision-Making and Creative Decision-Making, how are these minds sets different?
Poe Classical Elementary School Residency, The Pullman District, far south Chicago
Physical Listening for Poe 3rd Graders: The Equus Projects returned 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 was Physical Listening: The multi-sensory skills that lie at the foundation of Executive Function and building compassionate humans. Mid week, students traveled to Hannaberry Farm where all the Physical Listening concepts were re-experienced through hands on experiences with horses.
Presentation for Training Magazine Tech Learn Conference, New Orleans
Co-Presentation with David Gaines, Equine Trainer for the New Orleans Mounted Police:
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
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, LaPine OR
Equus dancer Kat Reese and Shaw had an extrao=rdinary opportunity to experience moving with two wild mustangs. The mjustangs' trainer, Jessica Ealy is a dancer and equine trainer in La Pine Oregon. She trains wild mustangs for the Bureau of Land Management. Jessica has gone through the rigorous TIP training for the BLM. As of 2021 she has relocated to a small horse farm near Bronzeville, OR and continues to train BLM mustangs.
PHOTO: Laura Holbrook
Presence & Performance: A Research LAB, Middlebury Vermont
A convening of dancers, somatics practitioners, educators and equestrians researchand creatively brainstorm in the equine arena in a collaboration with dancer, dance scholar, educator and equestrian Karima Borni, Dance Faculty at Middlebury College.
Pullman Salon, Vol III - Pullman District Chicago
JoAnna Mendl Shaw and Sarah Rose Graber present the third in an on-going series of Pullman Salons, sited works created for intimate spaces in the historic Pullman District iof far south Chicago. Salon Vol. III is a collaboration with North Pullman resident Educator, Artist and Activist, Deborah Jackson:
New York State Dance Force: Ithaca Research and Performance Project, Ithaca NY
Ithaca-bvased NYS Dance Force presenter Jim Self brought The Equus Projects to Ithaca NY to explore the intersection of horsemanship and choreographic chance operations in a week-long residency. The residency inluded master classes, live presentations with horses on the farm of Ithaca College Emeritus Professor of Theater Norm Johnson, a clinic for equestrians, shooting the site-specific film Dusting Trees, performance of a site work with dancers and horse on the grounds of the Cherry Theater in Ithaca and presentation of the score-based performance work The Breaking Ring in the Cherry Theater.
Film shot with Equus & Friends in Ithaca
Dusting Trees, Ithaca: https://vimeo.com/339422356
The Equus Projects Performs with Equestrian Bettina Drummond, Millbrook NY
April 27th- Demo at Liberty: with live accompaniment by the Ethel String Quartet
April 28th - PerformanceA collaboration with world renowned equestrian Bettina Drummond, riding her Lusitano, Macho with music composed by Todd Reynolds.
Pullman: April Creation Residency, Pullman District Chicago
Sarah Rose Graber and JoAnna Mendl Shaw return to Pullman for a Creation Residency with collaborator, visual artist and educator, Deborah Jackson. The team prepared for their June 2019 Pullman Salon, Vol III that celebrates Jackson's art and life in Pullman.
Pullman Salon, Vol. II
Collaborators Shaw and Graber return to Pullman to produce Pullman Salon Vol II, part installation, part interactive theater work. Salon Vol. II invited audiences to interact with a collection of memorabilia and Pullman Factory articfacts - part of the massive collection assembled by Pullman resident Alfonso Quiroz. The stories of the artifacts were experienced in recordings and written displays and collectively told the story of Al and Marilyn Quriroz's life in Pullman. Volume II was staged for the ground floor of the Monsart Art Space, a quintessential historic Pullman row house.
Pullman Salon, Vol. ll Full Performance): https://vimeo.com/318677682
The Equus Projects at Majoda Stables, Moorestown NJ
The Equus Projects dancers maintain their horsemanship ground skills training via bi-monhtly training sessions with Carrie Christiansen, the equestrian director of the youth riding program at Majoda Stables in Moorestown, NY. In exchange for their horsemanship training, each year Equus choreographs and performs two large public performances created with the Majoda riding team who call themselves The Majoda Hipsters.
