Mapping Dance Exhibition

Redefining Choreography

In the mid-1950s, Halprin began to reject the idea of choreography as a series of fixed movement phrases. Searching for a new working process, she re-examined the theatrical elements available to her and reconceptualized her role as choreographer. Through her collaborations with experimental composers, visual artists, and poets, Halprin invented new possibilities for dance. These dance works employed novel compositional structures, setting up situations in which the performers collectively undertook unconventional movement tasks. The performances were risky, spontaneous, and constantly evolving. While presented in traditional performance venues, Halprin’s new dances eschewed traditional sensibilities. It was during the creation of these works that Halprin developed and honed her concept of dance scoring.

Engaging Audiences

Attendees of Halprin’s experimental performances during the 1960s occasionally responded loudly and violently. Not intending to provoke her audiences, Halprin realized she needed to cultivate her spectators as much as she did her dancers. To do this, Halprin crafted public participatory performance works that explored the relationship between audience and performer, developing a partnership where there had been a divide. People of all ages and backgrounds were invited to participate alongside members of San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop in evenings of mutual creation. Through these performance events, Halprin reframed the role of the artist as a guide whose responsibility is to evoke the art within others. Beginning with Myths (1967) and continuing through the annual City Dance events of the 1970s, Halprin brought the public into her dance-making practice.

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Score for Birds of America or Gardens without Walls
Graphite and Colored Pencil on Paper
Choreography by Anna Halprin and San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop
Premiere: 29 November, 1960, Contemporary Dancers Center, San Francisco
Collaborators: John Graham, Daria Halprin, Rana Halprin, A. A. Leath, LaMonte Young (music), Jo Landor (art direction), Patric Hickey (lighting)
Anna Halprin Papers, Museum of Performance + Design
Score for Birds of America, 1960
or Gardens without Walls
Photo by Jamie Lyons
Poster for Halprin's "The Four Legged Stool"
Ink on Paper
Choreography by Anna Halprin and San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop
Premiere: 24 September, 1961, San Francisco Playhouse
Collaborators: John Graham, A. A. Leath, Lynne Palmer, Terry Riley (music), Jo Landor (art direction), Patric Hickey (lighting)
Anna Halprin Papers, Museum of Performance + Design
Audio label by Anna Halprin (click for transcript)
Poster for The Four-Legged Stool, 1961
Score for The Five-legged Stool
Ink on Paper
Lawrence Halprin, artist
Choreography by Anna Halprin and San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop
Premiere: 29 April, 1962, San Francisco Playhouse
Collaborators: John Graham, A. A. Leath, Lynne Palmer, Morton Subotnick (music), Jo Landor (art direction), Patric Hickey (lighting), Kenneth Dewey (production director), Jerry Walters (stage manager), Dancers’ Workshop Co-Op
Anna Halprin Papers, Museum of Performance + Design
Score for The Five-Legged Stool, 1962
Photo by Jamie Lyons
Score for Procession
Ink on Paper
Choreography by Anna Halprin and San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop
Premiere: 10 November, 1964, Royce Hall, University of California, Los Angeles
Collaborators: John Graham, Daria Halprin, Rana Halprin, A. A. Leath, Lucy Lewis, Morton Subotnick (music), Charles Ross (sculpture), Jo Landor (artistic director), Patric Hickey (lighting)
Anna Halprin Papers, Museum of Performance + Design
Video excerpt from Procession: Contemporary Directions in American Dance
Produced and Directed by Mark McCarty
Dancers: Anna Halprin, Daria Halprin, John L. Graham, Charles Ross, A.A. Leath Jr., Rana Halprin, Lucy Lewis.
Score for Procession, 1964
Photo by Jamie Lyons
Copy of dance score "Elements" from Halprin's "Parades and Changes", Scoring system for Stockholm

Choreography by Anna Halprin and San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop
Premiere: 5 September, 1965, Stockholms Festspel, Stockholms Stadsteatern, Sweden (Stockholm Festival, Stockholm City Theatre)
Collaborators: Larri Goldsmith, Paul Goldsmith, John Graham, Kim Hahn, Daria Halprin, Rana Halprin, A. A. Leath, Jani Novak, Folke Rabe (music), Morton Subotnick (music), Charles Ross (sculpture), Jo Landor (costumes), Patric Hickey (lighting)
Anna Halprin Papers, Museum of Performance + Design

