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 Post subject: Batsheva Dance Company - 'Sabotage Baby'
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2001 3:17 pm 
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Image <P> Image <P><B>Sabotage Baby</B><P>Here's the information from the Barbican website:<P><BR>by Ohad Naharin, music by Orkater<P>Batsheva Dance Company<P>Batsheva Dance Company, founded by Martha Graham in 1964, entered a new era in 1990 with the appointment of Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin as Artistic Director. With an established international career and a reputation for bold, sweeping and physically sensual movements, Naharin revolutionised dance in Israel, turning Batsheva performances into cult events and capturing new young audiences at home and abroad. You may have seen his superb Minus 16 performed by NDT2 in London last year or Axioma 7 danced by Rambert Dance Company.<P>Sabotage Baby reflects Naharin’s vision of the company as a meeting for artists of all disciplines. Dutch musicins Orkater Ensemble perform their own industrial score live on stage with their strange ’Heath Robinson’ musical gadgets. A gyrating, tuxedoed dancer leads us into this capricious dream world, populated by 20ft stilt-walking, aria-singing avenging angels, Chinese princesses and crinolined ladies as well as fantastically costumed workers on their post-apocalyptic factory floor.<P>Criss-crossing, overlapping fragments and a scintillating profusion of choreographic invention make this an evening of surprises, humour and powerful energy. Unforgettable images performed by extraordinary dancers.<P>’Dance as anything you want it to be.’ The Herald Sun<P>Performance runs 90 minutes with one interval. <P>Venue Title: Barbican Theatre (Seating Plan 1) 3-6 October at 7.45pm <P>Here are the calendar details from the <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/menu.htm" TARGET=_blank><B>Dance Umbrella website</B></A>. Click on the coloured dates for programme information and on the venue name for theatre details. <BR> <BR>Here is our <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000385.html" TARGET=_blank><B>existing thread</B></A> on the Company with interviews and reviews. <BR> <BR> <BR> <P>


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 Post subject: Re: Batsheva Dance Company - 'Sabotage Baby'
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2001 5:05 am 
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<B>OHAD NAHARIN: REBEL IMAGINATION</B><P>WHO: BATSHEVA DANCE COMPANY<BR>WHEN: WED 3 - SAT 6 OCT<BR>WHERE: BARBICAN THEATRE<BR>TICKETS: 020 7638 8891<P><BR>Choreographer <B>Ohad Naharin</B> is something of a national institution in his native Israel. His 1990 appointment as artistic director of Batsheva, a company Martha Graham founded in 1964, launched Israeli modern dance into a new era. While maintaining a thriving international career, he now runs both the main company of 17 dancers and a junior ensemble.<P>"Sabotage Baby", the production that opens this year's Umbrella, marks Batsheva's first Umbrella appearance since 1993. The setting is a post-apocalyptic factory floor. Here yearning workers in long, tatty aprons are visited by bare-thighed, winged creatures on stilts who seem to have arrived from some throwback industrial space-age of one's dreams. The show's squeaking, drilling soundtrack issues from eccentric machines, both high-tech and primitive, that were designed by onstage musicians Peter Zegveld and Thijs van der Poll [of the Dutch musical performance ensemble Orkater]. The result is an extraordinarily audio-visual work of ominous romantic irony and fantastic physical passion. <P><B>So how did this Baby come to be born? </B> "It was more than three years ago,"<B> Naharin, 49 this year, says by phone from Tel Aviv. </B>"I have done two full-length pieces since then, and I have the memory of a dead cat."<B> Still, he continues. </B>"The two Dutchmen and I spent a lot of time in a studio in Amsterdam. [Nederlands Dans Teatr co-produced a workshop version there.] Their music and machines are a big part of the piece. It was the first time I ever worked with a kind of storyboard. The gap between the storyboard and what happened onstage - the work exists in this gap. A lot has to do with the long, long research of movement I do with my company."<B><P>Research on this show, Naharin says, revealed a quality for the performance </B>"where lightness is not a fault, but a kind of advantage. Not light in an easy, featherweight way, but in the ability to lift something even if it's heavy. To make something light. Like an airplane. The power to lift such a heavy object is very strong."<B><P>He finds a metaphorical parallel. </B>"The strongest force of creation is the imagination. You can become a very good audience member, of any art form, if you're in tune with yourself and have the ability to imagine. This is something you don't get with information, although that helps. It has a lot to do with how I approach theatricality in my work. I don't try to make a theatre piece - describing a particular time, character or space. I try to eliminate theatre from my work. By eliminating, I create a bigger space for my work to be what it is - a void where new things happen."<B><P>Naharin credits his parents for giving him </B>"freedom to choose, and a nice perspective on the possibilities of things. My mother is an amazing dancer, although she's not trained. My father moves very well. He was an actor. So it was a very creative house. I knew I'd be creating too. I never called it choreography, but I knew I'd be inventing something. I was seeing things - imagining, writing, drawing, making music. There was no plan or a name for it, but it was clear that creation would happen."<B><P>Martha Graham was something of a mentor to the young Naharin. </B>"I met her before I started to choreograph. I only knew her for a year, but it was very meaningful for me in terms of becoming serious about dance. She invited me to New York. I studied at her school, then got a scholarship to the School of American Ballet, with her blessing. I was in her company for about ten months."<B> He claims not to know about Richard Move, whose satirical tribute Martha@TheCriterion is also part of Umbrella 2001. </B>"Maybe that's the best way to represent her,"<B> Naharin remarks, </B>"because how she influenced the world is so much about her spirit."<B><P>Asked about an artist's responsibility to the world at large, his response is long, thoughtful, complicated. </B>"In my 11 years at Batsheva we succeeded to create an amazing situation for ourselves: a wonderful studio, people in the organisation who are devoted to it. It's a really special place. We have an oasis in all this madness. It accommodates us in a way that maybe a more peaceful place couldn't. The work itself is a source of great stability, strength and love."<P>"People ask me about growing up in an aggressive, violent place. I grew up with loving, caring parents. If you go to the most violent place, you can find a loving mother with a child who will grow up secure. You can go to another country as quiet as Finland and find a situation that is very hard or depressed or aggressive for other reasons. New York or London too. The generalisations don't always apply to personal experience, to how you were brought up or how violence affects your life. I'm aware of violence, of innocent victims, of injustice. But I'm not a victim of it because I live in Israel, or not more than anybody else in the world who has to deal with ozone holes or global warming."<P>"How I can influence something through what I do? It's like a virus: you can spread your goodness by being good to one person. You can't save the world, but you can help somebody else. That's enough to make this world better. I try to take care of those people I really care about. I would love to be able to influence something to do with the political wrongs of Israel. The only place for me to try and do something is right in my small place. The ability to bring together dancers from all over the world, to show people in Israel that I can create a society that encourages individuality and freedom of expression. All my dancers are rebels, but they still have the discipline to do the work very well. Maybe this can affect something much bigger than us."<B><P>In what way are Batsheva's dancers rebels? </B>"They don't follow the crowd. They question everything."<B> Do they question Naharin? </B>"I like to be questioned. It's not an attitude thing. We don't take things for granted. We have a lot of respect for each other. By my nature I'm attracted to the kind of people I call rebels. But here it's people that I trust."<B> Is he himself a rebel? </B>"Definitely."<P>------------------<BR>This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera.<P>Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.<P>This interview first appeared in either the Spring or Autumn 2001 editions of Dance Umbrella News. <BR> <BR>Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News. <BR>Call: 020 8741 5881 <BR>Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk <BR>Web: <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk" TARGET=_blank>www.danceumbrella.co.uk</A> <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited October 03, 2001).]

