Rules of Engagement
Multi-media, site-specific dance performance, 2006.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Choreographer JoAnna Mendl Shaw and visual artist Janet Biggs team up to create an exciting new multi-media work at The Claremont Riding Academy in NYC.
Appropriate barn footwear suggested.
Rules of Engagement combines synchronized video projections, three dancers, and a horse and rider to explore issues of power, freedom, and control. Underlying the human and equine choreography and video imagery is an investigation of interactions: how society dictates interactions and the isolation that occurs when one canít or wonít participate according to societyís rules. Intentionally raw and at times disturbing, the choreography ranges from obsessively restrictive to abandoned, from subtle detail to fierce athleticism. By virtue of its size and potentially dangerous flight response, the horse moving among the dancers exemplifies the unpredictable nature of free will.
The Equus Projects has been creating performance works for dancers, horses and equestrians since 1999, working in collaboration with equestrians who range in training from dressage to Western cutting and reining. The Equus Projects has been produced by arts venues and equine presenters throughout the country. Its most recent projects include performances at the historic Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp and at the prestigious Ox Ridge Summer Dressage Show, an international competition that draws riders from all over the world to earn qualifying scores for the Olympic Games, the World Equestrian Games and the World Cup Finals.
Visual artist Janet Biggs' video camera captures athletes in moments of extreme exertion, presented in repetitive sequences that progress from dreamlike landscape to intense confrontation. Biggs, also an equestrian, is known for her large-scale video installations that often depict human and equine behavior side by side in stark commentary. Her multiple-channel installations, condensed yet epic, have garnered her a strong critical reputation and numerous gallery and museum exhibitions.
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