Score for Parades and Changes, 1965
Score for "Myths: Myth One - Creation" Score for "Myths - Myth Two: Atonement"
Felt Tip Marker and Ink on Paper
Choreography by Anna Halprin and San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop
Premiere: 5 October – 14 December, 1967, San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop
Collaborators: Patric Hickey (lighting, environment), Casey Sonnabend (music), Seymour Locks (sculpture), members of San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop, the audience
Scores: Creation, Atonement
Anna Halprin Papers, Museum of Performance + Design
Scores for Myths, 1967

Dance score for Halprin's "Initiations and Transformations" Dance score for Halprin's "Initiations and Transformations"
Felt Tip Marker and Ink on Paper
Choreography by Anna Halprin and San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop
Premiere: 12 November, 1971, City Center, New York
Collaborators: Robert Conley, Xavier Nash, Ben Marcel Santiago, Sir Lawrence Washington, Fletcher James Hall III (sound), John Hopkins (incantations), Richard Friedman (music), Patric Hickey (environment, art direction), Jo Landor (production director), the audience
Anna Halprin Papers, Museum of Performance + Design
Score for Initiations and Transformations, 1971
Score for City Dance '78
Felt Tip Marker and Ink on Paper
Score Reconstruction by Siobhan Aluvalot after the original choreography by Anna Halprin and San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop
Performed: 10 June, 1978, Various Locations Throughout San Francisco
Collaborators: Jim Burns, Jim Cave, Ruth Eckland, Lawrence Halprin, Fran Harriman, James Hurd Nixon, Steve Levine, Thomas Maguire, Diane Miller, Ann O’Kelly, Sandy Park, Nathan Stinson, Suki Rappaport, people of the Bay Area
Anna Halprin Papers, Museum of Performance + Design
Audio label by Anna Halprin (click for transcript)
Score for City Dance ’78, 1978
Photo by Jamie Lyons
Score for Male & Female Dance Rituals
Felt Tip Marker, Ink, and Crayon, on Paper
Anna Halprin, Lawrence Halprin, Nathan Stinson, Buck O’Kelly, artists
Choreography by Anna Halprin and San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop
Premiere: 17 March, 1978, City Center, New York
Collaborators: Daria Halprin, Lawrence Halprin, James Hurd Nixon, Ann O’Kelly, Buck O’Kelly, Suki Rappaport, Nathan Stinson, Kirk Nurock (music), Alice Eve Cohen (music), Skip La Plante (music), Natural Sound (music), the audience
Anna Halprin Papers, Museum of Performance + Design
Score for Male & Female Dance Rituals, 1978
Photo by Jamie Lyons
Score for  Eating Ritual
Felt Tip Marker on Paper
Choreography by Anna Halprin and San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop
Performed: 8 February, 1981
Anna Halprin Papers, Museum of Performance + Design
Score for Eating Ritual, 1981
Photo by Jamie Lyons
Score for In and On the Mountain
Ink, Crayon, Felt Tip Marker, and Acrylic on Paper
Choreography by Anna Halprin
Performed: 11-12 April, 1981, College of Marin and Mount Tamalpais State Park
Collaborators: Kirk Norwick (music), Jo Landor (artistic director), Patric Hickey (lighting), Joan Sommers (set design), Kush (poetry and narration), Search of Living Myths and Rituals through Dance & Environment Workshop Participants, Tamalpa Institute
Anna Halprin Papers, Museum of Performance + Design
Audio label by Anna Halprin (click for transcript)
Score for In and On the Mountain, 1981
Photo by Jamie Lyons
Poster for Search for Living Myths and Rituals through Dance & Environment
Ink and Felt Tip Marker on Paper
Lawrence Halprin, artist
Workshops and Events by Anna Halprin
Collaborators: Lawrence Halprin, San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop, Tamalpa Institute, people of the Bay Area
Anna Halprin Papers, Museum of Performance + Design
Poster for Search for Living Myths and Rituals through Dance & Environment, 1982
Photo by Jamie Lyons
Mapping Dance Exhibition