Do not miss the one week theatrical run of BREATH MADE VISIBLE beginning on April 2nd in San Francisco!! The film will play at the Roxie Theatre and Rialto Cinemas Elmwood. For more information visit www.roxie.com or http://www.rialtocinemas.com/index.php?location=elmwood.
Stay tuned for more theatrical announcements!
Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Dance Films Association at the Walter Reade Theater
Reviewed by Lisa Jo Sagolla
January 27, 2010
‘Breath Made Visible’
Scheduled for theatrical release this spring, director Ruedi Gerber’s “Breath Made Visible” gives the viewer an opportunity to spend 80 glorious minutes with the incomparable Halprin, an artist who stretched the boundaries of dance to the point where dancing and living became one and the same. An intelligent, beautifully photographed, smartly edited film, the documentary intersperses performance clips of Halprin with striking archival photographs and interview footage in which she, now 90, expresses her holistic notions of self, nature, and the dancing body. “Dance is the breath made visible,” Halprin says.
Having abandoned a professional dance career in New York to live with her husband in California, Halprin exerted her powerful influence on the dance world from a West Coast base. Beginning in the 1950s, she did much of her work on an enormous wooden deck her landscape-architect husband built for her among the trees behind their home.
Concentrating on Halprin’s organic integration of her personal life and her art, Gerber’s film reveals not only the important artistic influences Halprin had on such distinguished artists as Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, and Yvonne Rainer, but also what a groundbreaking force Halprin was in political and other cultural arenas. Halprin claims that her San Francisco–based troupe was America’s first interracial dance company. She was one of the earliest choreographers to work closely with psychologists and actors, exploring the deep connections between emotions and the physical body, and she made significant contributions to our understandings of dance as a healing art.
This week Breath Made Visible will make it’s New York debut at the 2010 Dance on Camera Film Festival to be held at the Walter Reade Theatre.
An excerpt from the piece:
“Breath Made Visible” (2009; 80 minutes) honors another 90-year-old, the dancer-choreographer-teacher and West Coast dance pioneer Anna Halprin. At times there is a “There’s life in this old buzzard yet” streak in her appearances here that’s irksome, and there is plenty that’s bizarre. But stay with it. Ms. Halprin becomes quite as rich a subject for film as Ms. Monk: another odd face, another wonderfully calm (though ardently enthusiastic) and open talker, another (and senior) artist who responds to both politics and scenery.
Though Ms Halprin may never have had the national or international fame of, say, Nikolais, she is actually less in danger of long-term oblivion because of her direct influence on, and encouragement of, generations of famous experimentalists, notably Merce Cunningham (there is an exceptional film clip of him as young dancer performing in her “Dance Deck”) and Trisha Brown. O pioneers!
For modern dance and performance art fans Meredith Monk: Inner Voice provides peace and tranquility and a transcendent beauty with its Buddhist philosopy while Breath Made Visibleexplores the bold life and work of dance pioneer Anna Halprin whose philosophy permeates every frame of this uplifting film: It proudly declares, “Create, Create, Create” which is what Anna has been doing in her fabulous Mill Valley enclave for decades.
You might know Anne Bass as a patron of the arts, a long-time supporter of the ballet, but now she becomes a filmmaker with the DOC’s opening film, Dancing Across Borders. This is a look at dancer Sakvannnara (“Sy”) Sar, whom Anne discovered in his Cambodian homeland, a dance talent that needed nurturing. The film traces Sy’s journey from Angor Wat to SAB and Pacific Northwest Ballet where he currently performs. How does a kid who never saw a ballet become a ballet dancer? What are the obstacles he has to endure? Will he succeed in his life and in his art? See the film on Jan 29 and join in on the discussion.