The Marin Muses of Music and Dance

My ex-wife, Mary Ann Tharaldsen used to live in Marin, as did her good friend, Mimi Farina. I am going to ask Vice President, Kamala Harris, to look into preserving the Bohemian History of Oakland and Marin.

John Presco

Bread and Roses of Marin

Posted on August 21, 2017by Royal Rosamond Press

Did Beryl Buck ever meet, or see, Mimi Farina, who was a good friend of my ex? Where are Beryl’s things and letters?  Did she ever buy a ticket to go see Bread&Roses?

Above is a pic of where B&R was located in Mill Valley in Marin Couty. Mimi lived on Mount Tamalpais. Mimi created the ideal charity. She is the model for all Buck Foundations. Instead we get a dude playing with his expensive toys.

Sydney Morris screwed up the Brett Weston creative legacy. I had my mother call him and he and Stacey were about to throw away our family photos.

“Do you want them?”

“Of course I want them!”

These are fucking lawyers! They should be banned from getting near creative people.


Mimi died on July 18, 2001, at her home on Mt. Tamalpais in Mill Valley, California, surrounded by her family and close friends.  Her vision lives on in the form of Bread & Roses today.  

The Mission Statement for this inspirational program is as follows:

Bread & Roses is dedicated to uplifting the human spirit by providing free, live, quality entertainment to people who live in institutions or are otherwise isolated from society. Our performances: enrich the soul and promote wellness through the healing power of the performing arts; create a sense of community for our professional performers, in a non-commercial setting in which they can donate their talents to inspire and be inspired; provide an opportunity for non-performing volunteers to contribute a variety of skills and resources that support our humanitarian services and increase the impact of donor contributions. In carrying out this mission, Bread & Roses seeks to create a social awareness of people who are isolated from society, and to encourage the development of similar organizations in other communities.

Anna and Darian – Dance!

Posted on August 22, 2013by Royal Rosamond Press


Just as Warhol had his muses, Darian Halprin might have considered herself Mel Lyman’s muse.


Anna Halprin (born Anna Schuman on 13 July 1920) helped pioneer the experimental art form known as postmodern dance and referred to herself as the breaker of modern dance.[1] Halprin, along with her contemporaries such as Trisha Brown, Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer, John Cage, and Robert Morris, collaborated and built a community based around the fundamentals of post-modern dance. In 1950s, she established the San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop to give artists like her a place to practice their art. Being able to freely explore the capabilities of her own body, she created a systematic way of moving using kinesthetic awareness.[2] Many of her works since have been based on scores, including Planetary Dance, 1987, and Myths in the 1960s which gave a score to the audience, making them performers as well.

Halprin was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 1972. In order to understand her ailment, she documented her own experiences and compiled the information to make her own healing process called The Five Stages of Healing.[3] In 1981, she applied The Five Stages of Healing to her community and developed large community pieces. Halprin stated “I believe if more of us could contact the natural world in a directly experiential way, this would alter the way we treat our environment, ourselves, and one another.” [4] Halprin has written books including: Movement Rituals, Moving Toward Life: Five Decades of Transformational Dance and Dance as a Healing Art. She currently does research in connection with the Tamalpa Institute, based in Marin County, California, which she founded with her daughter, Daria Halprin, in 1978.

She was the co-creator with her husband, the late landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, of the RSVP Cycles, a creative methodology that can be applied broadly across all disciplines. A documentary film about her life and art, Breath Made Visible directed by Ruedi Gerber, premiered in 2010.

“Halprin continues to be sought after as a teacher because of her ability to lead dancers gently into new territory for their own choreographic invention.” [5]

From a very early age Anna Halprin was exposed to dance due to her grandfather’s involvement in religious dancing.[6] At 4 years old, Halprin’s mother enrolled her in ballet class to satisfy young Anna’s urge to dance. Quickly realizing that the structured environment was no place for a mind and soul as creative as Halprin’s, her mother withdrew her from the class and put her into a class that was more focused on movement. At the age of 15, Anna Halprin began studying the techniques of Ruth St. Denis and Isadora Duncan. In 1938, she attended University of Wisconsin under the direction of one of her lifelong mentors Margaret H’Doubler. H’Doubler emphasized the importance of personal creativity and highly encouraged the study of anatomy in order obtain the most effective ways of moving.[7] Halprin abandoned the stylized forms of modern technique to create her own way of reproducing the art of everyday life.[8] Merce Cunningham shared the same need to reject the emotional expressiveness of modern dance. However, instead of using chance as a way to make movement like Cunningham did, Halprin turned to improvisation to investigate ways in which individuals could make a community.[9] Because of H’Doubler, Halprin understood the conception of where invention in dance begins, and from this she could help form the basis of the next generation’s ideas of postmodern dance.[10] Her husband, landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, whom she met in college, was also interested in the collaborative process.