Workshop: Dancing with Horses in Upstate, Aurora New York
The Equus Projects taught a workshop for dancers that brought together the disciplines of horsemanship and dance improvisation in a workshop hosted by C&K Farm in East Aurora, NY.
Poe Classical Residency, Pullman District Chicago
The Equus Projects taught its 5th residency at Poe Classical Elementary School bringing text devising and Physical Listening into 3rd and 4th grade classrooms. The Physical Listening week concluded with an Equine Day at Hannaberry Farm in Crete, Illinois where the children re-experienced 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
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. The project goal is to design Physical Listenbing training for May Center teachers and an equine assisted learning experience for May Center 6th-8th graders. The equine component is a collabiration with Santa Fe horse owner and equine assisted learning specialist Machel Jordan.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming - Project Development & Performance
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 performance with community dancers and horses for an audience of Jackson locals and visiting company, Hubbard Street Dance.
Elizabeth and Fort Collins, CO
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.
PHOTO: Taken on an epic drive from Fort Collins , Colorado to Jackson Hole, Wyoming
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.
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 Salon Vol. I, Pullman District Chicago
A whimsical interpretation of early Pullman District history: The Pullman Project team of JoAnna Mendl Shaw and Sarah Rose Graber collaborated with Pullman historian Andy Bullen and Pullman graffiti artist Ian Lantz, to create the first in a series of Pullman Salons created for intimate spaces in Pullman. Salon Vol. I, staged in the historic Florence Lowden Miller Historic Pullman Center was part historic accounting, part community meeting. Funded in part by Interdisciplinary grants from the NEA, the Pullman Salons co nitnued bi-annually through December 2019.
The Breaking Ring, Performance in Washington Square Park NYC, June 1, 2018
Celebrating the 2018 Laban Conference, NYC
Site works are presented in Washington Square Park on June 1st from 6 - 7:30 pm
The Equus Projects perform an excerpt from The Breaking Ring
Red Ascending, Landes Museum Zurich Tanz 2018
Red Ascending, Zurich Tanz 2018
Red Ascending, a site-specific dance work created for the Landes Museum, Zurich
Majoda Stables: Dancing with Horses, Moorestown NJ
The Equus Projects dancers joined a team of exuberant hipsters to celebrate horses in a performance and to raise money for Majoda Stables' riding and community outreach programs.
620 Garwood Road, Moorestown, NJ 08057
Poe Classical Creative Residency, Pullman District Chicago
Shaw and Graber in residence at Poe Classical Elementary April 22-26, 2018 where they created a performance piece with the Poe 3rd graders that celebrated the historic and current leaders in the Pullman community. The project was co-produced by Poe Classical and Beverly Arts as part of the school-wide Celebrate Historic Pullman event presented in June.
Wisconsin Northwoods & Milwaukee Tour
A tour of the Northwoods of Wisconsin included the following:
ArtStart, Rhinelander - Creation of a new performance work for ArtStart galleries.
The Warehouse, Eagle River - Master Class
Trees for Tomorrow, Eagle River - Physical Listening Workshop for Trees Faculty
The Conserve School, Land O Lakes - Creation Residency and master classes
Film: Dogged Persistence - Shot on frozen Lake Elliot at The Conserve School
Dogged Persistence: https://vimeo.com/326066024
The tour concluded with a week-long residency at UW Milwaukee with master classes and performance ofn a reminaged version of The Breaking Ring.
Majoda Stables Moorestown, NJ
Collaboration with Youth Program
May 19, 2018 Performance Event
The Pullman Project: Research, Interviews: On-Going Community Engagement
In 2015 the Equus Projects began an on-going community engagement project in the historic Pullman District in far south Chicago. In order to get to know Pullman residents, project collaborators JoAnna Mendl Shaw anmd Sarah Rose Graber initiated a process of One-on-One interviews, conducted with 60 Pullman residents between November 2017 and June 2018.
