Filmmaker Ruedi Gerber and dancer Anna Halprin talked about the pleasures and perils of creating what Gerber calls an experiential documentary about his longtime friend, Anna Halprin.
During our conversation on March 31, 2010, she discussed what she can dance now at almost 90 that would have been impossible for her to embody earlier, when she realized that dance could be more than a mere performance, but also a catalyst and a catharsis, and how an iconoclastic dance piece about eating lunch led to creating a groundbreaking use of dance as vehicle for social and personal change during and because of the Watts riots of the 1960s.
For his part, Gerber explained his influence on him over the years as he turned from theater actor to filmmaker, and why drawing is an integral part of his process.
BREATH MADE VISIBLE is a documentary produced and directed by Gerber about Halprin’s remarkable life in dance, where she broke barriers, flirted with criminal prosecution, and redefined what that art form, was and could be over a career that has spanned more than seven decades. More, her work has questioned why there should be a separation between art and life, infusing her work with a social consciousness that challenged audiences as well as going straight for their heart.