San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop[edit source | editbeta]

After World War II, Lawrence Halprin’s work called him to stay in San Francisco permanently. Anna Halprin wrote in a letter about her new journey saying she was ready “… to live a resourceful life with a connection to the soil and to the common pulse of ordinary people.” [11] In order to ease the transition, Lawrence built his wife a deck outside of their home for her to dance upon. Later this deck became a place of learning for herself, her children, and her students. After performing in New York at the ANTA Theater in 1955, Halprin was disappointed after watching a Martha Graham group and one of Doris Humprey’s. She thought everyone looked too similar to Graham and Humphrey and that it stifled room for creativity. Thus, Halprin founded the San Francisco Dancer’s Workshop in 1959 along with several others, including dancers Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, and Simone Forti, and artists John Cage and Robert Morris. The purpose of this organization was to give her and others the opportunity to delve more into more explorative forms of dance and move away from the technical constraints of modern dance.[12] During the span of twenty years, she developed a working process that gave people the liberty to move freely with emotion and with a feeling a community. This technique came to be called human potential growth; the aim was to maintain the link between non-verbal behavior and examining the use of language and physical expression.[13] In addition to the workshop, Halprin continued to perform, dancing about “real life” in pieces such as “Apartment 6″ with fellow dancers, John Graham and AA Leath.

Kinesthetic awareness[edit source | editbeta]

Halprin’s course of investigating her own way of creating movement called for understanding the limits of the body and the reactions the body makes when an initiation is made.[14] In her own words she describes being aware of one’s kinesthetic sense “is your special sense for being aware of your own movement and empathizing with others.” [15] She compiled a group exercises named Movement Rituals that shape the way she and her students moved their bodies through space and time. Her movement patterns are based on the dynamic qualities such as swinging, falling, walking, running, crawls, leaps, and various ways of shifting weight. In the 1960s she developed the RSVP Cycles with her husband, Lawrence Halprin, which breaks down the creative process with the use of scores. It stands for Resources, Scores, Valuaction and Performance. She says, “I wanted to create something for a group of people to do in which they’re given the opportunity to explore the theme and find out what’s real for them…” [16] It was her hope that through formalized scores such as the “Planetary Dance,” (a formation of 3 circles, going in different directions, in which you’re told to run, walk, or stand still)the process of creativity would be sparked in both dancers and non dancers. Her training programs, which take can take up to a year, allowed participants to concentrate on the movement of each body part “taking the body apart” and then later on in the program, reassembling it to move as a whole.

Working with the terminally ill[edit source | editbeta]

In 1971, Halprin was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in her colon; this sudden shift in her life inspired her to investigate and create associations to make a personal ritual that helped her healing process. She used the investigative and therapeutic tools she had learned from Fritz Perls in order to understand and duplicate the psychological behaviors put into performances.[17] The disease also inspired her to release her emotions through dance in pieces such as “Darkside Dance”. Afterwards, she ceased to perform publicly. Her quest for healing encouraged the community around her and, with her daughter in 1978, she co-founded the Tamalpa Institute. Together, they created a non-profit research and educational arm of the San Francisco Dancer’s Workshop that offers training in a creative process integrating psychology, body therapies, and education with dance, art, and drama, as a path toward healing and resolving social conflict.[18] Her “Life/Art Process” inspired workshops dedicated to therapeutic, transformational, and psychological needs. Using tools of the body, movement, dialogue, voice, drawing, improvisation, performance, and reflection, she was able to provoke others to explore themselves and use art as a therapy to heal themselves. On occasion, participants return to the Mountain Home Studio to dance on the deck that started it all in Halprin’s very own home In 1970s and 1980s she purely focused on collaborating with other individuals that were terminally ill or in recovery from an illness. In 1987, she was invited to the Cancer Support and Education Center to work with individuals with cancer. There she would lead them through a series of body awareness exercises and have them make visualizations of themselves through an artistic medium. These exercises aided their struggle to create energy. Over the years, she continued to work with terminally ill patients. One work she created that embodied her healing principles was Circle the Earth in spring of 1981. The “creativity is based on an open-ended score that guides the group in an experience of gradually intensifying creativity, and culminating in the actual performance.”[19] Halprin, along with her illness based dances, began making dances concerning critical and social issues. She no longer wanted spectators watching her work because she wasn’t there to entertain. Instead, she wanted people who could realize the dancers were there for a purpose- “to accomplish something in ourselves and the world” which is why her dances had these political issues.[20]

