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Tel Aviv

Batsheva Ensamble

April 8th 2019 / 20h

Sava Centar




choreography: Ohad Naharin
soundtrack design: Maxim Waratt
costume design: Ariel Cohen
lighting and stage design: Avi Yona Bueno (Bambi)
video subtitle design: Raz Friedman
duration: 75’
premiere: Israel Festival, Jerusalem, 2011
commissioned by: Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts & Creativity and The Israel Festival, Jerusalem
produce by: Batsheva Dance Company, with the generous support of the Michael Sela Fund for Development of Young Artists


…Gaga, the innovative movement language devised by Naharin over many years. He has said that Gaga is “not just about making you a better athlete.” It’s about “delicacy, small gestures, going beyond the daily.” It’s about form, and it must come from inside the dancer, whose experience of life will determine the shape and tone of the movement. It sounds a bit mystical until you see it in action. Yet the 75-minute “Sadeh21” seems a lot more than a dry demonstration of a movement system. Despite the absence of narrative elements, the various episodes (sadeh can be translated as a field or section) abound in flashes of humanity, vignettes as fleeting as they are suggestive…


Ohad Naharin is a choreographer, the Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company, and creator of the Gaga movement language. Naharin was born in 1952 in Mizra, Israel. His mother is a choreographer, dance teacher, and Feldenkrais instructor, and his father was an actor and psychologist. He joined Batsheva Dance Company in 1974 despite having little formal training. During his first year, guest choreographer Martha Graham invited him to join her own company in New York. Between 1975 and 1976, Naharin studied at the School of American Ballet, The Juilliard School, and with Maggie Black and David Howard. He then joined Maurice Béjart’s Ballet du XXe Siecle in Brussels for one season. Naharin returned to New York in 1979 and made his choreographic debut at the Kazuko Hirabayshi studio the following year. From 1980 until 1990, Naharin presented works in New York and abroad, including pieces for Batsheva Dance Company, the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, and Nederlands Dans Theater. At the same time, he worked with his first wife, Mari Kajiwara, and a group of dancers in New York. Naharin and Kajiwara continued to work together until she died in 2001. In 1990, Naharin was appointed Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company, and in the same year, he established the company’s junior division, Batsheva – the Young Ensemble. He has since created over thirty works for both companies. After almost thirty years of leading Batsheva, Naharin stepped down as Artistic Director in 2018, and continues to serve as the Company’s House Choreographer. In addition to his stagework, Naharin also developed Gaga, an innovative movement language based on research into heightening sensation and imagination, becoming aware of form, finding new movement habits, and going beyond familiar limits. Gaga is the daily training of Batsheva’s dancers and has spread globally among both dancers and non-dancers. Naharin trained in music throughout his childhood and continues to infuse his work with a unique musicality. He collaborated with the Israeli rock group, The Tractor’s Revenge (“Kyr”, 1990), Avi Balleli and Dan Makov (“Anaphaza”, 1993), Ivri Lider (“Z/na”, 1995), and Grischa Lichtenberger (“Last Work”, 2015). Under the pseudonym Maxim Waratt, he composed music for “MAX” (2007) and edited and mixed the soundtracks for “Mamootot” (2003), “Hora” (2009), “Sadeh21” (2011), “The Hole” (2013), “Last Work” (2015) and “Venezuela” (2017). Naharin’s work has also been featured in several films. In his 2007 documentary “Out of Focus”, director Tomer Heymann filmed the process of restaging “Decadance” with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. And in 2015, the Heymann Brothers released their comprehensive documentary about Naharin, “Mr. Gaga”, to critical and audience acclaim. A citizen of both Israel and the United States, Naharin currently lives in Israel with his wife, dancer and costume designer Eri Nakamura, and their daughter, Noga.


Batsheva Dance Company has been critically acclaimed and popularly embraced as one of the foremost contemporary dance companies in the world. Together with Batsheva – The Young Ensemble, the Company boasts a roster of 34 dancers drawn from Israel and abroad. Batsheva Dance Company is Israel’s biggest company, maintaining an extensive performance schedule locally and internationally with over 250 performances and circa 100,000 spectators every year. Hailed as one of the world’s preeminent contemporary choreographers, Ohad Naharin assumed the role of Artistic Director in 1990, and propelled the company into a new era with his adventurous curatorial vision and distinctive choreographic voice. The Batsheva dancers take part in the creative processes in the studio and even create their own works in the annual project “Batsheva Dancers Create” supported by The Michael Sela Fund for Cultivation of Young Artists at Batsheva. Batsheva Dance Company was founded as a repertory company in 1964 by the Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild who enlisted Martha Graham as its first artistic adviser. Since 1989, Batsheva Dance Company has been in residence at the Suzanne Dellal Centre in Tel Aviv.


A masterpiece, so beautiful!!
© GLZ Radio, Gaby Aldor
Liberation of feelings… electrifying bodies… tuned like a fairytale orchestra, remarkable precision – and it’s as beautiful as a dream.
© Ynet
Leaves the audience with awe and excitement… a creation possessing precise architectural structure that seems savage… humor and surprises.
© Habama
Hypnotizing dance from the first moment… an aesthetic and enrapturing experience… a piece that caresses the soul, a piece you do not want to part with.
© Israel Today

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