Ground-breaking choreographer, dancer, and teacher Anna Halprin died on March 24, 2021, at her home in Kentfield, California. She was 100 years old. Halprin’s process-oriented work made a lasting mark on the arts of the San Francisco Bay Area and her influence is felt across the country and world.
The Creative Work Fund was fortunate to support her in two ways. The first was a 2012 grant in which she was the lead artist collaborating with the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive to re-stage Parades and Changes. The iconic work, which was controversial in its time, had been performed at the museum in 1970, on the occasion of its opening in a new building. The re-staging coincided with the museum’s departure from that building and marked a kind of ritual closing. It was directed by Jim Cave with music by its original composer Morton Subotnick. Two years later, performer Shinichi Iova-Koga and a host of other artists collaborated with Dancers’ Group to create a tribute to Halprin, 95 Rituals (for Anna Halprin), a series of works that culminated with free, site-specific performances in 2015.
At the time when 95 Rituals was presented, Wayne Hazzard of Dancers’ Group wrote, “Being able to support an artist over time, in a variety of ways, is one of the great privileges of my work —and I marvel at how special this connection continues to be for me and so many others.” His sentiment is felt today by the Creative Work Fund as our team reflects on its good fortune in having connected with Anna Halprin, and as we share our condolences with her family and to all who were privileged to connect with her.