I love site specific performance. And there is certainly a relationship between Duncan dance and nontraditional performance spaces. Natural, outdoor settings make a great venue for tunic-draped dancers, and when Karin Carlson asked me if I was interested in sharing any work for her Silk Road project, of course I said yes.
When I put together my first site-specific piece in Austin as part of the Frontera Fest’s Mi Casa Es Su Teatro in 2007, I asked Karin to participate in an outdoor structured improvisation set in a field in East Austin. That piece, Rooted, consisted of five dancers, two men and three women (and the first time I ever put men in tunics), and each dancer created movement based on a score of planting, uprooting, traveling through space, and re-planting in another location. This is a movement metaphor that I often come back to, as it resonates with the transitory and migratory nature of contemporary culture—not surprisingly, it is also a theme that came up in the Talk to Me Movement course I co-facilitated with Peggy Lamb for Truth Be Told at the Lockhart work facility in the fall of 2007.