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In the face of the world’s uncertainties, we dance together to create a strong, determined and joyous unified voice that can generate a positive effect.” – Anna Halprin

Dance in the Spirit of Anna Halprin

UW-Madison Dance Department

Circle the Earth is a peace dance. Not a dance about peace, not a dance for peace, but a peace dance: a dance in the spirit in peace. It is a dance that embodies our fears of death and destruction, a dance that becomes a bridge and then crosses over into the dynamic state of being called peace. Circle the Earth is a dance of peacemakers. A dance that makes peace within itself, makes peace with the Earth on which it moves. In a world where war has become a national science, peacemaking must become a community art in the deepest sense of the word: an exemplification of our ability to cooperate in creation, an expression of our best collective aspirations, and a powerful act of magic.”
– Anna Halprin

Dear Madison dancers,

I would like to invite you to participate in my two-week residency: "Dance in the Spirit of Anna Halprin" from September 19-30. This is part of the UW-Madison Dance Department's 90th-year anniversary celebration, and are three different events at Lathrop Hall you can join:

  • Screening of "Breath Made Visible", an award-winning documentary about Anna's life from the Swiss filmmaker Reudi Gerber - 3 to 4:30 PM, Friday September 23

  • "Community Class" 11am-12:30 PM, Saturday, September 24, RM 349 Lathrop

  • Circle the Earth – A Dance in the Spirit of Peace”. This is an opportunity for community dancers to join UW dance students in a reconstruction of one of Anna Halprin’s seminal pieces. Circle the Earth evolved over the course of 10 years (1981-1991) from a performance piece of 15 performers to a community ritual of over 120 performers. Various themes have been evoked in this evolution, from reclaiming a local mountain from a trailside killer to supporting the health of people with HIV and Cancer. Even though there have been variations in the themes, the nine scores that compose the dance create a consistent infrastructure that can be adapted by any community. It would be wonderful to have seasoned, mature dancers joining the students to create a more balanced community.
  • Week One: September 19 – 24: Monday, 9/19, through Wednesday, 9/21, 6:10 to 9 PM, Friday, 9/23 from 6-9 PM, and Saturday, 9/24 from 2-5 PM. Week Two: September 26 – 30, Monday, 9/26, through Thursday, 9/29, 6:10 to 9 PM; and Friday, 9/30, 3 – 4:30 PM Performance.

Anna Halprin, one of UW-Madison Dance's most illustrious graduates, is considered a mother of post-modern dance. At the age of 96, she continues to teach, explore and innovate. I began to apprentice with Anna in 1986, and have been faculty at Tamalpa Institute in Marin County, California ever since. I am excited to represent her legacy in the dance department, where it all began for me in 1978 in a dance improvisation class with graduate student Barbara Bruce! And I look forward to sharing the dance with you...


Jamie McHugh

Jamie with Anna Halprin