Equus Projects Company - Horsemanship Training, Philadelphia PA
The Equus Projects dancers maintain their horsemanship skills via on-going ground skills training. In early 2017 the company traveled down to Philadelphia to work with dancer and equestrian Susan Deutsch and her horse, Caetano and to Majoda Stables in Moorestown, NJ to work with trainer Carrie Christiansen.
Bringing the Arts to Rural America
Land O Lakes
The Breaking Ring, A Dance Theater work for Five Dancers and One Horse
Staged for the large indoor arena at the historic Northwestern Stables, in Philadelphia, this version of The Breaking Ring incorporated a live horse with expansive choreography created for horse and equine handler, Philadelphia dancer and equestrian Susan Deutsch. Equus dancers wove their move ment phases inside the the equine landscape craeted by Susan and her horse Caetano.
Poe Classical and Pullman Elementary Residencies: Physical Listening
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.
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 Interspecies Dance: A Workshop, Santa Fe NM
Workshop with Horses for Santa Fe dancers
Santa FE, NM
Co-taught with Equine Assisted kLearning Specialist, ith Machel Jordan
Bates Dance Festival
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, Long Island City NY
Commissioned BY INSITU Site-Specific Dance Festival, this intricate score for 24 dancers was created for the Circular Playing Field at Hunters Point, LIC
Creative Problem Solving Institute - 2017 Conference,University of Buffalo
The Arts and Horses Come to Pullman
Horses and dancers performed in the PullmanDistrict on June 10th in a choreographic work for two dancers and two ridden horses. SXet to a dynamic orchestral work of Steve Reich, the work was created with the historic Pullman Railroad Mural as its back drop. Dressed in Vikctorian travek garb, perflrmers Graber and Shaw seem to emerge from the historic mural, beckoning two animated horses to join them in a demonstration of masterful riding with dancers in c,lose tanmdem.
The Breaking Ring, Boston
Residency: The Dance Complex, Cambridge
Master Class: Boston Conservatory
The Breaking Ring, NYC
Premiuered in Boston in March, The Breaking Ring waas then performned in NYC at the Agnes Varis Center for the Performing Arts in the Gibney Dance Center
After Image University of Florida Gainesville
A collaboration with Gainesville visual Artist Erin Curry, After Image transforms the simple task of drawing onto huge swatches of paper in a choreographic work that captures the intersection of movement making and drawn image. The inspiration for this second straging 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
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
The Breaking Ring: Round Pen Duets - Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe
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.
#Is This A Dance, OnSite NYC
#IsThisDance was a performance event that merged performance with social research in a choreographed event that ecplored 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, Pullman District Chicago
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
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.
Interspecies Encounter, Centenary College NJ
Interspecies Encounters was created during a 4-month residency at Centenary College, funded by the Gates-Ferry Lecture series. The project was a collaboration between Centenary Equine Studies and the Theatre Dance Department.
Interspecies Encounters featured Equus Projects dancers and Centenary equestrians and horses and was presented as the featured event at the Intercollegiate National Dressage Competition.
VIDEO: Interspecies Encounter (Excerpts)
Zurich Creation Lab, Zurich Switzerland
The Equus Projects Artistic Director JoAnna Mendl Shaw has a long history of teaching choreographic workshops in Switzerland. The Zurich Creation Lab is an annual workshop that takes places in February or March. Produced by Zurich choreographer, Tina Mantel.
Zurich Creation Lab - February 11-15, 2017
Teaching and Research Residency, Pullman District, Chicago
The Equus Projects Artistic Director JoAnna Mendl Shaw in collaboration with theater director Sarah Rose Graber spent a week in the Pullman District of south Chicago teaching in the elementary schools, and conducting preliminary research on Pullman history and community residents. This residency was funded by the Pullman National Monument.
The Pullman Project: Launch
A Multi-disciplinary, multi-year creation project in collaboration with the Pullman National Monument, Arts Pullman, Historic Pullman Foundation and local Pullman schools and the that brings visibility to the historic role the Pullman District played in Chicago and its current unique multi-cultural landscape.