Return to Zabriskie Point

Posted on August 22, 2013by Royal Rosamond Press


“Meanwhile Daria (Daria Halprin), “a sweet, pot-smoking post-teenybopper of decent inclinations,” is driving across the desert towards Phoenix in a 1950s era Buick automobile to meet her boss Lee, who may or may not also be her lover.”

When ‘Easy Rider’ came out, my kindred and friends said I look just like THE ACTOR, Dennis Hopper, who is some kind of hippie biker – only on film! Hopper marred THE ACTRESS, Daria Halprin, whose mother was a dancer and who runs a dance healing clinic called ‘Tamalpa Life/Art’ which may be near Mount Tamalpais where I camped with Rena – all alone. There was not one famous director to be seen. We took no direction. Rena’s beauty was not captured and put in a can. I got a real good close-up of her about sixteen hours a day. I can’t complain – really!

Daria starred in A MOVIE about radical hippies in revolt, called ‘Zabriskie Point’. It was an utter failure. I am an original hippie, who along with my hippie friends, did not go see this movie, because, it is a case of Art Imitating Life. We had no interest in paying money to go see FAKE PAID HIPSTERS imitating us, and, speak for us. We spent our extra money on drugs so we could alter our mind, get turned on – and have sex!

The other star of Zabriskie Point was a Mel Lyman devotee. Mark Frechette held up a bank with another Lyman Family member after he made his movie. He had real-life interests. Mel Lyman is my kindred who created a network of MUSicians, Actors, and Artists. He is in my family tree. He married Jessie Benton, a cousin of my ex-brother-in-law, Garth Benton who acted in movies, as did his first wife, Alli McBride.

If Rena had married me, then she would be kin to Mel Lyman, too. Rena was not an actress, but a young woman who experimented with drugs, went on a Road Trip to L.A. from Nebraska, then took another trip with me and two other hippies to Winnemucca in a 1950 Dodge. I flipped out in a town in the desert. What is going on out in the Mohave Desert while the cameras are rolling, went on between Rena and I in the wilds of California. We were – THE REAL DEAL!

Mel Lyman was kin to Philip Boileau whose women look like Darian, and my later Sister, Christine Rosamond Benton. This is quite a grouping of creative people, smitten by their Muse.

Most human being have come to believe nothing is real if it is not in the movies or on T.V. This is safe for them. They want real life filtered and scanned for any real danger, and any real sex. They also want money to empower them.

“Frechette was paid sixty thousand dollars for his work. He and Halprin took their cache of earnings to Fort Hill where it was turned over in full to The Lyman Family.”

Now, back to our very real home invasion in Roxbury that happened just down the street from Lyman Commune.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2013

On August 29, 1973, he and two members of the Fort Hill commune attempted to rob the New England Merchant’s Bank in the Fort Hill section of Roxbury, a poor neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. One of the members of the commune, Christopher “Herc” Thien, was killed by police and Frechette was arrested and sentenced to the minimum security state prison in Norfolk, Massachusetts. He died during an apparent weightlifting accident when a 150-pound bar fell on his neck, choking him to death. Prison officials did not suspect foul play; however, questions arose whether Frechette had been suffering from depression.[4] He was 27 years old.

In the 1970s, Halprin developed an interest in creative arts therapy. In 1978, she and her mother Anna founded the Tamalpa Institute [4] and developed the Halprin Process, an expressive arts approach for transformative healing that integrates movement/dance, visual arts, performance techniques and therapeutic practices. She has authored The Expressive Body in Life, Art and Therapy, Coming Alive: The Creative Expression Method, and was a contributing author to Foundations of Expressive Arts Therapy.
Filmography[edit source | editbeta]
Revolution (1968)
Zabriskie Point (1970)
The Jerusalem File (1972)

I have developed Tamalpa Life/Art© as a movement-based expressive arts practice, which combines dance, visual art, and creative writing to access the innate wisdom of the body and the transformative power of the imagination.

