95 Rituals is a performance project by inkBoat, directed by Shinichi Iova-Koga, presented by Dancers’ Group.

Performances of 95 Rituals were dedicated to Anna Halprin for her 95th birthday. To inform their process, Shinichi and inkBoat researched the intentions and working methods of Anna Halprin, a visionary artist whose work radically expanded the purpose, process, and content of dance-making over seven decades. A number of preparatory rituals (numbered 1-70) took place in May and June 2015 as public experiments, testing out ideas generated by inkBoat and friends. 95 Rituals culminated in performances at the Hyde Street Pier that, to quote San Francisco Chronicle critic Mary Ellen Hunt, mixed “humor, introspection, playfulness and memory with fearless gestures and thoughtfully crafted drama.” (read the full review here)

Live performance—especially when it takes place outside and in public spaces—does not come without surprises or challenges. In response to a moment of spontaneous nudity at Friday’s performance, the planned final performance on Saturday, July 11 was canceled. Though the moment was beautiful, it was in violation of directly communicated rules from our hosts at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The Park Rangers extended every courtesy and did their best to work with us within the rules that they must uphold. Many who heard the news recalled Anna’s storied use of nudity in performance since the 1960’s and yesterday KQED published an article by Kat Snow highlighting this unintended connection in a new work honoring her legacy and artistic process.

Dancers’ Group and inkBoat will be creating a video about the project and will be publishing a book of writings, images, and scores reflecting on 95 Rituals. Stay tuned!

95 Rituals is a project of Dancers’ Group’s ONSITE program, which commissions artists to create large-scale, site-specific dance performances,  presented free-of-charge to the public in highly visible locations throughout San Francisco. Learn more about Dancers’ Group and its ONSITE program here.

(cover image of Anna and Shinichi by Pak Han)

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