Ann Murphy is an Artist/Lecturer in the Dance Department at Mills College in Oakland, California, where she teaches history, theory and criticism. A refugee from the East Coast, she was lured to California by the Rice-a-Roni commerical and the promise of free concerts in Golden Gate Park. She received her BA in Women’s Studies from UC Berkeley and has been a dance writer for over 20 years. Before becoming a critic, she was an apprentice cabinetmaker in the San Leandro, California cabinetmaker’s local until near brain death from formaldehyde fumes and back-breaking boredom forced her to throw away her router and hurl herself into journalism. Dance writing was a short jump away.
In the intervening years she’s written extensively for the San Francisco Chronicle, the East Bay Express, the Bay Area News Group, Dance Magazine, and the New York Times. Right now she’s collaborating on a book with choreographer Molissa Fenley, and researching dance and place on the West Coast.