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 Post subject: From The Equus Projects/Dancing With Horses
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:14 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 6883
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
From The Equus Projects/Dancing With Horses

The Equus Projects ENews
Summer 2006 Updates
June 2006 - Vol 1, Issue 4

Summer 2006 Updates

•May Horse Camp - Hayfork, CA
•Studio Rehearsals in NYC
•June Dancers' Intensive
•Heifetz Intern'l Music Institute
•Perry Mansfield Camp
•Bates Dance Festival
•Premiere: Seven Games
•New Website Photo Gallery
•Clinic and Demo with David Lichman
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This edition of Equus Projects ENews is an overview
of our summer 2006 touring and performances with
links to our collaborators and venues. If you are in
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire in early July or Steamboat
Springs, Colorado in mid July, in Lewiston, Maine on
August 6th or on Long Island August 18-20th, come
watch us rehearse, teach, perform!!

•May Horse Camp - Hayfork, CA
The company spent an extraordinary week teaching,
rehearsing and training with David Lichman at the
Tule Creek Ranch in Hayfork, California. Hayfork is
a tiny town that lies NW of Redding, California in
the Shasta National Forest. An hour and a half of
mountain switchbacks and spectacular scenery takes
you to the Tule Creek Ranch, a beautiful equestrian
facility that houses David Lichman’s annual Horse
Camp, a unique gathering of artists and athletes.

David is a consummate horseman as well as an
accomplished musician. Once a year he gathers a
group of equestrians and artists who share a love of
horses and mutual curiosity and passion for the
pursuit of excellence. The 12-hour days are filled
with movement sessions, equine coaching and creative
discussion. Our contribution as dancers is to offer
movement work and individual body coaching. We also
introduce the fundamentals of riding with a dancer
in close proximity and offer the riders an
opportunity to experience truly dancing with their

This year The Equus Projects brought in composer
Jami Sieber to begin work on the Bates Festival
premiere. Jami’s electric cello and vocal
accompaniment filled the huge coverall at Tule Creek
ranch for several days, not only for our rehearsals
but also accompanying our dancing with horses
sessions with the equestrians and their horses.

Della Davidson, Chair of Graduate Dance at UC/Davis
also joined us for part of our Hayfork adventure. A
choreographer of international reputation, Della has
had an interest in our work for several years. The
Equus Projects is working with Della to explore a
large collaborative project for 2008-2009 that would
be created for the new equestrian arena at UC/Davis.

Hayfork afforded us four days of creative
investigation with Jami and intense horsemanship
work with David. We were able to construct the basic
choreographic structure for our Bates project and
merging our newly developed dance vocabulary with
our horsemanship skills. Duet movement scores were
performed in a round pen with a horse, with each
duet calling for a specific set of horsemanship
skills. The results were distinctly different
relationships to the horse in each duet score.
Fortunately we will have several more weeks of horse
time this summer to perfect this merger of two

Read on... - ...


•Studio Rehearsals in NYC
June has been devoted to studio time with nine to
twelve hours of rehearsal a week to solidify our
movement vocabulary and choreographic structure for
the Bates project. The new work, constructed as a
suite of round pen “trios” for two dancers and
horse, frames our work with rider less horses. In
each section our objective is to dialogue with the
horse - communicating directly using horsemanship
commends or indirectly through the placement,
shaping and dynamics of our movement.

Creating a vocabulary for this new work involves
assembling scores for each section such that the
vocabulary can interact directly with the horse and
allow for planned or unexpected interruptions. In
some sections we use a process of “toggling” where
movement phrases are interrupted, then picked up
where they left off. In some sections the horse
dictates which phrases are used.

Titled Seven Games, the new work draws integrally
from our Parelli Natural Horsemanship skills. The
piece features longtime Equus Projects dancers Gina
Paolillo and Blake Pearson and newer company
members, Luke Wiley and Luke Gutgsell. We will be
working with Parelli Level 3 equestrian Sandy Dimick
for this project. Sandy and her horses will work
with us in New Hampshire in early July and then
again for the Bates Festival. on... - ...


•June Dancers' Intensive
The Equus Projects will be hosting its second annual
Dancers’ Intensive, a workshop designed to introduce
dancers to dancing with horses. The Intensive
involves both studio time and barn time. We will
conduct two sessions with our equestrians Blair
Greismeyer and Pam Hickey at Pal-o-Mine Farms on
Long Island, where the dancers will learn the basics
of moving in tandem with a rider and horse and the
fundamental techniques of horsemanship groundwork.
In the studio sessions the dancers experience how
dancing with horses shapes one’s spatial and tactile
awareness and how moving with, directing and scoring
for an equine partner impact the choreographic

Read on... - ...

•Heifetz Intern'l Music Institute
The talented young musicians that come to study at
The Heifetz Institute receive not only extraordinary
musical coaching but also training in dramatic arts,
improvisation, vocal work and movement. Equus
Artistic Director JoAnna Mendl Shaw has been invited
to teach movement sessions at the Institute and
because Daniel Heifetz is an equestrian and horse
owner, Daniel Heifetz generously invited The Equus
Projects company to rehearse and perform at the
Institute, which is conducted at The Brewster
Academy on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee in
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

The company will conduct its equine work at the High
Meadows Farm where they will teach a clinic for kids
on July 5th.