Lane Community College Residency, Eugene OR
JoAnna Mendl Shaw, Artist in Residence
Modern Technique, Improvisation, Composition and Ballet
Five-Day Playground Lab for Lane students and Eugene community
Playground Lab performance event.
Dancing with Horses Workshop
In Celebration of Wheatgrass, OnSite NYC
A performance installation created for the North Plaza of Union Square that paid homage to one of NYC’s iconic urban farmers, Stewart Borowsky - The Wheatgrass Man. Borowsky has been selling homegrown wheatgrass for over 15 years with his wheatgrass farm operating out of a warehouse in Brooklyn. In Celebration of Wheatgrass is a series of solos, each functioning inside a large scale visual installation built with wheatgrass flats, soil and farming tools. Research, creation and performance of this project was funded by a grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
SUNY Potsdam, Crane Plaza: This is a Dance
Site work created for the Crane Plaza at SUNY Potsdam with a cast off 16 dancers. The 30-minute installation featured a series of task-based scores that moved 74 audience members and constructed a kaleidescopic mandala with 400 apples. The work was commissioned by the SUNY Potsdam Theatre & Dance Department with funding from the New York State Dance Force, NYSCA.
Grazing Gracefully, Snug Harbor Cultural Center Staten Island NY
Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, NY
Grazing Gracefully was commissioned by the Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island. The commission requested that The Equus Projects perform with Staten Island horses. Grazing Gracefully was created for a cast of five dancers and two local Staten Island ponies from the Seguine Equestrian Center.
Elephant Shenanigans 2015, OnSite NYC
Created by choreographer, David Norsworthy for OnSite NYC, Elephant Shenanigans was a traveling choreographic installation for four dancers and inflatable elephant that traveled through the streets of New York City for durations of 3-6 hours.
The May 2015 version of Elephant Shenanigans was performed for a total of 8 hours and traveled 50 city blocks.
This version of Elephant Shenanigans was funded by The Harkness Foundation.
VIDEO: Elephant, 2015: https://vimeo.com/133190716
Circular Celebrations, OnSite NYC
Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, NYC
A movement Installation created for Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, adjacent to the United Nations, the piece was constructed as a series of circular choreographic scores that celebrated the peace-keeping and negotiation spirit of the United Nations.Circular Celebrations was created for and featured 16 dancers from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program and Percussionist, Jeremy Smith
(Com)Passion, Clinton CT
Idlenot Farm - Clinton, CT
(Com)Passion, a collaboration between Equus Projects, dancer Lacina Couliably from Burkina Faso and equestrian Patricia Norcia, explores the intersection of West African dance and classical dressage, both grounded by rhythm, listening and compassion.
Nattdans pa Hovdala, Hovdala Castle, Hassleholm Sweden
Nattdans pa Hovdala was an evening length work commissioned by the Swedish theater company, Klinten Kultur. Created as a site-specific event for the courtyard of the historic Hovdala Castle in Hassleholm, Sweden. Nattdans featured the Klinten Kultur cast of young adults with autism joined by The Equus Projects and European dancers, live percussionist Tina Quartey and Fire Artist Amanda van Rheinberg.
Elephant Shenanigans, OnSite NYC
Elephant Shenanigans was created as a traveling installation for NYC Streets. The 8-hour event, performed in two installations, featured two casts of 4 dancers each and a large inflatable elephant. Elephant Shenanigans was created by David Norsworthy.
Dance on Film Festival, Lincoln Center, NYC
Hastdans pa Hovdala was screened at the Lincoln Center Dance on Film Festival on February 1, 2014, followed by a panel with DFA curator JoAnna Ney, Equus Artistic Director JoAnna Mendl Shaw, Equus Projects dancers Carlye Eckert and Jessica Martineau and filmmaker, David Fishel.
