I never asked for a pony for Christmas.
And you call yourself a cliché?
Why didn’t I? Is it because I had a greater sense of reality than many of my peers? My three person family lived in a one bedroom apartment. No backyard and certainly no room (let alone money) for a pony. Or is it because I never went through the cliché childhood “horse phase”?
Which isn’t to say I never rode a horse. I have the all-American memory of riding a sad little pony around in circles at a county fair. I can remember the last time I rode a horse, at my friend Helena’s slightly extravagant tenth birthday party. I got the biggest one, he had a bit of an attitude, and I felt bad-ass controlling him. It was fun, I had a good time. But I was never the kid who watched Black Beauty everyday after school. Who was transfixed by police officers on horseback. Who begged and begged and saved up all my allowance for riding lessons. I did have My Little Ponies though, you bet I did.
This morning I saw Nick Cave’s instillation art piece “Heard NY” in Grand Central Terminal. A blend of performance art, costume, and sculpture, it was fantastic to watch. It was so inspiring and positively joyful to watch, it may just be the start of my long-delayed horse obsession. Cave creates a heard of horses. These are costume-sculpture pieces colorful, fashioned out of “raffia” which moves in a straw-like way, picking up subtle movements. Students from the Ailey School brought the pieces to life. The colors and the movement were mesmerizing. It was the perfect activity for 11AM on a snowy, gray spring morning.
The Horse stand on display like this all day, but at 11AM and 2PM Ailey dancers bring them to life. The dancers are in black lining the walls!
A closer view of some of five of the full heard of 30. Fifteen on the west side of Vanderbilt Hall at fifteen on the east. I was on the east side, I have no idea if the other side is a mirror or entirely individual!
Each sculpture/costure has a beautiful and ornately decorated head. Accompanying the dance was a harpist and drummer.
It was cool just watching the dancers transform into horses. Also, lots of kids in the huge crowd watching.
Once transformed we were treated to a 20 minute performance. There was a perfect balance of horse movement, I really felt like I was watching creatures frolic about, and more abstract dance.
Butts and heads separated, movement got lively and even more colorful!
You can see the performer inside the horse! I sometimes forgot they were in there. The little four year old girl next to me was adorably confused by it all.
Everyone was taking photographs and there was uproarious applause at the end. The dancers all looked exhausted and elated. I got to see the first public performance! If you are in NYC I highly recommend going out of your way to see this. The times of performance are inconvenient- 11am and 2pm daily- but I think it’s worth it. It’s only today though March 31st! My photos don’t do it justice, this is the first time I’ve ever seriously bemoaned my lack of a quality camera. It really is an experience!
If you can’t make it (and even if you can) check out this NY Times article and accompanying images and video: Watch Out for the Horses on Your Way to the Train
Certainly made my Monday!