Participants may expect to work on issues connected to their burning questions , challenges, longings and life situations. Collective/archetypal themes that catalyze creative dialogues between body, imagination, emotion are explored.

Explorations are movement based, centered in the principles and practices of Expressive Arts Therapy, Integrative Dance, Somatic Movement Therapy and Gestalt Therapy.

Daria Halprin was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the daughter of San Francisco-based landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and choreographer Anna Halprin,[1] who, in the 1950s, was one of the Western pioneers of using dance as a healing art. Like her mother, Halprin studied dance, and in the mid 1960s, began acting in film.
Acting career[edit source | editbeta]
In 1968, she appeared in Revolution, a documentary by Jack O’Connell. Shot mainly in San Francisco, the film exposed the thriving counterculture movement and featured a series of interviews with that city’s hippie residents.
Subsequently, Halprin was chosen by Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni for the lead in his second English-language feature, Zabriskie Point.[2] The film, released in 1970, was a statement on the burgeoning violence in America and the growing rift between the establishment and the counterculture as interpreted through a European sensibility. Following release of the film, with her Zabriskie Point co-star Mark Frechette, Halprin briefly joined self-styled guru Mel Lyman, a former member of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and his 100-member commune, before fleeing due to the severity of cult life.[3]

In 1972, Halprin appeared in her third and final movie, John Flynn’s thriller The Jerusalem File, in a major role alongside Nicol Williamson and Donald Pleasence. Also in 1972, she married actor/director Dennis Hopper. The marriage produced one child, Ruthanna Hopper, before the couple divorced in 1976.

Revolution is a documentary film by Jack O’Connell made in San Francisco in 1967. It was subsequently revived with added reminiscences.
Although most interviewees are not named some of them have been identified, such as Kurt Hirschhorn, Frank Jordan, Cecil Williams and Herb Caen[1]
Daria Halprin appears in the film as herself.[2]

The soundtrack features Ace of Cups, Country Joe and the Fish, Steve Miller Band, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Mother Earth, and Dan Hicks.

Zabriskie Point /zəˈbrɪskiː/ is a 1970 film by Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni, widely noted at the time for its setting in the late 1960s counterculture of the United States. Some of the film’s scenes were shot on location at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley.

This was the second of three English-language films Antonioni had been contracted to direct for producer Carlo Ponti and to be distributed by MGM. The other two films were Blowup (1966) and The Passenger (1975).
Zabriskie Point was an overwhelming commercial failure[2] and panned by most critics upon release.[3] It has, however, achieved somewhat of a cult status and is noted for its cinematography, use of music and direction.[citation

The film opens with a documentary-like scene in which white and black students argue about an impending student strike. Mark (Mark Frechette) leaves the meeting after saying he is “willing to die, but not of boredom” for the cause, which draws criticism from the young white radicals. Following a mass arrest at the campus protest, Mark visits a police station hoping to bail his roommate out of jail. He is told to wait but goes to the lock-up area, asks further about bail for his roommate, is rebuffed, calls out to the arrested students and faculty and is arrested himself. He gives his name as Karl Marx, which a duty officer types as “Carl Marx.” After he is released from jail, Mark and another friend buy firearms from a Los Angeles gun shop, saying they need them for “self defense” to “protect our women.”

Meanwhile Daria (Daria Halprin), “a sweet, pot-smoking post-teenybopper of decent inclinations,”[4] is driving across the desert towards Phoenix in a 1950s era Buick automobile to meet her boss Lee, who may or may not also be her lover. Along the way Daria is searching for a man who works with “emotionally disturbed” children from Los Angeles. She finds the young boys near a roadhouse in the Mojave desert, but they tease, taunt and grab at her, boldly asking for ‘a piece of ass’, to which she asks in reply, ‘are you sure you’d know what to do with it?’ Daria flees in her car. While filling its radiator with water, she is spied from the air by Mark, who buzzes her car and then flies only fifteen feet over Daria as she lies face down in the sand and throws a nightie out of the window of the plane for her to pick up. Daria grows from upset to curious and smiling during this sequence.

