Since 1985, Paula Josa-Jones/Performance Works (PJJ/PW) has gained a national reputation for risk-taking, adventurous dance theater. Paula Josa-Jones, MA, CMA, RSME/T, has been called "one of the country's leading choreographic conceptualists" by the Boston Globe and the Village Voice describes her work as "powerful, eccentric, and surreal". Josa-Jones is a choreographer, director and equestrian who has developed a unique form of visually charged dance-theater built on the sensuous experience of the body as landscape and source for movement, image and voice.The dancers do not simply dance, but are utterly transformed by the movement and characters they embody, giving a startling authenticity and depth of feeling to the dances. Her work includes theatrical choreography for humans, her inter-species work with horses, dancers and riders, and work in film and video. "Josa-Jones can also be credited with enhancing the possibilities of dance video, since her work lends itself to the imagistic world of cross-fades, a kind of supernatural visual exposure, with dancers moving across frames as if entering alternate worlds or states of consciousness. Her work with video artists defies the axiom that dance does not translate into two-dimensional media." (International Dictionary of Modern Dance). PJJ/PW has toured Russia, Europe and Mexico as well as throughout the United States.
By sharing time and space with horses; listening to them, communicating with them, learning to ground our bodies in the language of movement that we share with them, we become more compassionate, more fully human, and more a part of the shared earth.
"Audience members surely had different moments...But everyone had a moment. The standing ovation at the performance's end testified to that." -Alexis Tonti, Vineyard Gazette
"How can I express the majesty of your performance, the concept and the soul-drive choreography. I witnessed a miracle: the connection between horse and woman, the darkened earth beneath hooves and art. I wept when the dancer put her face to Norman's nostrils as if she were whispering to god." -Carol Dine
Watch the original production of RIDE--------------------------->
In June 2008, PJJ/PW created new live performance elements for RIDE during a ten-day workshop. Part of this workshop included exploration of work with aerialist Paola Styron, three horses, and dancers DeAnna Pellecchia, Dillon Paul, and Ingrid Schatz. The aerial rigging was provided by Flying by Foy, whose fifty-year credits include most Broadway performances, and who set the gold standard for theatrical flying. This concept is exciting and fresh, as there has never been a theatrical work that combined this complex and elegant aerial technology in a performance with horses.
ALL THE PRETTY HORSES is an inter-species dance project aimed at inspiring all of us to share in the strength and beauty and grounded sensitivity that is the horse. The goal of this FREE performance is to help EQUINE ADVOCATES raise funds to rescue a Mustang to join their Mustang stallion, NELSON, and to raise awareness of the tragic plight of the endangered AMERICAN MUSTANG.
Working locally to make a difference globally, ALL THE PRETTY HORSES interweaves area high school students, “throw away” horses rescued from slaughter, dancers DeAnna Pellecchia and Ingrid Schatz and the volunteers who care for the horses. These horses are not beautifully trained, they do not necessarily come when called, they are not mounted or running free in a fantasy scenario. These horses have shared their lives with humans, have given everything they have until they are no longer useful, then they have been consigned to the meat industry. Dolly, Zoe, Maxine, Queen, Jill and Bernadette are the lucky ones. Now they live at Equine Advocates' Sanctuary in a beautiful part of upstate New York. In ALL THE PRETTY HORSES, they will partner with humans in a new and indelible way. ALL THE PRETTY HORSES reveals the depth and heart of the human-horse bond, and the beauty and possibility of that which is usually “thrown away.”
ESCORIAL, nicknamed Pony, is a highly trained liberty horse - half Saddlebred and half Andalusian. His “dance steps” include changes of direction, “waltzy” (a full turn in place), rearing, walking while on his hind legs, Spanish walk (an elegant, high, alternating extension of the front legs while walking), Spanish trot, lying down, sitting, and a number of other choreographed movements. He is able to weave these elements into improvisational dances with DeAnna and Ingrid. Pony, a gelding (male), has hazlenut eyes and is considered "tri-colored" (buckskin, white and black). DANCE-DIVO EXTRAORDINAIRE, he refuses to be saddled or ridden as he considers himself to be strictly a DANCER. His favorite treats are animal crackers, although he is certainly not opposed to carrots. "Pony-man" loves to smile, talk and "razz-berry" to the ladies. http://www.tintageltalent.com/pony.html
"There are few who can establish themselves as original creative artists; what Paula Josa-Jones has done in addition to the above is to bring each aspect of the combined arts of equitation and dance into a new and sublime focus." - Carly Simon