Anna Halprin, a Marin County resident for over fifty years, has won national and international awards in recognition of her prestigious achievements as a dancer and choreographer. Halprin is considered to be one of the most highly esteemed 20th century dancers, whose ranks include celebrities such as Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey and Merce Cunningham. She has received the largest dance award in the country, the Samual H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement.
Since the late 1930s, Halprin has revolutionized her art form and has inspired fellow choreographers to take modern dance to new dimensions. She has been an innovator throughout her career, experimenting with improvisation, with the audience-performer relationship, and with the place of dance in the social and political realms.
In the early 70s, when she was diagnosed with cancer, Halprin’s focus shifted to healing, not only for herself, but for others and for the planet. This concern led her to work with cancer patients, and to create healing rituals for the community. One such ritual, the “Circle the Earth” dance, is performed annually at Easter on Mt. Tamalpais and has been introduced in thirty-six countries throughout the world. Her “Planetary Dance: A Prayer for Peace,” was staged in Berlin at an event commemorating the end of World War II. In 1995, Halprin was invited by Mikhail Gorbachev to present an invocation at the State of the World Forum in California. She published Dance as a Healing Art, as a source of guidance and support for those living with a life threatening illness.