Math Research Lab, NYC
Choreographer and mathematician Lauren Vogelstein spent six weeks with The Equus Projects exploring the application of math principles to choreographic scoring.Studio investigations investigated scoring mechanisms for:
The Fibonacci Equation
Physical Listening Workshop for the Strategic Studies Group, Naval War College, Newport RI
Physical Listening and Strategic Decision-Making
Strategic Studies Group, Naval War College Newport, RI
The Equus Projects was commissioned to engineer a full day workshop for the Strategic Studies Group of the Naval War College, Newport, RI. The presentation and demo focused on movement as a dynamic agent for accessing Strategic Thinking and Bold Decision-Making.
Bright Morning Stars
Bright Morning Stars was created for the David Lichman North American Northeast Tour Stop performed at Que Sera Farm in Clinton Corners, NY. The work featured The Equus Projects dancers with riders from the Bard College Equestrian Team and horses from Netherwood Acres Farm, Hyde Park, NY.
Håstdans på Hovdala
Håstdans på Hovdala was a fu;ll evening length site-specific work commissioned by Klinten Kultur, a Swedish company of young adults with autism. Created for the historic Hovdala Library ruin in Hassleholm, southern Sweden, Håstdans på Hovdala featured a cast of Equus Projects dancers, local horses and six Klinten Kultur performers. Filming was funded in part by the American Embassy in Stockholm and a Frances Mary Hazen Fellowship from the Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Fund.
Garden Six B, OnSite NYC
Garden Six B was created for the community Garden Six B in the East Village in NYC. The piece featured Equus dancer Jessica Martineau and original soundscape composed and performed by
The Secret Garden, OnSite NYC
The Secret Garden was created for the south garden at Tudor City Greens. Set to the Bach Unaccompanied Cello Suite #2, the work featured three Equus dancers and eight guest performers who are planted among the spectators. Based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's children's book, The Secret Garden, the work suggests the fantasy-life of an urban child playing in a small urban garden. Embedded in the choreography are opprtunities for spectators to read small notes with facts about the architecture and history of the historic buildings of Tudor City.
Take the Time It Takes, OnSite NYC
Judson Church, NYC
Take the Time It Takes was created for the Judson Church series STUFFED. The work is a duet about struggle, loss and the order we create to keep ourselves sane. Set to the selections from Bartok's 44 Duos, the piece concludes with a snow shower of 1000 paper snowflakes.
Ligne Roset, OnSite NYC
The first event of the OnSite NYC's 2013 season, Ligne Roset was an installation created for the SoHo furniture store of the same name. The evening explored possibilities for scripted behavior as performance staged for a live party event. Three female performers each inhabit a furniture constellation in the store, embodying a distinct character throughout the 4-hour event. A solo male dancer entices each women onto duet interludes that provide small diversions witnessed by ambient party goers. Throughout the evening, Visual Artist Jeff Hopkins created quick sketches of the evening's events.
PHOTO: Nir Arieli
Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, OnSite NYC
Created for the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, a city plaza directly adjacent to the United Nations, this task-based movement installation featured 8 dancers in a score that gradually constructed a 10' long glass peace bough constructed with 300 Ronny Brook Farm glass milk bottles. Ronny Brook Farm is one of the primary vendors at the weekly Dag Hammarskjold Green Market.
Migliorelli Mandalas, OnSite NYC
Migliorelli Mandalas was created for the North Plaza of Union Square, site of the weekly Union Square Green Market where Migliorelli Farms is an iconic vendor. Migliorelli Mandalas was performed by 21 dancers, members of The Equus Projects and dancers from Alvin Ailey/ Fordham and an unexpected small boy. The piece used 350 Migliorelli apples.
Red, Yellow, Blue - River-to-River-Festival on Governor's Island, NYC
Commissioned by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and The Drawing Center
for the 2012 River-to-River-Festival and created for Fort Jay on Governor’s Island, NYC.
Red, Yellow, Blue was a 50-minute work for created for 10 dancers and 3 visual artists whose brush strokes determined the movement material.
Martin's Pretzels, OnSite NYC - June 7, 2012
Created for the location of the Union Square Green Market, the choreography used 50 cardboard boxes from the iconic Green Market vendor, Martin’s Pretzels. The score for 8 dancers was based on a Laban B Scale.
