A horse is a horse, of course, of course.

The past week, artist Nick Cave (Not Nick Cave from the Bad Seeds. This one is African American.) along with Chicago-based choreographer William Gill and students from the Alvin Ailey Dance School presented HEARD•NY in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Station. 30 ornate, life size horses were created to gallivant and frolic around the hall.

At the beginning of each performance, dancers would line up, two per horse.

One dancer would don the back half of the horse…

…then the other dancer would attach the head and they would join.

The horses promenaded around the hall, welcoming guests, delighting children and, in the case of a few wee ones, scaring the hell out of them.

A harpist played. Notes gently filled Vanderbilt Hall and the horses pranced and glided in a choreographed routine.

Then a drum kicked in. The front and back halves of the horses separated and a wild rumpus began.

The drumming and dancing became more frantic.
Until, finally, the rhythm died and the two halves found each other a joined once again.
The piece ended about :20 minutes later as it started, with the gentle wandering of the horses.

The music stopped and the exhausted dancers shed their equine skin.

24 thoughts on “A horse is a horse, of course, of course.

  1. Fantastic! And just half an hour ago I read about this on a sketchbloghttp://www.urbansketchers.org/2013/03/herd-seen-in-nyc.htmland wished I could see it.Thank you!

  2. With the right combination of substances I could be just as terrified as the little ones seeing this, especially when the horses come apart. I wonder how long it took to make those costumes?

  3. Are there Youtubes here? My iPad isn’t doing Youtubes on blogs at the minute, so I will have to imagine. Thanks to Mr Bananas I am imagining a lot of bottom wiggling.Sx

    • They’re not YouTubes. I uploaded them directly to the post. Ironically, I can’t view them from the very iPhone I used to take the videos! Friggin’ Apple won’t play well with Flash. You’ll have to get to a PC, an Apple desktop, or use your imagination. The rumps move up and down, round and round. It’s quite a show.

    • The performance space was quite small and it filled up quickly. I had to get there about :30 minutes prior to the start to secure a halfway decent spot. Shows were at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for one week. Each showing packed to capacity.

  4. Bravo! Performance art that genuinely entertains, rather than befuddles! Thank you for sharing this – i am a simple minded woman and this made me smile! Love the arse shaking… just can’t go wrong with fringe, too!

  5. I particularly enjoy being at this kind of thing with children and watching their mixture of fear and delight. Dance has given me some of the most memorable, gut-turning, exultant artistic experiences of my life and I really hope my daughters will develop an interest in it too.

    • I took a few pics of kids in the audience. Big joyful looks on their faces. None of them turned out, unfortunately. Dance has run hot and cold with me throughout the years. I’ve been equal parts moved and baffled. Some of it is strikingly beautiful and sometimes it looks like the dance of dying poultry.

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