Rites: The Mythmaker

In San Francisco every Thursday evening, several dozen people gather inside a dilapidated loft building, doff some of their clothing and begin a strangely primitive ritual. Joining hands, they wind around the room in a silent processional. Or they playfully hold one another aloft. Or they scurry, like lab animals, through a huge plastic maze. Rites of an oddball religious cult? High jinks by residents of nearby Haight-Asbury? Not at all. These outlandish ceremonies are actually "myths" performed with audience participation by Ann Halprin's avant-garde Dancers' Workshop.

Her workshop activities are as much anthropologic as choreographic. Influenced by the "structuralist"...

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