UW-Madison Dance Students in Historic Restaging of Anna Halprin’s ‘Paper Dance’ at the Memorial Union, June 14!

The University of Wisiconsin-Madison Dance Department, with generous support from Jody and John Arnhold, as part of the Madison Reunion events, presents a historic restaging of Anna Halprin’s “Paper Dance,” a section of Halprin’s “Parades and Changes” (1965) on June 14 at the Frederik March Play Circle Theater, Memorial Union.

Janine Antoni in collaboration with Anna Halprin, 2013. Rehearsal photographed by Pak Han at the Halprin Dance Deck

This work is an ever evolving dance that includes a distinct, well-known, process-based score and the dressing and undressing of the cast. The intention of the score, according to Halprin, “is to comment on the corporate world, with business suits as costume, removing them ceremoniously and revealing our naked unarmed nature, the whole body.”

The context of nudity in this work has history. It came at a time when no one was nude on stage in this country. When this dance was performed at the Hunter Kaye Playhouse in New York in 1965, the police put out a warrant for Halprin’s arrest because nudity was taboo in this country.

“Paper Dance” will be performed by University of Wisconsin-Madison dance students, who participated in a two-part residency with guest artist Brooke Smiley, who, on behalf of Halprin, restaged the work. The process of the residency explored how the body is political in and of itself and how nudity in performance can function.


This performance will take place in the Frederik March Play Circle Theater, Memorial Union June 14, 2018 at 5:15 p.m. It is unticketed, free and open to the public.

Pre and Post Show Presentations

This special performance, will include a pre-show introduction by Kate Corby, associate professor and chair of the UW-Madison Dance Department, Assistant Professor Natalia Zervou (UW-Madison Dance Department) and Professor Ninotchka D. Bennahum from the Department of Theater and Dance at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who has been involved in curating the exhibit Radical Bodies: Anna Halprin, Simone Forti and Yvonne Rainer in California and New York, 1955-1972.

After the performance, there will be a panel presentation, moderated by Zervou, that will include Professor Ninotchka D. Bennahum and dance advocate and educator Jody Gottfried Arnhold, who founded Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at 92Y and created the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College. Guest artist Brooke Smiley will also be on the panel.

About Anna Halprin

Anna Halprin helped democratize dance-making with task-based improvisation and largescale civic happenings. The choreographer of over 150 works, she developed a Deweyesque system of scoring movement. Through her many students, among them Simone Forti, Trisha Brown, and Yvonne Rainer, Halprin indirectly influenced Judson Dance Theater. She has collaborated with musicians Terry Riley, La Monte Young, Morton Subotnick, The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, and with Beat poets Richard Brautigan, James Broughton, and Michael McClure. Other artists who have studied with her include Murray Louis, James Waring, Ruth Beckford, Nancy Meehan, Chip Lord, Meredith Monk, Janine Antoni, Carrie Mae Weems, Dohee Lee, and Mira Kingsley. In the 1950s, she founded the San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop with the actor John Graham, the biologist A.A. Leath, her two young daughters Daria and Rana, and a number of students. With her husband, renowned landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, Anna developed methods of generating collective creativity. In 1978, she and Daria co-founded the Tamalpa Institute, which fosters dance as a peace-making force. Her annual Planetary Dance, a community ritual that started in 1980s, has now been performed in 52 countries, the latest being China. Several films celebrate Anna’s work, including Andy Abrahams Wilson’s award-winning Returning Home and Reudi Gerber’s acclaimed Breath Made Visible. Her many honors include American Dance Festival’s 1997 Samuel H. Scripps Award, a 2004 Dance Magazine Award, and several Isadora Duncan Dance Awards. She has been named one of “America’s irreplaceable dance treasures” by the Dance Heritage Coalition.

About Brooke Smiley

Brooke Smiley is a dance artist teaching at UCSB. She has held solo performances and artistic residencies in Los Angeles, UK, Ireland and France. Brooke has toured worldwide with Michael Clark Company of London with residencies at Tate Modern, Fabulous Beast of Ireland and Ventura Dance in Zurich. She was given a MAP from TrinityLaban with her improvisational research exploring masks, identity and transformation published in the UK and Ireland. With a strong background in earth architecture and indigenous justice, Brooke has held dances at Standing Rock and is currently studying BodyMind Centering.

About Madison Reunion

The Madison Reunion brings back former students and teachers to revisit old haunts and meet old friends. It’s open to the public, welcoming young and old with free concerts on the Union Terrace and ’60s films at the Cinematheque, historic tours of campus and a State Street Trolley, tie-dye lessons and a major dance party. More information about the Madison Reunion can be found at http://www.madisonreunion.com/.

Acknowledgments & Support
This dance was made possible through generous support from Jody and John Arnhold.