There are few who can establish themselves as original creative artists;
what Paula Josa-Jones has done is to bring each aspect of the combined arts
of equitation and dance into a new and sublime focus.

Carly Simon

Watch CPTV's Where ART Thou about Paula's work with horses

Horses have been part of our inter-species performances for the past twenty years. Poet, horse trainer and philosopher Vicki Hearne says that humans must learn to become kinesthetically legible to themselves in order to become legible to other creatures. She means that until we can decipher what our own bodies are expressing, we cannot really communicate with other beings. That is why I love horse dancing. It is about waking up to the ripples we transmit and the ripples we feel. The dancers and I have learned that in being better "herd-speakers," we can feel more clearly the connections we share with each other and the world around us.

Dancing with horses connects my love of horses with my passion for movement of all kinds. The dances we make with horses reflect what they can teach us about the wild and subtle language of the body that we share with them. It also reflects my larger belief that, in the words of the Lakota Sioux, "Mitakuye Oyasin", or "we are all related."

Touching, moving and breathing with horses (or any other species) requires that we become explorers, letting the familiar become unfamiliar and becoming fluent in the inter-species language of movement and touch. I often tell the dancers to follow the horse. When we dance with horses, we are meeting in the space of the common body, in the language of cell and fluid, skin and viscera. We let go of separation, opening to what arises in the moment and allowing that unfolding dance to lead us.

It seems completely necessary to me that I dance with horses. Some of those dances happen in a stall or a field with no one there but the horse and me. From those simple, breathing dances, others grow, becoming stories of passion, of tenderness, of relationships beyond words, held in the body, held in the heart, shared with each other.

Download the OUR HORSES, OURSELVES Electronic Press Kit

Download the EMBODIED HORSEMANSHIP brochure

Contact PJJ/PW about booking a performance or residency.
Check the Calendar for information about upcoming workshops and performances.