Dancing the test of time

By ORI J. LENKINSKI
February 25, 2010 03:33

This year, Batsheva Dance Company celebrates twenty years since Ohad Naharin, the heartthrob of Israeli dance, took up reins as artistic director of the troupe.

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Electric. JVC's 'Yesterday.

dance theater 58. (photo credit: Courtesy)

This year, Batsheva Dance Company celebrates twenty years since Ohad Naharin, the heartthrob of Israeli dance, took up reins as artistic director of the troupe. Naharin has redesigned the company head to toe, making Batsheva one of the most appreciated and sought after dance groups in the world. To celebrate the accomplishments of their fearless leader, the company will perform nine of Naharin’s blockbusters, including Hora (2009), Kamuyot (2003), Three (2005) and Mamootot (2003).

In addition, the sixteen dancers of Batsheva’s Ensemble (young company) will perform Wall/Zena, a fusion of two of Naharin’s earliest works in Israel. In 1990, upon returning from 10 years in New York City, Naharin was offered his current position at Batsheva. That same year Naharin created Wall. He called on musicians from the band Nikmat Hatraktor and hit the ground running. In 1995, after the unprecedented success of Anaphase, Naharin presented Zena, which included classic antics such as a live cow on stage, an element that Naharin has chosen to leave out of the 21st century version.

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While both pieces were made over fifteen years ago, excerpts shown in a recent press conference at Batsheva’s breathtaking facility in The Suzanne Dellal Center could have easily been mistaken for sections from a brand new piece. Naharin explained the importance of keeping the work relevant to present day. “The work is old but we are here now,” he said, “meeting now. So the process became connected to what we are going through now.”

Batsheva Ensemble will perform Wall/Zena at The Suzanne Dellal Center on March 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17. For more information visit www.batsheva.co.il.


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