Revolutionary dancer and choreographer Anna Halprin shares her inspirational life in the unforgettable new documentary BREATH MADE VISIBLE. Producer-director Ruedi Gerber (HEARTBREAK HOSPITAL) lets the innovative dance pioneer tell her own story, starting out as a child of the Great Depression, through her years dancing with and/or teaching Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, Eiko and Koma, and Meredith Monk. The film reveals her remarkable battle with cancer and her long, beautiful relationship with her husband, landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, as well her life today. As Halprin approaches ninety, she is still performing, teaching, and choreographing in her unique way. Gerber tracks down amazing archival footage of Halprin from throughout her career, including many gatherings on the deck she and her husband built at their home, a sort of hippie commune in Marin County. In her work, Halprin gets close to nature, allowing the body to express deeply felt emotions while exploring its spiritual presence and its relationship with the land. The documentary features clips from such pieces as “Planetary Dance: A Prayer for Peace,” “Circle the Earth,” “Parades and Changes,” “Intensive Care, Reflections on Death and Dying,” “Seniors Rocking,” and, most dramatically, her 2003 one-woman show at the Joyce in Chelsea and her epic outdoor elegy “Return to Home.”
Halprin is an engaging, generous figure who seems to have thoroughly processed her life experiences, intelligently assessing her vast history as she reunites with longtime partners John Graham and A. A. Leath, deals with her husband’s fading health, shares even the most personal stories without fear or regret, and exhibits an infectious joie de vivre that will have viewers reconnecting with themselves and reevaluating their own destinies. Halprin clearly cherishes every moment of her life, just as audiences will cherish every moment of BREATH MADE VISIBLE. As a special treat, Gerber and Halprin will be at Cinema Village on Friday and Saturday nights to talk about the film but even more exciting is that Halprin will be leading a rare all-day New York City workshop, addressing the question “How does dance inform our real life relationships with our own bodies in interaction with others and in community?” at Judson Memorial Church on Saturday that’s not limited to experienced dancers, so don’t miss what should be an incredible, very special event.