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Anna Halprin: Body Radical

de Young Museum

October 20, 2018 - October 28th 2018

Anna Halprin’s career has been exceptionally long and varied—even for an artist who turned 98 this year—and her pieces have inspired generations of other artists around the world, across many disciplines, artistic and social movements, and communities. This October we celebrate Halprin and her multidisciplinary practice by presenting a selection of performances, film screenings, workshops, and participatory events, including Planetary Dance (which has been staged in forty-six countries on six continents to date).

Halprin has consistently defied the boundaries of dance, using experiments with everyday movement and contextual shifts away from the stage to reinvent its forms, subjects, and intentions. She has pushed the medium even further as a tool to address social justice issues, connect people with one another and the environment, foster community across racial and social divides, and facilitate both physical and psychological healing. Long renowned in the dance world, Halprin is increasingly recognized as a contemporary artist who brings a pioneering approach to social and collective artistic practices. Richard Schechner, editor of TDR: The Drama Review, calls her “one of the most important and original thinkers in performance.”

This presentation’s multiple performances, workshops, and screenings together offer a glimpse into Halprin’s work, methods, and legacy, allowing reflection on her key past projects and active engagement with the continuing vitality of her work.

Mapping Dance: The Scores of Anna Halprin

Exhibition at Museum of Performance + Design in San Francisco

March 17–June 4, 2016


This exhibition displayed a selection of Anna’s iconic dance scores from the museum’s collection. Vibrant in color and elaborate in design, these scores provide essential information on performances she created between the 1960s and 1980s. Anna created a self-activated participatory sensory tour for the exhibition, which was available as a take-away.

Photo: Detail of City Dance score by Anna Halprin/Siobhan Aluvalot

Journey in Sensuality: Anna Halprin and Rodin


Filmmaker Ruedi Gerber, director of the critically acclaimed Breath Made Visible, has released a new film, Journey in Sensuality, bringing fresh insights into Anna Halprin’s work in nature. Auguste Rodin’s sculptures become a container for visually stunning dances on the beach and in the forests. The hour-long film, with a compelling musical score by Fred Frith, provides an intimate view of Anna’s creative process, as she and her Sea Ranch Collective develop the performance Awaken. The film had its U.S. premiere as part of the 95th birthday celebrations for Anna.

95th Birthday Festivities


In July Anna’s 95th birthday was celebrated by a variety of tributes. Tamalpa Institute sponsored “Dances for Anna”—with a special celebration on her Kentfield dance deck, as well as performances in her honor throughout the world. A highlight of this event was a new performance called “Remembering,” created by Anna with her grandson Jahan Khalighi. Anna commented, “I have done lots of dances in my life, all kinds of dances: children’s dances, funny dances, dances responding to political and social issues, dances in nature, dances for the elderly, dances I’ve been arrested for, dances based on clothes in my closet, dances for healing, community dances. This dance is a very personal dance. It’s a dance of my life’s memories—not necessarily all of them, but the ones that have been life-changing.” The final line of the dance is: “What really matters are my kin, my family. You, Jahan, matter to me.”

In addition to the Tamalpa events, Dancers’ Group in San Francisco presented “95 Rituals (for Anna)," a performance project by inkBoat, directed by Shinichi Iova-Koga and dedicated to Anna.

Trip to Israel


In late fall 2014 Anna traveled to Israel to complete her trilogy Remembering Lawrence. While there she led a peace walk, worked with the Vertigo Dance Company on an Israeli version of Parades and Changes, and taught several workshops.

Photo: Sue Heinemann

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