My lunch with Anna
When French choreographer Alain Buffard set out to create a film about the legendary American choreographer Anna Halprin, the pair staged a series of lunches on sites that were used for her performances, including Washington Square in San Francisco, the Berkeley Art Museum and Stinson Beach. The result is a move away from the documentary form, nor merely a film about dance, but instead a dialogue between two artists of different generations and geographies. More than a performance or a film, the project became an extended interview with astonishing moments of exchange.
Source : Alain Buffard Company
Since the late 1930s Anna Halprin has been creating revolutionary directions for dance, inspiring artists in all fields. Through her students Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, and Simone Forti, Anna strongly influenced New York’s Judson Dance Theater, one of the seedbeds of postmodern dance. Defying traditional notions of dance, Anna has extended its boundaries to address social issues, build community, foster both physical and emotional healing, and connect people to nature. In response to the racial unrest of the 1960s, she brought together a group of all-black and a group of all-white dancers in a collaborative performance, Ceremony of Us. She then formed the first multiracial dance company and increasingly focused on social justice themes. When she was diagnosed with cancer in the early 1970s, she used dance as part of her healing process and subsequently created innovative dance programs for cancer and AIDS patients.
With her husband, the landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, Anna developed methods of generating collective creativity. During the late 1960s and early 70s, they led a series of workshops called “Experiments in the Environment,” bringing dancers, architects, and other artists together and exploring group creativity in relation to awareness of the environment, in both rural and urban settings. Increasingly, Anna’s performances moved out of the theater and into the community, helping people address social and emotional concerns.
Over her long career Anna has created more than 150 dance theater works and written three books. Many of her dances have grown out of her life experiences. After her husband faced a life-threatening crisis, for instance, she developed the performance Intensive Care: Reflections on Death and Dying (2000). Facing her own aging, she worked with older people in her community to evolve "Seniors Rocking" (2005), performed by over 50 elders outdoors in rocking chairs. To honor the memory of her husband, she created a trilogy, including "Spirit of Place", a site-specific work in an outdoor theater space he had designed (performed in 2009, shortly before his death). In 2013 she revisited her groundbreaking "Parades and Changes" (1965), retaining its essence but adding new sections to heighten its relevance for today’s world.
Source: Anna Halprin 's website
More information :
Alain Buffard starts dancing in 1978 with Alwin Nikolaïs at the Centre national de danse contemporaine in Angers. He dances in several productions from Brigitte Farges and Daniel Larrieu, as well as Régine Chopinot, Philippe Decouflé. He realizes a choreography for two plays with Marie-Christine Georghiu, accompanied by the Rita Mitsuko rock group, a first solo "Bleu nuit" in 1988, and Wagner's Master singers of Nuremberg staged by Claude Régy in 1989.
While carrying on his career of dancer, he works as an assistant in Anne de Villepoix 's Gallery for exhibitions on R. Zaugg, Fischli & Weiss, Chris Burden and V. Acconci. At the same time, he is a correspondent for two Norwegian daily papers, for which he covers visual arts events in France. He stops dancing between 1991 and 1996. In 1996 he makes two decisive meetings : one with Yvonne Rainer on the occasion of the updating of her play Continuous Project Altered Daily by the Albrecht KNUST Quatuor, and another one with Anna Haplrin, with whom he is working as the winner of the "Villa Medicis - hors les murs" prize.
In January 1998 he creates "Good boy", his second solo, and then makes in 1999 two trios INtime / EXtime and MORE et encore. "Tout va bien" is premiered in June 2010 at Festival Montpellier Danse and his last piece "Baron Samedi" is created in April 2012 at the Théâtre de Nîmes where he was an associated artist for both seasons 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.
He also realized "My lunch with Anna", a film with Anna Halprin in California with the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in France and le Fresnoy national studio for contemporary arts, where he was associated artist during the season 2004-2005.
Source: Alain Buffard 's website
My lunch with Anna
Artistic direction / Conception
Anna Halprin, Alain Buffard
Allie Sultan, Juliana de Brés
Production / Coproduction of the video work
pi:es, Alain Buffard