BREATH MADE VISIBLE
Directed by Ruedi Gerber
Best 2010 Documentary Film
Interview of Anna Halprin, Houston Chronicle
"Gerber captures Halprin's life and work with grace and reverence".
Nancy Wozny, Houston Chronicle
"[an] extraodinary respect shown by the filmmaker for aging and its artistic ramifications as manifest in the body, mind, and spirit of one remarkable woman".
Michael Wade Simpson, 4 chiles, Santa Fe New Mexican
"A perfect space for her continuing legacy to move and breathe".
Valentina Tapia, Tiny Mix Tapes
"An admiring documentary portrait of Anna Halprin, a woman so remarkable it is hard to fit her into the confines of a film, let alone a sentence."
"An interesting contemplation about what it means to live an artistic life".
"Exquisite and engrossing"
"A vivid and haunting portrait"
"A simple and profound statement about the power of art to heal and transform our lives."
"Seeing this film—with its whimsy, warmth, affection, and humor—one comes away with a sense of Anna Halprin as a national treasure."
"Packed with illuminating interviews and lyrical movement, “Breath Made Visible” portrays a woman with angels in her feet and innovation in her blood. Long may she rock."
"A loving, energetically composed documentary treatment that
makes a convincing case for her place in American cultural and social
"An excellent introduction to post-modern dance and to an iconic American artist".
"Halprin clearly cherishes every moment of her life, just as audiences will cherish every moment of BREATH MADE VISIBLE".
"A fascinating testimonial to the healing age- defying powers of both [Anna Halprin's] art and artistry".
" A fascinating history of postmodern dance as seen through the the life of one of its innovators".
"It's hard to overestimate the influence the dancer and choreographer Anna Halprin has had on New York dance, even though she has made a point of staying far from the city [...]."
THE NEW YORK TIMES, Julie Bloom
"[...] stirring, magnificently edited"
Feature: "The dancer from the Dance"
" [...] a portrait of an anything but conventional woman, artist and thinker."
" It's no small feat to make a legend life-size and accessible without despelling her greatness and mystique, yet Gerber pulls off a delicate tightrope act with relaxed ease."
"Engaging. Illustrative. The quintessential Left Coast choreographer Anna Halprin has helped push the boundaries of modern dance.
VARIETY , Dennis Harvey
" A fascinating subject"
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, Leba Hertz
"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."
" An intelligent, beautifully photographed, smartly edited film [...]. Gerber's film reveals not only the important artistic influences Halprin had on such distinghuished artists as Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, and Yvonne Rainer, but also what a groundbreaking force Halprin was in political and other cultural arenas."
For the last seven decades, Anna Halprin, the American dance pioneer, has redefined our notions of modern art by exploring one question in her work: What is important in life? The search for that answer has ushered in such revolutionary experimentation in theater, music, and performance that it's reach extends beyond the arts and into our cultural conscious. Anna has not only succeeded in fusing art and life but has developed a new mindset: one that hails the vitality of existence and debunks the 'limitations of age.'
BREATH MADE VISIBLE is the first feature documentary about the life and career of
Anna Halprin. The film takes its audience from Halprin’s initial explorations of dance in
her childhood to the experimental performances conducted on a dance deck under
Californian redwood trees, through her spectacular tours in Europe, her withdrawal from
the stage due to illness, and, finally, her triumphant return.
Previously unreleased archival footage further extends the subject matter from a
personal portrait of an artist to what is essentially the history of the socially and
politically committed art of dance performance in North America. In a profoundly
touching interview, the late Merce Cunningham reflects: “Anna is a prophet, a philosopher.” In 1955, Anna established the world-famous San Francisco Dancers
Workshop, which included John Graham and A.A. Leath. They would go on to earn
the highest critical acclaim and controversy in Sweden while causing scandal in the U.S. for their use of nudity in their performances. In the ‘60s, Halprin would break down more
barriers by finding the first multicultural dance company – a poignant symbol of black
and white coming together.
At the heart of the film is Anna's relationship to her husband and world renowned
architect, Lawrence Halprin (Roosevelt Memorial), which allows the film to transcend
the medium of dance, just as Anna’s work does, to become a universal tale about survival and expression.
An early pioneer in the expressive arts healing movement, the film delves into Anna's
work with cancer patients (Anna herself is a survivor), AIDS patients, and the elderly
through the use of dance as a method of healing and becoming whole. As she recalls:
“Before I had cancer, I lived my life for my art, after I had cancer I lived my art for my
The recent battles that her own husband has been waging with illness would lead Anna to turn her grief into art once more through the dance routine “Intensive Care” in 2004. With the aid of truly awe-inspiring footage, Halprin can be seen making her triumphant return to the stage at the youthful age of 80. A few years later, during her 15 minute solo performance at the sold out Joyce Theater in New York, Halprin profoundly whispered to her audience: “There are so many more dances yet to do – with all you!”
January 12, 2012
December 5, 2011
November 13, 2011
Boston Jewish Film Festival
Museum of Fine Arts
May 14 & 15, 2011
April 11, 2011
Portland Jewish Film Festival
March 18-27, 2011, Montpelier, VT
April 1-3, 2011, St. Johnsbury, VT
Green Mountain Film Festival
February 20-27, 2011
January 27, 2011
Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival
Las Vegas, NV
January 20 - 22, 2011
Court Square Theater
January 23, 2011
Tuscon International Jewish Film Festival
November 21, 2010
Rafael Film Center
San Rafael, CA
Anna Halprin in person 4:15pm
November 21, 2010
November 20, 2010
Teaneck International Film Festival
Director Ruedi Gerber in person
November 13 -14, 2010 at 7pm
November 20 - 21, 2010 at 5pm
Cinéma du Parc
September 17-19, 2010
Webster University Film Series
St Louis, MO
September 17- 18, 2010
Portland Art Museum
Anna Halprin in person on Sept.18 at 7PM
July 18 & August 17, 2010
Point Arena, CA
Anna Halprin in person!
July 9-11, 2010
Museum of Fine Arts
June 4-July 8, 2010
June 3-6, 2010
May 21-27, 2010
May 21-22, 2010
April 23- May 20, 2010
May 7-20, 2010
May 15-16, 2010
May 15, 2010 -- 8:00PM
May 15, 2010
May 7-12, 2010
May 8-9, 2010
April 16-22, 2010
April 17, 2010
April 2-22, 2010
April 2-15, 2010
April 2-8, 2010
March 15, 2010
February 12-21, 2010
Februrary 11-14, 2010
January 29 & February 1, 2010
© Argot Pictures 2006. All rights reserved.