Dance innovator shares wisdom and scores
Anna Halprin, vanguard postmodern dancer turned community artist and healer, has created ground-breaking dances with communities all over the world. Here, she presents her philosophy and experience, as well as step-by-step processes for bringing people together to create dances that foster individual and group well-being. At the heart of this book are accounts of two dances: the Planetary Dance, which continues to be performed throughout the world, and Circle the Earth. The Circle the Earth workshop for people living with AIDS has generated dozens of "scores" for others to adapt. In addition, the book provides a concrete guide to Halprin's celebrated Planetary Dance. Now more than 35 years old, Planetary Dance promotes peace among people and peace with the Earth. Open to everyone, it has been performed in more than 50 countries. In 1995 more than 400 participants joined her in a Planetary Dance in Berlin commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Potsdam Agreements, at the end of World War II. More recently, she took the Planetary Dance to Israel, bringing together Israelis and Palestinians as well as other nationalities. Throughout this book Halprin shows how dance can be a powerful tool for healing, learning and mobilizing change, and she offers insight and advice on facilitating groups. If we are to survive, Halprin argues, we must learn, experientially, how our individual stories weave together and strengthen the fabric of our collective body. Generously illustrated with photographs, charts and scores, this book will be a boon to dance therapists, educators and community artists of all types.
"Anna Halprin radicalized contemporary performance with her democratic vision of dance as ethics instantiated in motion. Her eco-feminist choreographies constructed in alternative, site-specific spaces—San Francisco's busy streets. California's central coast, the outdoor dance deck of her Marin County home—offered every person the roots with which to become an artist. In this beautifully essayed volume, Halprin shares her own diasporic history as the root to her communitarian dance-making ethos."~Ninotchka Bennahum, author of Carmen, A Gypsy Geography
"Anna Halprin is a pioneer of postmodern dance, a warrior for connecting arts to social issues, and a healer of individuals and communities. Here, in crystal clear prose, her wisdom of the-body-in-the-world tumbles out. Borrowing concepts from various cultural traditions, Halprin lays out the scores she has created over a long lifetime of exploring and transgressing. Her ability to integrate body, mind, and spirit is both soothing and exhilarating."~Wendy Perron, author of Through the Eyes of a Dancer
"Ultimately, Making Dances that Matter is a summation of Anna Halprin's life's work that not only provides an outline of the life/art process but its place within the scope of her life. It is one of those rare books that seamlessly combines autobiogra- phy and practice. As such, it provides insight into one of the major dance theorist-practitioners of the last one hundred years."~Barbara Sellers-Young, Journal of Dance Education