Ronnybrook Mandalas, OnSite NYC
The first of OnSite NYC's mandala scores for public spaces, the milk bottle mandalas were created with the iconic Union Square vendor's, Ronny Brook Farm glass milk bottles.
The performance featured eight dancers work inside a complex task-based choreographic score that engineered the building of several intricate glass bottle mandalas.
250 glass milk bottles were used.
Anita’s Way, OnSite NYC
Commissioned by chashama, a NYC arts presenter that nurtures artists by transforming unused NYC property into work and presentation spaces. Anita’s Way was a 40-minute site-specific work made for the Anita's Way alley in midtown Manhattan. The work investigated the notion of necessity, movement choices determined by the charcoal markings of three visual artists.
Herds and Horses
Center for the First American Horse, Morrisville, VT
Produced by Center for the First American Horse in Morrisville Vermont, Herds and Horses was a 40-minute work that showcased The Equus Projects' unconventional use choreographic scoring to frame natural horse behavior and gently create performance with horses at liberty.
UnStable Landscape, Bates Dance Festival
Bates Dance Festival
Commissioned by the Bates Dance Festival, UnStable Landscape was an evening-length work created in collaboration with choreographer Carl Flink and Black Label Movement, MN. Made for 10 Equus and BLM Dancers, 5 horses and 14 dancers from the Bates Festival Un/Stable Landscape was created as a site specific work for the hillside and horse paddocks of Chance Encounter Farm in Pownal, ME.
Celebration, Old Lyme CT
High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center, Old Lyme CT
Commissioned by High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center for their 2011 Gala Fundraiser, Celebration featured the Equus Projects company and a cast of 6 equestrians.
Horses & Humans: A Celebration of Dancing & Healing, Prospect Park Brooklyn NY
Prospect Park, Brooklyn NY
Horses & Humans: A Celebration of Dancing & Healing was a 4-hour performance installation for 6 dancers, 5 horses and riders created for The Nethermead in Prospect Park. The project was a collaboration with Gallop NYC Therapeutic Riding Program. A centerpiece of the event was a demo performance with Equus dancers and children and parents from the Gallop NYC programs.
Hudson Valley Wine and Cheese Festival, Rhinebeck, NY
For its second season at the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival, The Equus Projects created a series of small ensemble pieces with dancers and horses at liberty.
The company also created an installation without horses sited to travel throughout the wine-tasting halls.
Dancing in Real Time, Vashon Island WA
Heart of the Horse Farm, Vashon Island, WA
Dancing in Real Time was commissioned by the Heart of the Horse Farm on Vashon Island. The 50-minute work was a collaboration with composer Jami Sieber & percussionist Geoff Johns, both playing live. The work partnered three Equus Projects' women with a small herd of Polish Arabian at liberty horses.
A Celebration of the Horse
Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center, South Hadley MA
Created for the 2010 Eastern Regional Andalusian Horse Conference and performed in the equestrian arena at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. The work was commissioned by ERAHC and featured six horses and riders and four dancers.
A Texas Hillside, Aubrey TX
OX Ranch, Aubrey TX
Texas Hillside was created for the OX Ranch in Aubrey, TX with a cast of seven local equestrians and their horses and eight dancers including guest performers from Cirque du Soleil and Texas Women's University. Equitation styles ranged from dressage to cutting and reining.
Join Up, Helena MT
The Myrna Loy Center for the Performing Arts, Helena Montana
Join Up was created during a National Performance Network residency for the Myrna Loy Center for the Performing Arts in Helena, Montana. The evening length concert of six pieces and a prologue featured a cast of 19 local horses, 16 riders, The Equus Projects company of four dancers, and guest equestrian David Lichman. The bull running arena at the Helena State Fairgrounds was transformed into a theater venue. The performance, open dress rehearsal and narrated rehearsals drew audiences totaling 1500 for the week.
Rhinebeck Wine and Food Festival
An Afternoon of Horses & Dancers and Wine featured a collection of small performance works featuring for three horses and riders and four dancers performed on multiple sites of the festival grounds.
