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Journey in Sensuality

Anna Halprin and Rodin
Journey in Sensuality - Anna Halprin and Rodin  Trailer

 

Anna Halprin was a seminal influence in American postmodern dance. Beginning as early as the 1950s, Halprin created spaces for experimentation – such as the San Francisco Dancer’s Workshop in 1955 – and worked with students including Meredith Monk, Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, Simone Forti, Dohee Lee, Dana Iova-Koga, Shinich Iova-Koga, Isak Immanuel and G Hoffman Soto, among others. On Halprin’s website, her husband of over sifty-five years describes his wife’s life work: “Early on, Anna abandoned Modern Dance developed by the American pioneers Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman because it was based on the personalities of those dancers. For her instead dance essentially draws on primitive needs that express life forces. Her earliest background emphasized the anatomy and physiology of the human body and its relation to the forces of nature and the environment. She was able to develop her processes in nature on an outdoor dance deck I designed for her which removed the proscenium arch, presentied new and different spatial relationships and enveloped the performers with the natural sounds and elements of nature. It has since become an worldwide icon of creativity with nature and has drawn a cadre of brilliant dancers from around the world after World War II up until the present time including Merce Cunningham, Min Tanaka, Simone Forti, Trish Brown, Eiko and Koma and many new young dancers. With her students she developed new sources of group creativity based on a series of workshop exercises called ‘experiments in the environment’ in which, as in life, outcome itself emerges as a result of interactions with the environment and with group members; flexible, intense and life affirming. More and more her dance has developed as myths and rituals in which the focus is on issues of everyday life; psychological, or physical, and community as well as personal. In this sense she has reverted to the early meaning of dance in human society, joyful and healing as well as tragic, and based on the most primitive needs of the human condition. These dances are universal.”

After the international success and critical acclaim of Breath Made Visible, a documentary about Halprin’s life and art by director Ruedi Gerber in 2010, his latest film, Journey in Sensuality – Anna Halprin and Rodin, brings new insight into Halprin’s influential artistic work, using the sculptures of Auguste Rodin as a container for visually stunning dances on the beaches and in the forests of California. 

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