The company will also perform for the Heifetz Board
of Trustees. The performance will take place at
Brewster Academy at 6:30pm on July 7th. The public
is invited. For details contact The Heifetz

David Lichman will join us for our Heifetz residency
where he will continue coaching on the round pen
scores for Bates. David will also perform with us on
July 7th! This is the first time The Equus Projects
will perform with David. We plan to perform two
sections from one of the Bach Unaccompanied Cello
Suites. If all goes according to plan one of the
talented young string players from the Institute
will be performing with us.Read on... - ...


•Perry Mansfield Camp
The Equus Projects has been invited back to teach
and perform at Perry Mansfield Camp in Steamboat
Springs, Colorado. This is our 2nd visit to Perry
Mansfield, made possible by the Dance Program
Director, Linda Kent and Camp Director, June
Lindenmeyer. This summer we will work once again
with equestrian Kime Orth and gymnast/equestrian
Sasha Nevidonski. Kime is an equine trainer who is
working towards her Level 3 in Parelli Natural
Horsemanship. Sasha currently performs with Circus

During our Perry Mansfield residency this summer we
will be choreographing a group work for the
repertory class, guest faculty and equestrian Sasha.
We will present some of our newly created round pen
material with a trio for Gina, Blake and equine
partner. The performance will take place at Perry
Mansfield on Friday, July 14th. Check the Perry
Mansfield website for details. www.perrymansfield.comRead on... - ...


•Bates Dance Festival
The Equus Projects will premiere the first draft of
its newest work at The Bates Dance Festival in
Lewiston, Maine on July 6th. Festival Director Laura
Faure, who assisted JoAnna with her initial
equestrian during the 1999 Bates Festival, has made
it possible for the entire Equus Company to be in
residence at the festival. JoAnna joins the Festival
faculty teaching Advanced Dance Making and Pedagogy.
Equus company member Gina Paolillo will be teaching
Gyrotonics at the festival.

During the Bates Festival, the company will be
conducting its equine rehearsals at Noble Dreams
Stable, a beautiful private facility in Auburn, Maine.Read on... - ...


•Premiere: Seven Games
The creation of Seven Games has been in process for
over a year. Shaw and company wanted to make a work
that would frame the company’s deepening interest in
working with rider less horses. The work
deconstructs the techniques and language of Parelli
Natural Horsemanship and translates them into a
dance vocabulary that investigates the quiet
exactitude and powerful animation of this equine
ground training. In some sections Seven Games is
constructed as a series of seven round pen dances,
each round pen score exposes a nuanced power play
between humans and equine. In some sections the
tasks of equine ground skills are performed with
unadorned matter-of-factness of small rituals.
Occasionally ritual transforms into emotionally
charged movement interludes, only to resurface as
functional task. The round pen interludes are laced
together with sweeping riding patterns to be
performed by a cast of local riders and their horses.

Composer, vocalist and electric cellist, Jami
Seiber, is creating an original score for Seven
Games. Sieber has created music with The Thai
Elephant Orchestra and tours nationally as a guest
performer and soloist.

Seven Games is being made for the central green at
Bates College. The performance is FREE and open to
the public. Check the Bates Festival website or the
Equus website for details. www.dancingwithhorses.orgRead on... - ...


•New Website Photo Gallery
The Equus Projects has been photographed by numerous
extraordinary photographers, most recently Molly
Moore, whose photographs of Hayfork are posted on
our newly constructed photo gallery, constructed by
Joe Lertola.
>Company member Luke Gutgsell has also captured
the essence of this work on film. His photos are
also featured in our website gallery.
www.dancingwithhorses.orRead on... - ...


•Clinic and Demo with David Lichman
The Equus Projects will teach a clinic with David
Lichman in Huntington, New York, August 18-20th. The
clinic merges equine coaching with movement coaching
– an extraordinary riding experience. Several places
are open for riders. The Equus Projects offers
unique movement work, individual body coaching and
an opportunity for riders to ride in tandem with a
dancer and experience the dance inside their ride!

We are currently developing a series of clinics that
will merge our work with the equine knowledge and
extraordinary teaching of Parelli Natural
Horsemanship Five Star Instructor, David Lichman and
Parelli Associate and founder of Dressage Naturally
Karen Rohlf. Clinic formats vary from one to three
days and include group instruction, one on one
coaching and a demo performance. We are seeking host
facilities throughout the country. If interested,
contact us at,

Your support in any amount will help The Equus
Projects continue to teach, train and develop
innovative performance work. Your donation is
tax-deductible. Make your check payable to: The
Equus Projects Inc /121
West 17 Street 4B / New York NY 10011, or donate
online at



JoAnna Mendl Shaw
The Equus Projects

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