It all starts quite peacefully, costumes sitting on sawhorses, empty heads, gorgeously dressed, hindquarters draped and sweeping onto the floor. People begin to hang around the edge of the corral; bits of straw are strewn across the floor.

There is time to admire the magnificent architecture of the Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central.

Time even to make a little sketch. The harpist comes out to tune her instrument. Then the drummer arrives. The dancers are penned in behind doors, doing the loosening up neck rolling leg bending arm stretching thing dancers do before a show.

The dancers stride in, take their positions at the sawhorses, and help each other into the shaggy costumes; half of them fit their heads into the horses' heads.

Their partners connect and become their back ends.

And suddenly there are horses everywhere. Quietly, slowly, they are coming to life as if under the enchantment of the harp. They paw the ground, shake their tails, as the sawhorses are removed. And then they tour the ring, warming up, stretching, as horses do before a show.

The children are mesmerized, some reach out to touch the shaggy psychedelic coats.

The drummer kicks in, hard, and suddenly the horses begin to move faster. The children shriek with excitement and fear. Some break down and sob. The horses become wild.

The horse bodies break apart, and suddenly there are small dervish creatures whirling ecstatically across the floor, a blur of color everywhere.

A wash of color, of sound, of emotion. The people have become horses. The horses have become dervishes. The children have become spellbound. The adults have become children.

Everything is becoming something else. That is magic.

Only this week. Only at 11 and 2. Don't miss it if you are in New York City. And thank you, Nick Cave, for a spellbinding half hour.


William said...

looks cool Dominique - btw it's 'Terminal' not 'Station' - unfortunately it will be 'Station' in a couple of years when Long Island Railroad gets hooked up

Cristina said...

so beautifully written, so many gorgeous photos, such a clipped but enthusiastic report and, above all, such a-never-seen-before-happening...

thank you so much for having shared it with us!

slowlovelife said...

You are so right William, thank you so much; fixed. Try to go, you will love the show.

slowlovelife said...

Thanks Christina, I know so many readers are far from New York City, so I wanted to be sure they could catch at least a glimpse! d

The Bedford Citizen said...

Thanks for this perfectly wonderful post. On the chance that any of your readers can get to Salem, Massachusetts, before May 27, the Peabody Essex Museum (www.pem.org) is hosting an exhibit of Nick Cave's work.

Darlene said...

Thank you for thinking of us readers far from New York City. This just brightened my morning. Your photos made me feel I was there. A little bit "Lion King" but wholly unique. I loved the photo of the back of the horses. Also liked the different colors of straw and the straw all over the floor.

Donna Baker said...

What a wonderful event. In Oklahoma, they are getting ready to allow horse slaughter which I have done everything in my power to stop. It is depressing as most of the state's residents don't want it. Unbelievable that the politicians aren't listening.

quintessenceblog said...

I LOVE this and so sorry I will miss it. I happened to be in the city today but unable to get to GCT at those times. Your photos capture the excitement marvelously!

William said...

I checked and it goes through Sunday. I'm going to try to get down there Saturday morning for the 11. It really does look awesome and can't beat Nick Cave. Saturday morning at 11 is probably too early for 'magic mushrooms' - although it does look like a 'magic mushroom' kind of show. Perhaps a Julia Child Mushroom Omelette for breakfast before will do the trick. :) Just as an aside, have you ever walked through the 3 big arched windows at each end of the main space? Yes, walked through. They are actually each made of 2 separate windows divided by a glass-floored walkway about 3' wide on every floor all the way up to the top. You can see it if you stand below and look up. The doors at each end used to be unlocked - not sure if they still are - you have to make your way up through the corner stairwell to get to each level. It's insane to walk through it on the open glass floors - getting more and more insane with each level you go up. Yes, I was in my 20's and it was late at night, with a bunch of friends and there was pot and booze involved. Check it out next time you are down there.

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