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Legendary Anna Halprin at REDCAT

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photo credit to Jerôme Delatour

photo credit to Jerôme Delatour
The illustrious downtown theater in the basement of Frank Gehry's iconic Disney Hall, REDCAT is bringing a dance classic onto its stage this week. But NOT ballet, to be sure! This week, the now near ninety year old pioneer Anna Halprin is presenting her 1965 masterpiece parades & changes, replays with an international cast of highly regarded performers and including the work's composer, the legendary electronic music trailblazer, Morton Subotnick.With a handful of additional collaborators on hand to sweeten the pot, parades . . . replays is a re-interpretation of the original choreography--a series of movement and music scores within which the artists improvise, dress and undress, carry out everyday tasks, invent gestures and disappear within swirling rolls of paper. Censored when the work premiered in New York, the piece is a landmark in the creation of the post modern dance that we know of today. When first seen, the production challenged the traditional conceptions of the body, stillness and the "ceremony of trust," Halprin's label for the relationship between performer and audience.

Each of the artists has filled a lifetime with invention, creation and ongoing activity. The choreographer continues to make new work in her base in northern California and Subotnick is a highlight in the CalArts music department.

My guess is that the show may not shock the cognizants in the audience as it did back in the day, but recognizing that all this happened in the 60s, when dance was either ballet or Martha Graham/Jose Limon/Doris Humphrey (with whom Halprin danced) and music was barely connected to electricity is revolutionary!

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