Dance Review: Batsheva Ensemble Suzanne Dellal

Dancers of Batsheva Ensemble, young company adjacent to Batsheva, often provide excellent performance skills.

Lost Cause (photo credit: Gadi Dagon)
Lost Cause
(photo credit: Gadi Dagon)
The dancers of Batsheva Ensemble, the young company adjacent to Batsheva, often provide excellent performance skills. They certainly did so once more, dancing the revised edition of Tabula Rasa, choreographed by Ohad Naharin in 1986, few years before he was nominated as Artistic director of Batsheva. Tabula Rasa, set to Arvo Part’s mesmerizing score, part of his artistic dowry, was considered a milestone work in his career for a reason.
Stylistically, it complies with dance of the eighties at his best, but the details foretell of his unique sensitivities and original foot prints. The singular image which engraved deepest all these years is a scene toward the end where the dancers, lined up against the back drop, cross the stage, moving slowly from side to side like human pendulum in perfect sync, crossing the stage from right to left. The slow crossing and unison movement have an hypnotic quality which influence breathing rhythms of viewers as well.
The spell is broken when one of the dancers break the chain by standing still.
This action leads to a wonderful, almost timeless trio, adding another layer to that beautiful dance.
The decision to add that dance foreign to the company's current repertoire is highly important, particularly to a company dominated by highly contemporary approach. The way the dancers adapted to the different body perception of the former era was impressive and delightful.
Lost Cause (premiere) by Sharon Eyal enjoyed similar dedication from the dancers. Eyal keeps doing what she does best; take a large group of dancers, dress them in tight unisex outfits, preferably in nude tones, comb the hair tight, use heavy makeup and drill them in regimented formation, moving in fragmented ,edgy, contorted moves following dance club rhythms. She makes impressive use of unison masses, acquiring robotic esthetics of Sci-fi nature flavored with ritualistic components. Even so, dancer Keren Lurie-Pardes managed to infuse in the closing scene an array of nuances, using same moves, by turning it to a touching personal display.
Perhaps after all there is more than meets the eye.