ANOTHER TREE DANCE
KARINNE KEITHLEY SYERS / SARA SMITH
KARINNE KEITHLEY SYERS, SARA SMITH
“Another Tree Dance” began as an effort to publish my dissertation on Ralph Waldo Emerson and first person strangeness in performance form as a solo devised in conversation with Sara. It was supposed to function as a way to ceremonially transition from scholarship back to making, giving me a kind of homecoming. What it became was not so much a report, but a private recuperation that bears only an occult relation to that dissertation. I think of it as the dissertation on its sleep side (a phrase from Anne Carson). In text, projection, sound and dancing, it moved through a series of compositions made from the intelligences and attractions that characterize different kinds of work culled from Emerson’s descriptions of thinking—the topiarist, the sonographer, the pilot, the collector, the radiographer, the surveyor; I used my old dances and my grandparents’ slides, making a new series of images out of the stuff of my own creative history. It was a supremely quiet, patient, ritual piece of theater, an essay for a room, for the mouth, the hand, the ear, the spine. I wanted to experience a philosophy housed not in concepts, but in sentences, gestures, slides, songs, visible and invisible things.