Nick Cave & Denver Night


If you missed last Friday’s Denver Night,part of the Biennial of the Americas festival, don’t fret too much.

The Biennial of the Americas, described officially as “an international festival of ideas, art, and culture” is ongoing until September 2nd, so there’s still time to get some culture in before it bids us adieu and mosies on outta here. (they have a lot of other fun artsy things going on, too, so be sure to check out their website).

If you’re like me and basically did a giddy dance at the chance to see Nick Cave’s legendary Soundsuits in action, I’ll try to fill you in on what you missed. If you imagine real hard, you can pretend that you, too, were sitting on the pokey grass for an hour and a half before the show and refusing to relinquish your primo seats.
So a little background may be in order. Nick Cave is an American performance artist, who dabbles in sculpture, found objects, textile work and dance. A full-scale exhibit of his work, Nick Cave: Sojourn, is currently on display at The Denver Art Museum. Including 20 of his Soundsuits, fabric-adorned creations intended to be danced in, the exhibit also features short films and some other sculptural work of his. It’s a wonderful exhibit and it’s only running until September 22nd, so you had better check it out!
That aside, as a special treat for the Biennial of the Americas, Nick Cave put on a live performance of his horse Soundsuits specially choreographed  to coincide with his current exhibit. So, here are the images and a nifty little down-n-dirty video in the best definition I could muster for you to be inspired by. Clicking the photos will give you the much-larger version to ooh & ahh at. (ignore the occasional other photographers… how rude of them to weasel into my photos! ;P )


BigRainbow         RainbowRunAction

The rainbow one was the favourite of my group. Its face was a little more elaborately stitched and also included shells hanging from where the ‘jaw’ area would be, along with more use of color. (and aren’t those kiddos adorable? I mean, I wanted to touch them, but didn’t muster the cahones until the little ones paved the way.)


So, they started out the performance doing this resting thing. Just some calm music meant to evoke country feelings (which, speaking as a small-town girl m’self, it worked) while they sauntered around and sat or nuzzled each other…

Dance2 Dance1

Then, all of a sudden they bumped up the tempo, the backs of the horses separated, and it was a crazy jungle dance party! (the video really does this more justice. But my favorite part was seeing the little horse rear’s get their solo groove on. Maybe it’s because they all reminded me of McDonald’s “Fry Kids’…)

Movement CloseUp

Then the music slowed back down, the backs and the fronts of the horses were re-united and the slow parade of them began to signal the end of the performance. It was funny to see the dancers all re-arranged to create new colors of ‘horses’. Like a great big “CHANGE PARTNERS!” in the middle of the dance.


This little munchkin was afraid to touch them, but with encouragement en masse, she ended up crossing the rope and acting like a VIP. (too flippin’ cute, right?)


But eventually, the last of the horse Soundsuits walked out of the ring again and left us as the main stage lit up for another act.

But, we’ll always have the memories. (& now you can fake you were there, too, in case you weren’t. I’ll never tell. ;p)

Nick Cave: Sojourn

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