Mark Constantine / Getty Images
Influential dancer and choreographer Anna Halperin She died at the age of 100. Her art extended to highly modernist works and collaborations with artists like John Cage to community-oriented projects that helped guide people through critical illnesses. She was her death Advertise By her family and did not give other details.
Born in Winnetka, Illinois, Anna Schumann was born in 1920, and Halperin began studying dance when she was a little girl. She later pursued her studies at the University of Wisconsin, where she met landscape architect Lawrence Halperin. They were married for 70 years before his death in 2009.
After World War II, the couple settled in San Francisco – a move that redirected Halperin away from the narrow modernist circles of their former home, New York City, and toward various paths. In 1955, Halprin founded the flagship company San Francisco Dancer WorkshopHer students included Simon Forte, Yvonne Rayner, Trisha Brown, and Meredith Monk. There she collaborated with composers John Cage, Terry Riley and La Monte Young, among other creative forces.
Her husband was an influential figure in his own sphere, designing the President Franklin Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C., as well as Gherardelli Square in San Francisco, a 1.5-mile lane through the Old City of Jerusalem and parts of the Bay. The couple also collaborated on the California Area Rapid Transit System: Mr. Halprin designed an outdoor deck in their home that served as a workspace for his wife, who wandered through redwoods by Mt. Tamalbais.
“This had an enormous impact on me,” said Anna Halperin. New York times In 2014. “The stage was a magnet for moving the stage to where people are, rather than expecting them to come to you.”
Arguably Halperin’s most famous work was in 1965 Marches and changesAnd in which her dancers took off their nude clothes. When the piece was first shown in 1967 at Hunter College in New York, it was immediately banned, and arrest warrants were issued for all the performers, including composer Morton Sobotnik.
Halprin was acutely aware of the power of art in addressing social issues. In the late 1960s, she combined black and white dancers for her work Our party. Later works including her The dance of the planetsCentered around the idea of community participation and renewal. The dance of the planets It is meant to be performed by anyone who chooses to participate. In her vision, dancing was a deeply democratic activity.
After she was diagnosed with cancer in the early 1970s, Halperin began to use dance as a tool for healing and for meeting the urgent needs of herself and others. She developed special programs for those suffering from cancer and AIDS. She founded with her daughter Daria in 1978 Tamalpa InstituteIt is the educational and research arm of Dancer Workshop. (The Halperin had another daughter, Rana.) Much of her work included the links between art and healing. As her husband was struggling, she created businesses like 2000 Intensive Care: Reflections on Dying and Dying.
In total, Halprin has created more than 150 dance pieces and has written three books, the most recent of which is in 2019 Making Significant Dances: Resources for Community CreativityWritten with psychotherapist Rachel Kaplan.
Halperin writes: “Part of the challenge I have faced in my work is to transfer our practice of predominantly decorative or performative dance to a place where it can serve the multiple needs of society, social needs and survival. This is a book about creating dances that matter to people in their real life, and reusing Dancing as a means of social change and community resilience. “