Nick Cave’s new work, ‘Heard NY’, brings a performance of charming immediacy and wonder to the cavernous halls of Grand Central Station. Normally crowded with hurried commuters, Cave has filled the 42nd Street entrance with costumed dancers enacting ‘Crossings’, occurring daily at 11am and 2pm. The piece begins with dancers walking to a series of costumes resembling shaggy pre-historic horses known as “Soundsuits”. The suits are made with long strands of natural fibers dyed in a patchwork of natural and synthetic hues. The figure’s heads are covered with beading and embroidered geometric designs that resembles traditional decorative clothing from South East Asia.

Once the dancers are dressed and configured in pairs to form completed figures, musicians begin to play a tranquil song on drums and harp. The music creates a pastoral atmosphere as the ‘horses’ amble gently through the space, interacting with each other and the audience. The dancers begin to self-organize, eventually forming a single line marching along the space’s perimeter. Gradually the music intensifies to a crescendo as the performers split the costumes into two separate characters, each dancing and twirling with abandon. The music eventually slows, and the characters reunite to bring the performance to a close.

The performance has an allegorical quality, we can recognize our own patterns reenacted in the movements of these quasi-mythical animals performing in the halls traversed during our daily commutes. Cave masterfully combines multiple disciplines and influences from folk art, dance, theater, music, and sculpture into a unique experience that transcends the combination of these elements. He has created a piece that is part modern dance and part shamanic revelry. The true joy of the work is best understood through seeing its simple beauty in person. Go early, space is limited.

March 25–31, 2013
Grand Central Terminal
Vanderbilt Hall
Daily Crossings / 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Daily Tours 3:00 PM