Eagle River's Community Art Center

Visiting Artist

The Warehouse Art Center is happy to introduce JoAnna Mendl Shaw, Choreographer and Artistic Director of the Equus Projects, to the Northwoods.

JoAnna Mendl Shaw will be visiting Eagle River and surrounding areas from October 16-22nd, offering a number of movement based workshops, lectures, and other events with the community. This will be Ms. Shaw's first visit to the area, and the full company will be visiting the Northwoods in March of 2018 for performances, additional movement based workshops and lectures, and possibly equestrian based experiences. This series is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from Wisconsin Arts Board and the Crane Group.

JoAnna Mendl Shaw has been making works for stage, rural, and urban landscapes since the 1980’s. In 1995, she created The Equus Projects, a dance company known for its site-specific performance works that often bring dancers and horses into shared landscapes. The innovative choreographic structures and Physical Listening practice emerging from their creation process with equines is taught in master classes and workshops calibrated for a broad range of populations ranging from dancers to educators, therapists to engineers and physicians. The Equus Projects has created commissioned works in 16 States and in Europe.

Shaw’s proscenium and site works have been presented in New York by Danspace, DTW, 92nd Street Y, Dancing in the Streets, Neubeger Museum, Chashama, The Drawing Center, Dance NOW, River to River Festival, but also at the Florida Dance Festival, Swamp DanceFest, Bates Dance Festival (Maine) and Heifetz International Music Institute (New Hampshire). Shaw has taught on faculty at NYU/Tisch, Juilliard, Alvin Ailey/ Fordham University, Marymount College, Princeton and Montclair State University, and she has been a guest artist at numerous other colleges, including University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She has brought her work with Physical Listening to the NYU Medical School and the Naval War College, bringing art and science closer together.

JoAnna Mendl Shaw will be speaking during The Warehouse's Arts on Tap event on Wednesday, October 18th from 6-8pm. Shaw will share videos, photos, and stories with the Arts on Tap audience about her unique choreographic journey, creating performance works with dancers and horses. She will pull from experiences creating site-specific performance works and installations in 16 States and in Europe, merging dance with equestrian artistry in works created for polo fields, bull running arenas, an historic ruin in southern Sweden and a small horse farm in rural Maine.

Ms. Shaw will also lead two movement based workshops for the community, Thursday October 19th and Saturday October 21st from 10am-1pm at 217 E Division Street (the Northwoods School of Dance). Moving Bodies, the first part held on Thursday morning, is a movement class that begins with a simple warm-up and progresses into guided physical explorations that tap into our capacity for expansive physical listening. Playful improvisational structures allow participants to merge thinking and moving in unique and unexpected ways. 

Saturday's class focuses on Physical Listening, A Guided Physical Experience. Physical Listening explores our untapped capacity for attending, observing and listening to other moving bodies. This class begins with inner explorations and moves into full-bodied investigations in duos and small groups. Areas of skill investigation include tactile, proprioceptive, visual, and auditory. Each class focuses on a single sensory system.

Both classes are open to everyone who is eager to explore moving in their bodies. No dance experience necessary. Equestrians, yogis, actors, movers, and first time movers are welcome! High School students and adults welcome to participate. Wear comfortable gym clothes and be ready to move from the floor and space. $25 for each of the sessions or $40 for both. 

On Friday, October 20th a cocktail reception and artist talk with JoAnna Mendl Shaw at historic Sunset Point. Ms. Shaw will share more intimate stories about her artistic work, her work across  genres (horses, scientists, gymnasts, and other collaborations). Tickets are available online for $30 or $50 for a couple. The event begins with cocktails at 5:30, artist talk from 6-8pm. 

Ms. Shaw is eager to learn more about our Northwoods community as she plans a multi-year relationship with the area, leading to performances, equestrian/movement experiences, and more. For more information about her work, do visit equus-onsite.org.