Anna Halprin: Experience as Dance

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University of California Press, May 6, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 445 pages
"When I learned about improvisation from Anna, it was like receiving the other half of the hemisphere. Without improvisation I would not have developed the work that I'm doing."—Trisha Brown

"Anna Halprin—who, with her husband, the architect Lawrence Halprin, is considered to be the wellspring of what we call postmodern dance—has spent most of her long life shattering rules, conventions, expectations, and long-cherished ideals like so many porcelain teacups. . . . In this new cultural history and intellectual biography, Janice Ross has unscrolled a story—with her subject's full collaboration—that continuously reveals and surprises. It is a groundbreaking achievement in dance scholarship, commensurate with the work of Sally Banes, the scholar of postmodern dance to whom this book is affectionately dedicated."—Mindy Aloff, author of Dance Anecdotes

"This book is an eye-opener. It is fascinating to learn about the different creative periods in Anna Halprin's life, from her involvement with Jewish identity and culture, dance education, and Bauhaus emigrés in the thirties and forties to her relationship with the Beat poets in San Francisco, her influential summer workshops, and her exploration of ritual and performance from the fifties to the present."—Mark Franko, author of Excursion for Miracles: Paul Sanasardo, Donya Feuer and Studio for Dance (1955-1964)

"Janice Ross has done a masterful job of capturing the life, work, and impact of the little midwestern woman whose influence shaped the dance revolutions of the 1960s and 1970s, and whose greatest accomplishment may have been 'finding dance culture where no one else had looked.' Ross illuminates the West Coast roots of postmodernism, and outlines Halprin's accomplishments as a healer, which are still accruing after more than sixty years."—Elizabeth Zimmer, dance critic and editor
 

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Contents

ONE Why She Danced 19201938
1
THREE The Bauhaus and the Settlement House 19421945
49
FOUR Western Spaces 19451955 7 0
70
SIX Urban Rituals 19611967
154
SEVEN From Spectator to Participant 19671968
199
Dances of Aging 19922006
331
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
359
CHRONOLOGY OF PEFORMANCES VIDEOS AND FILMS
405
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
421
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Janice Ross is Associate Professor of Drama at Stanford University and the author of Moving Lessons: Margaret H'Doubler and the Beginning of Dance in American Education. Richard Schechner is University Professor and one of the founders of the Performance Studies Department at New York University.

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