A Conversation with Daria Halprin, Janice Ross, and Laura Whitcomb

July 30, 2022

Alongside the exhibition Three Landscapes: JB Blunk, Anna and Lawrence Halprin, Blum & Poe presents a conversation with Daria Halprin, scholar Janice Ross, and curator Laura Whitcomb.


About Daria Halprin 

Daria Halprin was a principal dancer in Anna Halprin’s seminal pieces featured in the exhibition Three Landscapesat Blum & Poe, Los Angeles: Parades and Changes (1965) and Ceremony of Us (1969). A young performer and participant in Anna and Larry Halprin’s earliest workshops, dancers’ groups, and performance company, Daria Halprin was inspired to continue studies with Fritz Perls in Gestalt therapy, and went on to pursue the interface between dance, psychology, and theater. She brought these influences to the forming of Tamalpa Institute where she is the co-founding director, and since 1975 has focused on the development of dance and the expressive arts as an innovative approach to psychology, artistic practice and dance as a healing force. Published writings include Coming Alive; The Expressive Body in Life, Art and Therapy; contributing author Expressive Arts Therapy: Principles and Practices; Poesis: Essays On the Future of the Field; Dance, Somatics and Spirituality; and Body Enacted, Entranced and Ensouled. 


About Janice Ross 

Janice Ross is Professor Emerita in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University, where she taught for thirty-four years. She has a BA with Honors from the University of California, Berkeley and MA and PhD degrees from Stanford University. She is the author of five books, including the definitive biography of Anna Halprin, Anna Halprin: Experience as Dance (University of California Press, 2007). Her awards include Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships; Stanford Humanities Center Fellowships; Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship; onoHonNYU Center for Ballet and the Arts Fellowship; research grants from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture; Jacobs’ Pillow; and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, among others. She received the 2021–2022 Dean’s Award for Lifetime Distinguished Teaching at Stanford, and in 2022 she was named an Honorary Fellow of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Jerusalem, Israel. She is past President of the International Society of Dance History Scholars. 


About Laura Whitcomb 

Laura Whitcomb is the director of Label Curatorial, which develops exhibitions and catalogs that highlight diverse medias in the arts converging. She has focused on modern, contemporary, and post-millennial artists collaborating on costumes and sets for the stage and performance. In 2014 she highlighted Anna Halprin in a focused lecture with Dame Zandra Rhodes exploring the Dancers’ Workshop’s artist collaborations. Her background as a scholar and curator of surrealism saw her become the first American hired at the Gala - Salvador Dalí Foundation at the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, Spain, while also contributing essays for exhibitions at the Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, FL. In 2014 she began focusing on the impact of surrealism on post-war California. After a curatorial residency at the Lucid Art Foundation, she organized the archive of Gordon Onslow Ford documenting JB Blunk. Her work on artist- and poet-run galleries in the Bay Area became the basis of an exhibition at the Sonoma Valley Museum, Sonoma, CA highlighting an unknown gallery on the S.S. Vallejo ferryboat where Blunk showed with many former surrealists and Beat era artists. In 2018 she curated a retrospective of Warner Jepson at the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, CA, highlighting his many years documenting and composing for Halprin's Dancers' Workshop. In 2019 Whitcomb organized and was the curatorial director for the retrospective of the San Francisco Dilexi Gallery, which took place at six galleries across Los Angeles and San Francisco. The exhibition was followed by the publication Dilexi: A Gallery & Beyond (2021) that documents, for the first time, Lawrence Halprin's September 1970 project as well as 1964 The Dancers' Workshop collaboration with artist Charles Ross titled Environment. The publication also has a dedicated chapter on the Anna Halprin-commissioned film Right On, which documents the rehearsals of Ceremony of Us. Whitcomb's current show at the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, CA, opening August 20, Tertium Organum, explores the influence of the philosopher P.D. Ouspensky upon Gordon Onslow Ford and Roberto Matta's art practice. The works exhibited by both artists were painted in the years Gordon Onslow Ford closely collaborated with Blunk. 

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BLUM Los Angeles is closed for installation until Saturday, March 16.