Thursday, July 5, 2012

Red Yellow Blue

Red,Yellow, Blue
The 4th Part of the DrawNow! River To River Festival on Governors Island
Sunday, 2:00, July 1, 2012 - FREE EVENT

I am constantly amazed at the 'hidden gems' I find throughout this vast city. Governor's Island is one such place, a peaceful oasis where time slows to a more relaxed pace with sprawling green hills, afternoon picnic goers, and tandem bicycles for rent. 

Last weekend I experienced the site specific work "Red, Yellow, Blue," a collaboration between The Equus Projects/ JoAnna Mendl Shaw and visual artist, Ryan Hartley. Dancers and painters both drew inspiration for their course of actions from the actions of each other.

Aimee Good, Director of Education and Community Programs at the Drawing Center, curated the DrawNow! River to River Festival. She explained the piece to me as "a real time collaboration between artists." DrawNow!  is presented by the River to River Festival and by the Drawing Center, whose ongoing mission is to constantly explore and expand the definition of drawing. Aimee further disclosed how throughout "Red, Yellow, Blue," drawing is present on tactile paper and also in metaphysical space allowing "dance gestures to be part of the dialogue."


Dancers charged and rebounded off the stoic brick walls of Fort Jay under the intense afternoon sun. Wielding a steel ladder overhead, the band of dancers flocked in spiral pathways and ping-ponged from wall to ledge. Using helicopter-like lifts, the dancers hoisted each other above their shoulders, spiraling and traveling in circles. Eventually the dancers mounted the ledge via ladder forging their own front row before the artwork.

Simultaneously, the artists upon the ledge interpreted the trajectory of dancers with the gestures of their brush movements on the oversize banner painting. Both narrating and directing the dancers, brushes swirled and swooped while cray pas scribbled and carved the dance out onto paper.

An appropriate ending, the artists assisted the dancers to step over the painting and exit beyond the group of onlookers; a final meld to this sunny collaboration.

photos by ACM

To learn more about the creation process for this piece including videos and drawings, see The Equus Projects' website,


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