"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
"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
"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
RIDEis an evening-length theatrical performance directed by choreographer Paula Josa-Jones, that explores the sensuous and archetypal bond between horse and human through a powerful mix of music, dance and aerial ballet. In RIDE, the horse is the beloved. Through shared human and equine movement language, RIDE speaks to our desire for communion with our primal selves, and a hunger to be partners and participants in the natural world. Live music, video projections, extraordinary costuming and set design create an intimate and spectacular theatrical experience. RIDE premiered on Martha's Vineyard in August 2001 during a four-night run to sold-out audiences. Since then RIDE has expanded to include "Pony Dances", "Flight" and "Horses Helping Horses" and has been performed at Universities, Equine Sanctuaries and Dressage Events throughout New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
about Paula Josa-Jones
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 choreography for humans, inter-species work with horses, dancers and riders, film and video. Her dances have been produced in Russia, Europe, Mexico and throughout the United States. She has taught in the dance programs at Tufts University, Boston University and at universities, colleges and dance festivals nationally and internationally. She is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst and a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT) accredited by the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA). "A movement vocabulary at once consistent with Josa-Jones's choreographic vision and with each of her dancers' personal eccentricities marks her collaborative process as especially curious. Josa-Jones is able to preserve the odd moments that evolve through improvisation--the occasional awkwardness of a fine dancer revealing the most human and poignant qualities within--woven into an integrated triangle of dancer/choreographer/dance. As a result, her dances have a spontaneous quality--as though the dancers were making them up as they went along-- even as it is clear that each dance is fully choreographed. Josa-Jones invites her audience, her students, and her dancers to master the skill of being "in the body," which she says means "discover[ing] movement from a place of attention, stillness, and active listening, experiencing fully the web of movement and choreographic choices as they are being performed." There is a deep humanity at the core of Josa-Jones's work that can be at once edifying and terrifying, a "commedia dell'arte troupe from hell . . . that has toppled over the edge into nightmare," according to Deborah Jowitt of The Village Voice, but work that ultimately rescues us as well. Josa-Jones's excavation of the human spirit allows us to emerge on the other side of our own nightmares with images that leave us both stunned and energized."
- From The International Dictionary of Modern Dance