There is still more to celebrate during Grand Central Terminal's big centennial, including a special week-long series of performances starting Monday that has almost as much horse power as a train. NY1's Arts reporter Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
On a busy day, rushing through Grand Central Terminal can make you feel like you're in a stampede. This week, though, the 100-year-old station will have actual horses, or at least 60 dancers dressed as 30 horses. This piece, "HEARD NY," is the brainchild of Chicago artist Nick Cave.
"What I was interested in was producing a project that sort of brought us back to this dream state, this place of imagination," he says.
Cave creates what he calls "magical moments." For this project, he is inspired by the opulence of the terminal and the winged horse, Pegasus, painted on the station's ceiling. His "horses" will peacefully graze and then break into choreographed movement twice a day.
The title, "HEARD NY," is a pun on a "herd" of horses, because these beasts' suits make sounds and there is live music.
The project is presented by MTA Arts for Transit and the public art organization Creative Time.
"What public art does, it makes the world come to life. It transforms a place that's already amazing into a mythical space," says Nato Thompson, the chief curator of Creative Time. "It transforms the world into something that sparkles."
Horsing around inside Grand Central sounds like a a lot of fun, but the creative team says there were actually a lot of challenges with the choreography.
"We had to research horses and the suits are voluminous, so we had to figure out how to equate that movement with the mannerisms," says choreographer William Gill.
New Yorkers have seen it all, but when Cave is asked whether he fears people won't notice a horse walking through Grand Central, he laughs and says no. Instead, he expects the piece to be captured on many people's cellphones and then become viral.
"Like a herd moving through the wild," says Cave.
Watch for the equestrian antics at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., plus a special talk on the project each day at 3:30 p.m. in Vanderbilt Hall, to find out more straight from the horse's mouth.