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Nick Cave – Heard NY at Grand Central

April 1, 2013

Why was Heard NY so successful?

We went to see the performance by Nick Cave at Grand Central. Vanderbilt Hall was so packed it was hard to get to a spot where you could as much as take a peak at the action. The hall, with its high vaulted ceilings, is a beautiful, if unusual, space for a performance. Thousands of people go through every hour, and although most are hurried, this project shows that many are willing to stop, and even wait a while, for a free art encounter. At 11 am a group of dancers from the Alvin Ailey dance company entered and put on horse raffia suits. The horses, Nick Cave explained, are a reference to the history of Grand Central, as they originally brought travelers to their trains, and appear on the decorated ceiling of the hall in the shape of mythical winged horse Pegasus. Accompanied by an harp and a drum, the horses started to wriggle and shake as if they were grazing in a field. At some point the front separated from the back and both went into a crazy frenzied dance, until they calmly rejoined for a final bow to the crowd. It all lasted 15 minutes. The audience cheered and applauded. People looked genuinely happy. Why is HeardNY so successful? Because it engaged both the old and the young, and made perfect use of the space: it was pure, family-friendly fun. Kudos to Creative Time for being able to pull off such a complex feat in one of the most historical places in New York City.

Learn more about the Project on Creative Time’s website