ARTS & CULTURE
03/30/2012 03:09 pm ET

Nick Cave Turns Students Into Animals For Performance "Heard" At UNT (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Artist Nick Cave is known for his imaginative "soundsuits", rainbow multimedia costumes that completely transform the wearer into a moving, living art piece. The suits are often incorporated with choreography and music to create a hallucinatory flash mob.

Cave is now serving as the artist-in-residence at the University of Northern Texas, where he attended graduate school in the 1980s. Cave spent a year planning "Heard", a performance piece involving 800 students, faculty and helpers. The title of the piece plays off the words "heard" and "herd" -- the artist transformed the campus glade into a dream-land of dancing horse monsters. Watch the video above and try not to smile.

Dance students at UNT wore costumes made from raffia, a type of palm leaf; the confetti-like material goes wild when they move. Each horse was made of two students donning the 150-lb. costume, which was universally described as "very uncomfortable." The coolest part of the performance, (at about 7:18 in the video), is when the horse costumes rupture, sending the students into a dance frenzy. As a 9 year old viewer described it for KERA Radio: “My favorite part was whenever the horse’s butts came off and started dancing."

The unique performance transformed a college campus into a strange and magical fantasy, which is exactly what Cage was hoping for. Cave told the North Texas Daily, "It was fantastic. It was just what I had imagined in my head."

In case you're in the area, the herd will perform again on Sunday, April 1 at 1:30 p.m. at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas.

Check out some stills from the wild "Heard" below:

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