Anna Halprin Turns 95!

I am so happy to report that my good friend and teacher, Anna Halprin turns 95 today. Just think of this. She is 95 and is still teaching dancers and still performing.

Happy Continuation, Anna

Anna Halprin

Anna Halprin from Marin Magazine

Last Thursday, I attended the first screening in the United States of her latest full-length movie, Journey in Sensuality: Anna Halprin and Rodin, produced and directed by Ruedi Gerber. Ruedi was also the director of Breath Made Visible, the first feature length movie about Anna. Journey into Sensuality inspired new insights in me into Anna’s artistic work and the spiritual basis of the mind-body connection.

At one point in the movie, she spoke about how the upper body was connected to the sky and the lower body was connected to the earth. The earth-bound connection is a reflection of the force of gravity and it determines how we can move our bodies in space.

I thought that the coordination of the Rodin sculptures with the movement and poses of the dancers was extraordinary. Some of the poses on the rock at Sea Ranch in Northern California where the movie was filmed matched the Rodin sculptures in a way that was wonderful. The sand, the sea and the rocks on the beach provided an excellent contrast to the stone work of the statues. This is a movie you have to see if you get an opportunity to do so.

During the interview after the movie, Anna talked about the time she was arrested in New York City for indecent exposure. Some of her performances are in the nude, but the people are not naked. She makes a distinction between being nude and being naked. Being nude is being true to our natural self and gives rise to a feeling of being one with the true nature of our human existence. I have learned to appreciate nudity in her work.

I’ll close with a quote from Anna about her legacy:

“One of my strongest birthday wishes is that Tamalpa Institute continue carrying out a vision that has always been central to my work: dance as a healing and peace-making force for people all over the world. Hats off to Tamalpa!”
– Anna Halprin

Are you inclined to see the work of Anna continue into future generations? If so, won’t you consider a gift to the Tamalpa Institute?

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