BREATH MADE VISIBLE is the first feature length film about the life and career of Anna Halprin, the American dance pioneer who has helped redefine our notion of modern art with her belief ... See full summary »
BREATH MADE VISIBLE is the first feature length film about the life and career of Anna Halprin, the American dance pioneer who has helped redefine our notion of modern art with her belief in dance's power to teach, heal, and transform at all ages of life. This cinematic portrait blends recent interviews with counterparts such as the late Merce Cunningham, archival footage, including her establishment of the first multiracial dance company in the U.S., and excerpts of current performances such as "Parades and Changes" at the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, to weave a stunning, inspiring account of one of the most important cultural icons in modern dance. Written by
ZAS Film AG
The dancing of Anna Halprin, now in her eighties, is the subject of this film. She still dances. Formerly (before the onset of infirmities and several bouts with cancer) she, as a modern dancer, "lived to dance." Now, she tells us, she dances to live. That is the theme of this remarkable movie. What is dance, what is poetry, what is music, what is art, what is theatre? They are, Halprin asserts, inseparable from the breath we issue and draw in. We, especially if we are creative persons, need realize the simple truth of "we breathe to live, we don't live to breathe." To believe, as too many creative persons do, that (instead) we live to create poems, artwork, music and so forth, is to diminish ourselves without real humility and to glorify ourselves without real confidence.
I especially enjoyed Halprin's discussion of "reverence for the aged body." She does not mean reverence as making symbolic gestures of submission. She means reverence such as knowing that the land we live on is not just real estate or that the sea is more than a highway. This knowledge, and reverence, is often neglected or ignored. The attraction of the mature female form, illustrated by Anna Halprin's graceful authority in this film, need no longer be an unspeakable subject, and is essential to what can make us human.
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