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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: growth of dance in America
(Summer-Fall, 1976)

Halprin, Anna
Regionalization of dance: [a gift to the people of San Francisco from the San Francisco Dancers' Workshop],   pp. 316-[321] PDF (5.4 MB)


Page 316


by Anna Halprin
Founder of San Francisco Dancers' Workshop,
where she has developed her approach to the
movement art, for which she was awarded a
Guggenheim Fellowship in 1971. She has
authored Movement Ritual and co-authored
When a School Comes Home, Exit to Enter,
and Second Collected Writings.
Someone once asked me what was my favorite
dance piece that I had created in the past
twenty years. I answered "What I'm doing
now." I always feel that way about any piece
that I'm working on at the moment. At the
moment I'm enthusiastically engaged in a
year long series called "A Workshop for the
People of San Francisco." A lot of energy,
provocation and excitement has been gen-
erated so far and we are mid-way through the
series. The purpose of this article is to share
this experience wih you.
Background
During the great burst of discussions initiated
by the notion of the Bicentennial, Henry Hop-
kins, director of the San Francisco Museum of
Modern Art, called me on the phone to invite
me for lunch to talk over ideas in relationship
to my participation in Bicentennial activities
to take place at the Museum. Henry sug-
gested a revisit of Parades and Changes to be
performed by the Dancers' Workshop Coin-
316
pany. I agreed that Parades and Changes
was an excellent selection since that piece
symbolized a culmination of vital, productive
collaboration of San Francisco artists and a
fruition of the avant-garde art of the 1960's.
The period of the sixties was incredibly crea-
tive and produced a stream of innovative
theatre ideas. At the Dancers' Workshop, a
cross-fertilization took place between artists
like Terry Riley, La Monte Young, Morton
Subotnik, Luciano Berio, Pauline Oliveros
(musicians), and James Broughton, Richard
Brautigan, Gary Snyder (poets and film-
makers), Charles Ross, Bob Morris (sculptors),
the late Kenneth Dewey, and dancers like
Simone Forte, Trish Brown, Yvonne Rainer,
Meredith Monk, and the on-going company of
A. A. Leath, John Graham, Daria Halprin, and
Norma Leistiko. Also environmentalists Patric
Hickey, Lawrence Halprin and Jo Landor.
(Forgive me if I've omitted anyone, which
surely I have, since so many important artists
were contributing towards this collaborative
process). To go back to this period now and
attempt to reproduct this work of the sixties is
not like pulling out a painting from the stor-
age room. I would have to reproduce the
"flower children" of that period to be the
dance-performers and the collaborators of the
artists. Like me, they too have spiraled up to
newer concerns. The energy of the sixties has
already been recycled into a new form of
expression in the seventies.
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