Talks and Screenings
Provided to accompany productions by the company …& alters
Anna Halprin and the origins of performance - Talk by Jacqueline Caux
Long before it took New York by storm, California saw the emergence of a highly unique form of artistic expression in the second half of the 1950s that later came to be known as ‘performance’. Anna Halprin was a key initiator of the movement. She shattered all the conventions of contemporary dance, primarily by researching everyday movements and actions and inventing the innovative concept of tasks. On her outdoor dance stage, her ceaseless investigations attracted a constant stream of young and as-yet-unknown artists, including dancers, such as Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown, and Meredith Monk, the sculptor Robert Morris, composers, plastic artists, poets, and filmmakers etc.
– Jacqueline Caux is a film director and independent documentary film producer.
Anna Halprin: choreography with the city - Talk by Julie Perrin
In the middle of the 1960s, Anna Halprin, her husband (an architect and landscaper) and dancers from the San Francisco Dancer’s Workshop, experimented with new and different methods of creativity. Rather than choreographed shows, Halprin talked about ‘myths’, ‘shared creations’, ‘ceremonies’, and ‘rituals’. These participative forms were performed outside theatres: in studios, museums, outdoors, and in urban centres. With City Dance (1976), the choreography took on grander dimensions: collective creativity within and with the environment brought choreographic knowledge into public spaces and shook up the way we live together in cities.
– Julie Perrin is a university lecturer and researcher in the Dance Department at Paris 8 Saint-Denis University (MUSIDANSE laboratory) and a scientist at IUF (2016-2021).
Who says i have to dance in a theater ? – Film by Jacqueline Caux, 2003, 50 min
Filmed in two locations - Paris, where Halprin recreated the three most symbolic pieces in her body of work at the age of 84 when she was invited for the first time; and California, where Halprin had been living and working since the start of the 1950s - this film reveals Anna Halprin’s highly unique approach to choreography. Halprin said, ‘dance does not have to be beautiful, it is simply part of life.’
My lunch with Anna – Film by Alain Buffard, 2005, 58 min
In this highly emotional film, Alain Buffard presents his meeting with Anna Halprin through a series of spoken/danced sequences, forming a dialogue between two generations of choreographers in which speech is used discreetly and reveals two people who are deeply attached to life.
Le souffle de la danse (The breath of dance) – Film by Ruedi Gerber, 2009, 1h22
Anna Halprin redefined modern art with her conviction that dance can transform and heal at any stage in life. A portrait of an icon, expressed as a constant feedback loop between movement and breath, art and life, where dance is the only dominion, and the only rule is: ‘Dance your life!’
Exhibition of the cards and graphic scores by Mathias Poisson
Anne Collod invited Mathias Poisson to support the process of recreating Parades & Changes from its very beginning. Poisson created graphic expressions of the show’s scores, found in Anna Halprin’s archive, and of the working elements devised by Anne Collod and the team to recreate them.
This work has resulted in an exhibition that brings together the various scores and game cards drawn up by Poisson during the reinterpretation of Parades & Changes. It also features various elements of Mathias Poisson’s work, in particular, many maps of promenades or walks taken during different events.
– Mathias Poisson is an artist, performer and draughtsman, he uses promenades or walks as a field of artistic experimentation.
The esteemed pioneer of post-American dance, Anna Halprin, revolutionised her field in the 1950s, aspiring to something freer, more inclusive, and participative. With her profound social engagement and fierce opposition to intellectualism, she broke down the frontiers between art and life and constantly reinvented herself to keep step with her contemporaries.
Anne Collod met Anna Halprin in 2003 and they maintained a fruitful two-way working relationship until Anna Halprin’s death in 2021. Working closely with Halprin, Anne Collod recreated Halprin’s two most pioneering works Parades & Changes (1965) et Blank Placard Dance (1967). Anne Collod also created a new production for young audiences that cultivates playfulness and group spirit - both key forces in Halprin’s work.