Anna Halprin

Anna Halprin was one of the founders of postmodern dance, but her focus has been on dance as a healing art, creating companies for dancers living with HIV and AIDS. Halprin debuted on Broadway before moving to San Francisco, where she began crafting solo performances based on Jewish themes and founded the acclaimed San Francisco Dancers Workshop, with which she toured Europe. After a cancer diagnosis in the 1970s, she choreographed The Five Stages of Healing, using her experiences with illness in deeply personal performances. In 1982, she began annual performances of Circle the Earth: A Planetary Dance for Peace. A recipient of both Guggenheim and National Educational Association fellowships, Halprin has mentored some of the leading postmodern dancers and co-founded the Tamalpa Institute—where dance, art, psychology, and body work are offered as alternative healing—with her daughter, a dance therapist. She also founded two workshop groups for people living with HIV, a men’s group called Positive Motion and a women’s group called Women with Wings.


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American dance pioneer Anna Halprin.

Image courtesy of DLambertNJ.

Date of Birth

Wilmette, IL
United States

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Anna Halprin." (Viewed on March 1, 2021) <>.


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