Resting Ground, Vashon Island WA
Heart of the Horse Farm, Vashon Island WA
A 50-minute work created for four dancers and seven horses was commissioned by the Heart of the Horse Farm and featured a small herd of Polish Arabian horses and live music composed by electric cellist and vocalist, Jami Sieber.
White Oak Plantation Residency, Yulee FL
The Equus Projects & Black Label Movement
Equus and BLM created three works during their 10-day residency at White Oak Plantation. All works created were collaborations between Equus Artistic Director JoAnna Mendl Shaw and BLM Director, Carl Flink. White Oak is funded by the Gilman Foundation that supports the White Oak Wildlife Preserve and annual dance residencies.
June Dancers Intensive, Rhinebeck NY
From 2005 - 2012, The Equus Projects taught a an annual June Dancers Workshop that introduced dancers to basic horsemanship ground skills and translated those skill sets into choreographic scoring techniques.
Claustrophobia, Pomona NY
Claustrophobia was created for the indoor arena at Country Lee Farm in Pomona, NY. The work was created during the winter and spring of 2009 with horses from Country Lee. The tiny horse farm is located just 40 minutes from downtown Manhattan and was the location for most of Equus equine training 2007-2009.
PHOTO: Vanessa Wright
Chance Encounter Farm, Pownal Maine
A performance installation created for a small horse farm in Pownal Maine, created while the company was in residence at the Bates Dance Festival.
PHOTO: Rene Braun
Landscape, Saratoga Arts Festival
Commissioned by the 2nd Annual Saratoga Arts Festival for the Polo Fields. Created with a local cast of performers ranging in age from 16 - 72 years old.
Processional, Connecticut College New London CT
American College Dance Festival at Connecticut College, New London CT
Commissioned by ACDFA and created for the Great Lawn at Connecticut College.
Score for Dancers & Rider-less Horses, Ocala, FL
Score for Dancers & Rider-less Horses
Equine Affaire, Pomona CA
Equine Affaire, Pomona CA
Collaboration with Five Star Parelli Natural Horsemanship Trainer, David Lichman.
Trail Less Traveled performed with singer/songwriter Mary Ann Kennedy singing live.
Gotan Tango created with equestrian Elli Johnson.
Willow Tree Clinic, Long Island NY
Dancing with Horses clinic for equestrian co-taught with 5-Star Pareeli Instructor, David Lichman
Hayfork Exploration Lab with David Lichman
Week-long exploration lab at Hayfolk Farm in the Shasta Mountains, CA with equestrians and their horses directed by David Lichman
Bates Dance Festival
Commissioned by the Bates Dance Festival and created for the central green on the Bates College campus. Based on the Seven basic training games of Parelli Natural Horsemanship. A collaboration with cellist, vocalist and composer Jami Sieber. Four dancers and three Saddlebred horses.
Equine Landscape, Perry Mansfield Performing Arts, Steamboat Springs CO
Steamboat Springs CO
Commissioned by Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp in Steamboat Springs, CO. The work featured two Equus Projects dancers, Big Apple equestrian and gymnast Sasha Nevidonski, 15 Perry Mansfield dancers and faculty members, Fort Collins equestrians Kime Orth and Cindy Loader and horses and Steamboat equestrian JoAnne Drahota.
Bach Suite, Heifetz International Music Institute - Wolfeboro, NH
Heifetz International Music Institute - Wolfeboro, NH
Bach Suite was commissioned by the Heifetz International Music Institute. Set to selections from the Bach Cello Suites rearranged for cello and violin, and played live by students from the Heifetz Institute
Four Equus dancers, three horses and riders.
Equestrians: David Lichman, Annie Schneider.
Rules of Engagement, Claremont Stables NYC
Claremont Riding Academy, NYC
A collaboration with Video Artist, Janet Biggs, Rules was created for the historic Claremont Riding Academy in New York City. Equus transformed the arena into a theater space with full theatrical lighting. Rules examined notions of cruelty and survival that play out in nature and in the relationships between humans and equines.
