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With a hey diddle diddle, the creators of Why Cats Paint return with another version of feline (and human) reality. And
suffice it to say that in Burton Silver and Heather Busch's hands, Kipling's cat that walked by himself has turned into
a deeply codependent dervish. Their first book was a brilliant parody of artspeak--Busch's photos of creative felines
matched by Silver's text. Their second, Dancing with Cats--an epic three years in the making!--juxtaposes psychological
and spiritual mumbo-jumbo with the language of dance criticism. As Silver explores everything from visualization to
mirroring to empathy, Busch is busy with her human-feline pairs. In one sequence, Fred, clad in tabby tights, kitty-cat
body paint, and a tanga with a long black tail, leaps about the place with a slightly puzzled pussy: "I share its grace,
power, and oneness with the universe. I relate to Fluff and the whole spectrum of feline physicality on a profound
level--I even regard birds differently."
On the very next page, chubby Helen, sporting a tie-dyed purple gown and a deeply sworn belief in feng shui, identifies
perhaps a bit too deeply with chunky, amber-eyed Boots (who looks suspiciously like "Trans-Expressionist" Bootsie from
Why Cats Paint). And then there's Sue and Zoot. In one photo, the recumbent gray and peach cat raises his left paw to
the sky as his ecstatic human does the same. Then Sue dons a feathery jerkin "in order to dance out some of her past
traumas." It's difficult to say which is funnier, the photos or the text, as Silver catches pseudo-therapy's mixture of
self-affirmation and non sequitur: "Dancing with Zoot helps Sue reenact and come to terms with the joy and sorrow of a
brief but painful relationship: when she fell in love with her daughter's father while he was photographing bridges in
the neighborhood." Though the two-legged models must have been prepared for this inspired silliness, one does wonder
what on earth the cats made of their eurythmic adventures. Alas, until interspecies communication reaches a greater
height, we can only dance amid our uncertainty! --Kerry Fried