Dance + Theatre + Horsemanship

joannamendlshaw@gmail.com | 121 W. 17th, 4B New York, NY 10011 |917-533-4946

The Equus Project (c) 2014   all rights reserved.

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THE BREAKING RING

The Breaking Ring brings listening, decision-making and issues of citizenship directly into the performance arena in a movement event that exposes the creation process unfolding in real time.

In The Breaking Ring, the audience witnesses performers taking a deep dive into physical listening and visceral decision-making, operating with heightened attending, merging sensing and creating kinetic dialogues....small dances made in real time.

 

The 60-minute work features four performers engaged in a progression of duet encounters that is performed inside a 16’ x 22’ rectangular space delineated by a white picket fence.

 

The Breaking Ring expands traditional notions of dance and performance, embracing the spectator as active participant. Gradually, willing spectators are drawn into the enclosure to experience a physical listening engagement and witness how their choices are woven into the theatrical trajectory.

The foundation of this work is based on The Equus Projects’ inter-species performance works with horses - where leadership and compassion, negotiation and adaptability play out with equine partners with real consequences.In The Breaking Ring, accountability for choice is framed as a performance event.

    The Breaking Ring Touring
                  2016 - 2018
Buffalo, NY - June 2017
Gibney, NYC - April 2017
Philadelphia, October 2017
Boston, March 2017

THE BREAKING RING: An enclosure used to train horses

  • Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe - June 2016
  • The Dance Complex, Boston MA - March 2017
  • Agnis Varis Center for Performing Arts, NYC - April 2017
  • Imagination Conference, University of Buffalo - June 2017
  • Hobart Williams Smith College, Seneca NY - July 2017
  • VIVE Safe House, Buffalo - July 2017
  • Philadelphia Northwestern Stables - October 2017
  • Milwaukee, WI - October 2018
  • Art Start, Rhinelander, WI - March 2018
  • The Conserve School, Land of Lake, WI - March 2018
  • Eagle River, WI - March 2018
  • University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee - March 2018

Breaking vs. Training

When you break a horse rather than train it, you get a trained flea. What do I mean by that? Well, you start training fleas by putting them in a jar. You know they are going to jump and if they do that, they'll jump out of the jar. So you put a lid on the jar.

Now when the fleas jump, they hit their heads on the lid. Being smart fleas, they learn not to jump so high. Now you can take the lid off and they won't jump out. Voila! You have trained your fleas not to jump so high. That is exactly what you do when you "break" a horse.

Ron Meredith

The Breaking Ring, 2016
Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe

The Breaking Ring was originally commissioned by the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, NM for an installation and social sculpture about wild horses in the American West.

Created in collaboration with Santa Fe Choreographer Melissa Bransford Briggs, the CCA performance of The Breaking Ring was engineered as a 3-hour installation for the museum.

The Breaking Ring

CCA, Santa FE

Video Excerpts

June 2016