PHOTO: Janet Biggs
Perry Mansfield, Steamboat Springs CO
The Walking Score I was conceived at Perry Mansfield during a week-long residency with the dancers and guest equestrians, Kime Orth and Sasha Nevidonski. 24 dancers, 1 horse and rider.
Oxridge Gala, Oxridge Equestrian Center CT
Connecticut Dressage Association
Oxridge Equestrian Center
Equestrian, Bettina Drummond
Ellipse, River to River Festival NYC
Commissioned by the 2005 River to River Festival , the piece was created for the Oval Garden adjacent to the 9/11 site. The site presented very specific specifications for the piece: The horse must weigh under 1000 lbs, the choreography could not cross the center of the garden until the last moment, the horse could only walk and trot, not canter. The elliptical shape of the choreography was engineered specifically for the site specifications.
Duchess County Tour of Historic Farms, Millbrook NY
Duchess County Tour of Historic Farms, Millbrook NY
Commissioned afternoon of works for dancers and horses performed at Goose Chase Farm in Millbrook, NY. Created in collaboration with equestrians Bettina Drummond & Patricia Norcia
Bach Dances, Symphony of Horses Ocala FL
Commission for Marion Country Therapeutic Riding Gala, Symphony of Horses,
Performed with live symphony orchestra
Equestrian, Karen Rohlf
EQUUS I, Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA
An evening length work commissioned by Virginia Commonwealth University, created during a month-long residency at VCU. Two Equus dancers, eight VCU dancers, seven local Richmond riders and horses, guest equestrian, Maddrey Baker with her two horses.The live performance was accompanied by an embedded video Installation created by Video Artist, Peter Richards.
Kalliope, Riverdale Equestrian Center NYC
Re-staged for the indoor equestrian arena at the Riverdale Equestrian Center in Van Cortlandt Park, NY
This production featured a cast of 14 dancers, 7 horses and 6 riders.his production was produced by The Equus Projects in collabiration with Riverdale Equestrian Center.
Kalliope, The Ethel Walker School, Simsbury CT
Re-staged for the indoor equestrian arena at the Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT, this production of Kalliope was co-commissioned by Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT and The Flynn in Burlington, VT with funding from the National Performance Network Creation Fund.
Staged during a week-long Equus Projects residency at Ethel Walker, the work was performed in the Ethel Walker indoor arena with full theatrical lighting. The residency included master classes for the Dance Program and a clinic for Ethel Walker equestrians. 14 dancers, 7 horses and 6 riders.
Kalliope, Shelburne Museum VT
Created for the historic carouse; at the The Shelburne Museum in Shelburne VT
A National Performance Network Creation Commission from The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, VT. The full evening length work was create over a six-month collaboration between Equus Projects Artistic and Vermont equestrian equestrian Kate Selby. Kalliope featured a cast of 8 New York City Equus dancers, 6 Vermont dancers, 6 equestrians, 7 horses and 6 children.
Green Mountain Association 75th Anniversary Gala, Woodstock VT
In Honor of the Horse, A Tribute: Site Installation in Memory of 9/11
Commissioned by Green Mountain Association for its 75th Anniversary Gala, A Tribute was schedule for September 29th. Woodstock, VT suffered profound losses in the 9/11 attacks so Equus created a series of site installations as a tribute to lost lives that drew audiences through the GMHA grounds and into the performance site. 6 Vermont dancers, 14 Equus Projects dancers, 6 riders and horses.
The Equestry, New Haven VT
New Haven, VT
The Equestry was a full evening length work for eight dancers and six horses and riders
This the first in depth exploration of dancing with horses in collaboration with equestrian, Kate Selby owner of The Equestry
Dancing with Horses, Bronxville, NY and Patterson, NJ
An Afternoon of Performance Works for Dancers and Horses
Body on Body, Hillside & MHC Green, Mount Holyoke College South Hadley MA
Mount Holyoke College commission for site specific performances on three sites on the Mount Holyoke campus.
The Dancing with Horses Trilogy featured over 50 human performers - dancers from the Five College and MHC staff - and a total of 12 horses and riders.