Karinne Keithley Syers


  • Comedy
  • Opera

Another Tree Dance is a performance text for one or more performers structured around a series of dives into the recurrent images and figures from my work. The text bears an occult relation to my dissertation on Ralph Waldo Emerson, anatomy, glittering, natural history, transmission and reception, sleep sides, and first person strangeness, taking up Emerson's charge to the scholar to dive into her "deepest presentiments" to find access to the public, the common. A series of texts, songs, and dance notations.

Play Sample Text

I am out walking. I see a fern no higher than my shin. A curve unfolds a further curve. A wave. The fern waves at me. I wave back at it. We sing: cousin, fern. cousin, plant. cousin, branch. I am I because the abominable branch knows me. We record our kinship by the intervals in our music. The bowls are struck, we all begin. There is no impossible place.

I remember I was stuck on the hot grey concrete expanse of freeway, trying to exit. Where the road divided there were birds, in a small piece of shade, a greener grey, a minutely more green grey: birds, two grey birds, and a white bird. Three of them in a small bit of shade made by a white concrete divider on the bright grey road.

There is a rule of islands: where bird, then plant. A small island is fertilized. Soil in a concrete crack in the small amount of shade on the exit portion of freeway. There was another time when nature meant the woods, but who can afford that now when half of all humans live in the city? And of plants and birds too. They wave to us and we wave to them. From near places. From tiny patches. Cousin? Yes. Cousin? Yes. Cousin? I see you.