Layers: A Turning the Wheel Story

In a piece entitled A Way of Life: An Interview with Anna Halprin, Anna was asked a question about how she defines success. She answered that she wouldn’t use the word “success.” She would use the word “recycle.” If something doesn’t work, she recycles it. Anna had a period in her creative exploration where she was fascinated by the nude body because we cover it up. In a performance in New York in 1965, she removed her clothes until she was nude. It was a scandal. She was arrested. She was blacklisted for 10 years; no one invited her to perform. By contrast, in Sweden, the performance was televised. In spite of differing opinions of how successful the piece was, Anna recycled it. It informed her journey and she continued in a new, but related, direction. Then came what completed a healing process I have been on for most of my life. She said, “The scandal in New York released me. It led me to a period when I had the most growth in understanding the power of dance to heal, educate and unify community.”

This statement released me. At first, into tears. In m