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Breath Made Visible

Directed by Ruedi Gerber

Breath Made Visible still

2009, 80 min

For the last seven decades, Anna Halprin, the American dance pioneer, has redefined our notions of modern art by exploring one question in her work: What is important in life? The search for that answer has ushered in such revolutionary experimentation in theater, music, and performance that it's reach extends beyond the arts and into our cultural conscious. Anna has not only succeeded in fusing art and life but has developed a new mindset: one that hails the vitality of existence and debunks the 'limitations of age.'


Best 2010 Documentary Film

Dance Magazine

Interview of Anna Halprin, Houston Chronicle

Gerber captures Halprin's life and work with grace and reverence.

Nancy Wozny, Houston Chronicle

[an] extraodinary respect shown by the filmmaker for aging and its artistic ramifications as manifest in the body, mind, and spirit of one remarkable woman. 4 chiles.

Michael Wade Simpson, Santa Fe New Mexican

A perfect space for her continuing legacy to move and breathe.

Valentina Tapia, Tiny Mix Tapes

An admiring documentary portrait of Anna Halprin, a woman so remarkable it is hard to fit her into the confines of a film, let alone a sentence.

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

An interesting contemplation about what it means to live an artistic life.

La Dance Examiners

Exquisite and engrossing

Spirituality & Practice

A vivid and haunting portrait

Seattle Times

A simple and profound statement about the power of art to heal and transform our lives.

Campus Circle

Seeing this film—with its whimsy, warmth, affection, and humor—one comes away with a sense of Anna Halprin as a national treasure.

Wendy Perron, Dance Magazine

Packed with illuminating interviews and lyrical movement, “Breath Made Visible” portrays a woman with angels in her feet and innovation in her blood. Long may she rock.

New York Times

A loving, energetically composed documentary treatment that makes a convincing case for her place in American cultural and social history.

New York Magazine

An excellent introduction to post-modern dance and to an iconic American artist.

Halprin clearly cherishes every moment of her life, just as audiences will cherish every moment of BREATH MADE VISIBLE.

This Week In New York

A fascinating testimonial to the healing age- defying powers of both [Anna Halprin's] art and artistry.

Time Out New York

A fascinating history of postmodern dance as seen through the the life of one of its innovators.

Chicago Reader

It's hard to overestimate the influence the dancer and choreographer Anna Halprin has had on New York dance, even though she has made a point of staying far from the city [...].

Julie Bloom, The New York Times,

[...] stirring, magnificently edited

San Francisco Chronicle

Feature: The dancer from the Dance

Pacific Sun

[...] a portrait of an anything but conventional woman, artist and thinker.

San Francisco Bay Guardian

It's no small feat to make a legend life-size and accessible without despelling her greatness and mystique, yet Gerber pulls off a delicate tightrope act with relaxed ease.

San Francisco Weekly

Engaging. Illustrative. The quintessential Left Coast choreographer Anna Halprin has helped push the boundaries of modern dance.

Dennis Harvey, Variety

Ms. Halprin becomes quite as rich a subject for film as Ms.Monk: another odd face, another wonderfully calm (though ardently enthusiastic) and open talker, another (and senior) artist who responds to both politics and scenery.

The New York Times

An intelligent, beautifully photographed, smartly edited film [...]. Gerber's film reveals not only the important artistic influences Halprin had on such distinghuished artists as Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, and Yvonne Rainer, but also what a groundbreaking force Halprin was in political and other cultural arenas.