They later meet at the desert shack of an old man, where Mark asks her for a lift so he can buy gasoline for the airplane. The two then wander to Zabriskie Point where they make love and the site’s geological formations seem to come alive in a dusty orgy performed by The Open Theater.[5]

The Harvard area had nurtured a nineteen fifties bohemian culture that eventually fostered folk luminaries like Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, bands such as The Lovin Spoonful and The Chambers Brothers, and a wealth of other underground notables. In 1961 Fritz Richmond was the focal point of this burgeoning scene, the leader of a small folk band making the rounds of Boston coffeehouses. Richmond was described by his peers, with only the slightest tinge of irony, as “the foremost washtub bassist in the world.” A few years later the obscure musician would join the West Coast hippie movement and leave a lasting influence on the counterculture as a whole. Roger McGuin of The Byrds says it was Richmond who popularized “the granny glasses look,” eventually appropriated by Jerry Garcia, John Lennon and legions of conforming flower children. Richmond’s band The Hoppers also profoundly affected a frequent New England coffeehouse patron named Jim Kweskin.

In the late sixties Mark Frechette was panhandling and picking up odd jobs around Boston, living the typical life of a late sixties drop-out. He stumbled across a copy of Avatar. Frechette was instantly captivated by the musings of Mel Lyman and wanted to join his controversial community. Frechette contacted Mel enthusiastically hoping to join, but Lyman dismissed him, interpreting Mark as just another run-of-the-mill hippie. Lyman only accepted those into his fold that he felt could advance his own cause and Frechette did not qualify.
Daria Halprin was a flower child spotted by filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni in the documentary Revolution, a profile of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury scene. Antonioni would cast her in his new film Zabriskie Point after he was seduced by what he called her “earth-child quality.” A casting director spotted Mark Frechette, legend goes, in a heated argument at a bus stop. When Lyman heard through the grapevine that Frechette had been cast in a major motion picture, suddenly his attitude toward the aloof teenager changed. He could now use Frechette to further the goals of The Lyman Family. Frechette explained that when Lyman finally accepted him into the Fort Hill fold, “There was humming in my ears … I mean the whole damn room was humming.” Frechette was smitten with Lyman and an instant convert to the vague Lyman commandments. Frechette did his best to convince co-star Halprin of Mel’s greatness. It appeared to have an effect. Daria Halprin said at the time, “I had a vision about Mel … for about twenty four hours I was just having visions about Fort Hill, all the way in California, and I had never been.” Frechette did not have the same degree of success with Antonioni, whom he was hounding daily to read the teachings of Mel Lyman. Frechette would leave copies of Avatar in Antonioni’s trailer day after day.

Zabriskie Point was highly anticipated thanks to a series of reports about the troubled shoot. Frechette publicly asserted that the director’s depiction of the American counterculture would be “a big lie and totally alien.” Antonioni found himself hounded by both state and federal officials when word got out that the film might be an indictment of “the American way of life.” The government felt that the famous director was preparing a glorification of hippiedom, drug taking and cop killing. They decided he should be stopped. When the wife of leading Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver was cast in a scene, the government felt the need to do something about it. They charged Antonioni with violating the Mann Act, claiming he was bringing underage girls across state lines for immoral purposes.
Grand Jury Probes Movie Orgy Scene. That’s what readers of the Los Angeles Times saw glaring out at them on June 23, 1969. Antonioni was brought up on charges that he had violated the Mann Act. The 1910 statute was often used to prosecute men copulating with underage girls – although the majority of the time it was used for trumped-up political means. Charles Chaplin and Chuck Berry had been among the law’s most famous victims. Scholars agree that Chaplin was hounded because of his socialist sympathies while Berry was a victim of sheer racism. Now the set of Zabriskie Point suffered a similar blow. The accusations stemmed from a scene featuring dust-covered actors from The Open Theatre. Antonioni had purchased ad space in the press asking for hundreds of extras to take part in a simulated mass-love-making session – perking the ears of the Justice Department. No actual sex occurred and no state lines were crossed, but it created a convenient way to harass a man they felt was going to have a negative impact on a vulnerable American image, one that was suffering from the public relations disaster of Vietnam. Despite the harassment, the film shoot survived.

Frechette was paid sixty thousand dollars for his work. He and Halprin took their cache of earnings to Fort Hill where it was turned over in full to The Lyman Family. The Lyman Family now consisted of approximately one hundred people, most of whom took gigs in the outside world as waiters, baristas or other odd jobs helping to finance the Lyman Family trust. The money was then invested in real estate or construction ventures that helped create an elaborate empire – a legacy of assets that remains to this day.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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