The collected writings of one of the most influential luminaries of American dance.
Anna Halprin is one of the most important innovators in the history of modern dance, performance art, and post-modern dance. Moving Toward Life brings together for the first time her essays, interviews, manifestos, and teaching materials, along with over 100 illustrations, providing a rich account of the work that radicalized an entire generation of performers.
Since the late 1950s, Halprin has been at the forefront of experiments in dance, from improvisation and street theatre to dances in the environment and healing dances. A brief overview of Halprin's career shows how her work has prefigured — and transfigured — crucial developments in postmodern dance. In the 1960s, Halprin invented the "workshop," and in the wake of the Watts riots, her multiracial company broke boundaries in their confrontational political performances. In the 1970s, she organized "community rituals" to explore how individual creativity feeds positively into group dynamics. These healing social events led to her current work with cancer survivors and people challenging AIDS and their caregivers.
Depicting Halprin's deep commitment to social change, Moving Toward Life presents an engaging, critical document of the life of one of the most influential and least known luminaries of American dance. Sally Banes and Janice Ross join Rachel Kaplan in providing introductory essays to sections of the book.
2. Editor's Note
3. The Halprin Life/Art Process: Theory History and Practice
4. The Work in the Community
5. Leaning into Ritual
"Here, all in one place, are documents of the theory and practice that have made Anna Halprin a magnet for generations of experimental dancers. Working in a field obsessed with surfaces, she plumbs the motive for movement, seeking and finding ways to heal the world."~Elizabeth Zimmer, Dance Editor, Village Voice
"I could not have believed, before studying the materials gathered here, that a judicious selection of writings and key interviews could so efficiently gather up more than forty years of the work of Anna Halprin, and make it present in such a fully dimensional and freestanding fashion. After all, among the issues addressed are dance, improvisation, exploration, 'scoring', performance, myth, ritual, community and art as life processes, and stages of healing in cancer and AIDS (the connections traced between all these are both dense and convincing)And the very best thing about this book is that the ideas are presented in such a way that the reader can immediately begin to move them into life and practice."~Robert Ellis Dunn
"Anna Halprin is one of the most important and original thinkers working in performance, as she has been since before the 1960s. Her impact on dance, theatre, and ritual is immense, positive, and life-giving. The only thing better than reading Halprin is working with her."~Richard Schechner