Breath Made Visible

Film, Documentaries
3 out of 5 stars
Breath Made Visible
Hot on the heels of Wim Wenders’s ‘Pina’, here is another documentary about a pioneering twentieth-century choreographer. However, this one’s a more straightforward profile, with a goldmine of archive footage and extensive interviews with 90-year-old Anna Halprin, her dancers and family.

From a sun-dappled deck built amid trees at her California home, Halprin taught dancers to discover the movement within their own bodies, and ‘Breath Made Visible’ is an illuminating catalogue of her work. But the film is most fascinating as a portrait of a woman and a generation who chose to live outside society’s expectations, from the avant-garde experiments of the ’50s to full-blown, New Age, naked hippydom in the ’60s and ’70s.

The flouting of boundaries and rules made for an unconventional family home. ‘Friends were not allowed to my house, because my house was just weird,’ says daughter Rana, the only voice with a hint of criticism. Later in the film, Halprin seems to suggest that dancing cured her cancer, but that’s glossed over too. Director Ruedi Gerber puts aside probing in favour of celebration, but this is still a story well worth telling.

By: Lyndesy Winship

Posted:

Release details

Release date: Friday July 8 2011
Duration: 0 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Bill Gerber