Synopsis: The Equus Projects
Creates site-specific performance works that viscerally engage with the geographic and cultural environments. Their work often brings dancers and horses into shared landscapes.Equine works are created in collaboration with local equestrians and their horses.
While not all Equus Projects performances include equines, their horsemanship training deeply informs choreographic content, and has shaped the company’s studio practice, their teaching methods, approach to performing and choreographic methodologies. They bring a unique inter-species lens into their dance practice that focuses on Physical Listening, heightened merging of sensing and thinking, and strategic decision-making.
All Equus performances are constructed as complex scored events, merging rigorous choreographic material with improvised structures and challenging the performers to function with real time decision-making.
JoAnna Mendl Shaw is an internationally recognized choreographer and dance educator whose unique inter-species approach to movement education and choreography has influenced dancers throughout the States and in Europe.
Shaw’s site works for The Equus Projects bring dancers and horses into shared landscapes in works made for festivals, arts presenters, equine venues and museums. Equus has created works in 18 States and in Europe. The Equus Projects’ OnSite NYC series has brought kinetic invention into urban landscapes since 2012.
Shaw is the recipient of two NEA Choreographic Fellowships and 2018 and 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Interdisciplinary grants for her multi-year creation projects in the Pullman District of South Chicago.
Currently Shaw travels nationally and internationally teaching, choreographing and directing. Her career as an educator includes faculty positions at NYU Tisch, Juilliard and in the Ailey Fordham BFA program, Montclair State, Marymount Manhattan, Princeton and Mount Holyoke College, at the Bates Dance Festival, Swamp Dance Festival, Florida Dance Festival, Heifetz International Music Festival.
Shaw has taught and choreographed in Hungary, Japan, Korea, Canada, Croatia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales.Her interdisciplinary approach to creative process has brought innovative programing into athletics, medical training, corporate team building, ad agencies and strategic decision-making teams.