95 Rituals for Anna Halprin, 95
Anna Halprin, photo by Pak Han
What do Martha Graham, Ninette de Valois, Katherine Dunham, Freddie Franklin, Kazuo Ohno and now Anna Halprin have in common?
They all stayed active in dance past the age of 95.
Next week the Dancers’ Group celebrates visionary Anna Halprin’s birthday with a free performance series called 95 RITUALS. The series, from July 7 to 11 in San Francisco, is the collective mastermind of the international physical theater group—and 2008 “25 to Watch”—inkBoat.
“Anna is the stone, the rock. This rock drops into the pool and we’re all the little ripples that move out from the impact of the rock on the surface of the water.” —Shinichi Iova-Koga, artistic director of inkBOAT
inkBoat, photo courtesy inkBoat
Among those thousands of little ripples, 95 have contributed scores for this event. (I’m happy to say that I am one of them.) What are scores in dance? The idea initially came from composer Morton Subotnick, who collaborated with Halprin on her historic Parades and Changes in the ’60s. It’s a structure that can be as vague or precise as you want to make it. The instructions can be written or spoken, long and elaborate or short and simple. Below is an example of a score for 95 RITUALS; this one is contributed by the Bay Area’s wildman performance artist Keith Hennessy.
Keith Hennessy's contribution to 95 Rituals
Meredith Monk, who studied with Halprin long ago, said, “I thought her scoring was brilliant, how she took one concept and stuck with it.” (Janice Ross’ book: Anna Halprin: Experience as Dance.
One of the concepts Halprin stuck with is the annual Planetary Dance, which she’s been leading for 35 years. This exuberant ritual combines her love of nature, her commitment to community and her political activism. It’s been a gateway to her work for many people.
95 RITUALS will be a free, site-specific series for the ages. Tuesday–Saturday, July 7–11 at Hyde Street Pier at Fisherman’s Wharf, 2905 Hyde Street, San Francisco. Click here for more info.
Accompanying this series is a July 9th screening of Ruedi Gerber’s latest documentary, Journey in Sensuality—Anna Halprin and Rodin, followed by a Q&A with Anna and the filmmaker. (I loved his first film on her, Breath Made Visible.) For more info, click here or here.
Anna Halprin is a performer, choreographer, and educator who contributed to the pioneering of postmodern dance as well as somatic practices. 95 RITUALS is bound to be momentous.
Booking a gig on a cruise ship can feel like you're diving into the unknown—dropping everything to live in the middle of the ocean without family, friends or cell service. But cruise jobs can also offer incredible rewards, like traveling the world for free and delving into a new style.
Is ship life the right fit for you? Here are some elements to consider.
We knew that New York downtown dance darling Okwui Okpokwasili was a big deal. Critics and audiences have been raving about her dance-theater works for years, and the new documentary about her, Bronx Gothic, has attracted the attention of the larger arts community.
But never in our wildest dreams did we imagine she'd show up in a Jay Z video, along with flex dancer Storyboard P. Though we're slightly less surprised to see Storyboard in Jay Z's "4:44" video than we were to see Okpokwasili, we're jazzed that two of our favorites are featured on such a huge platform. (We're also feeling #blessed that we didn't have to subscribe to Tidal to watch this.)
Throughout the years, choreographer Seán Curran has worked with a diverse array of talented collaborators—from Kyrgyz music ensemble Ustatshakirt Plus to the the Grammy Award–winning King's Singers. But perhaps none are as meaningful as his most recent group of co-choreographers: At-risk teens from the after school program and nonprofit The Wooden Floor.
Curran has been in residence with The Wooden Floor since June, where he's worked with students to build choreography based on their lives and communities:
Their creation will be shown July 20-22 at The Wooden Floor Studio Theatre in Santa Ana, California.
"Besides the stage, baking is my other happy place," says New York City Ballet corps member Jenelle Manzi.
Four years ago, she thought her baking days were over when she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. Manzi had been dealing with pain, frequent illness and joint inflammation for nearly 10 years. Once she cut out gluten, Manzi gradually started to feel better, noticing a transformation in how her body felt and functioned. She found her joints were less inflamed, and she got sick less often.
New York City Ballet soloist Unity Phelan and American Ballet Theatre soloist Cassandra Trenary spend every day making their hard work look effortless and graceful both in the studio and onstage. That's exactly what makes them the perfect spokesmodels for the dance-inspired activewear line, Belle Force.
To celebrate our 90th anniversary, we excavated some of our favorite hidden gems from the DM Archives—images that capture a few of the moments in time we've documented over the decades.
This image was captured during a 1978 New York City Ballet tour that took the company to Copenhagen—home turf for Adam Luders (right), who trained at the Royal Danish Ballet School and briefly danced with the company before joining NYCB as a principal dancer in 1975. Next to Luders is (of course) George Balanchine, in conversation with ballerina Suzanne Farrell. And looking on with a smile? NYCB's current ballet master in chief Peter Martins.
On March 8, 2016, Rami Shafi found himself inspired to film an impromptu dance video of his best friend, Aaron Moses Robin, improvising on Gay St. in New York City's Greenwich Village. Thus was born Pedestrian Wanderlust, a collection of dance videos that has grown to include a monthly improv jam.
Shafi works with anyone who wants to take part in the project, filming videos in locations chosen by the dancers and later adding music. The videos are shot on Shafi's iPhone in one take and, other than the starting and ending points, are entirely improvised. The editing afterwards—including the music choice—is minimal. "I don't like to edit too much. It's just what it is," says Shafi. "I usually can do the editing on the train ride home."