_________________
This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera and first appeared in Dance Umbrella News.

Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.

Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News.
Call: 020 8741 5881
Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk
Web: www.danceumbrella.co.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Batsheva Dance Company - 'Sabotage Baby'
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2001 12:36 am 
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<B>'Sabotage Baby'</B><P>Dance Umbrella 2001 got off to a fine start last night with 'Sabotage Baby' by Ohad Naharin's Batsheva Dance Company. Here in London we have previously seen theatrical and light-hearted works by Naharin such as Rambert's 'Axioma 7' an NDT2's 'Minus 16'. 'Sabotage Baby' is much darker, paricularly in the first half, but the theaticality is there in spades. <P>Much of this is due to Dutch musicians Thijs van der Poll and Peter Zegveld who provide an extraordinary live musical soundscape. At the back of the stage dressed in overalls and goggles they move around a mass of industrial paraphanalia producing rhythmic scraping and booming sounds and then brake off to give us a banjo duet. <P>The dancers respond to this engrossing, but often bleak, score with initially slow movement which breaks down into tortured shaking at regular intervals. Relationships are troubled and end in rejection. The Batsheva dancers are very strong and they perform movement which is driven at first from the knees and the waist producing a distinctive quality. When disparate moves become unison the effect is especially powerful. Later a girl on stilts strides among the dancers with predatory steps. <P>After the interval the tone is lighter. A beautiful trio offers more hope for relationships; the musicians sing an exquisite duet and then hilariously accompany a Japanese tale in Noh style with speech and sound effects. Although more episodic than the first half, the audience really warmed to this less tormented aspect of the Company and after a finale full of superb ensemble dancing and rich choregraphy, the dancers and the musicians received rapturous applause. <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited November 11, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Batsheva Dance Company - 'Sabotage Baby'
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2001 12:29 am 
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<B>Batsheva Dance Company</B><P>Veteran choreographer, Ohad Naharin's latest work, 'Sabotage Baby', is a fabulous full-length dark and bizarre ballet set to a live industrial score. <P>It opens with a quirky, rather autistic Cha-Cha performed by a ghoulish looking Master of Ceremonies; this touch of nostalgia transports the audience to a scene reminiscent of a factory floor in the middle part of the last century. <P>There are two musicians on stage who play an acoustic set on found objects. The steady beat and ambient sound accompanies a sultry duet, but soon the industrial score takes over and propels the dancers into a frenetic dance comprised of intricate gesture and percussive movement, as if possessed by some terrible demon. Slow, deliberate almost meditative movement, contrasts the former and evokes images of calm in the face of adversity. Nuances of Latin flavoured choreography seem to underscore the piece.<P>Soon Naharin brings us into a sinister dream world, where all the dancers on stage seem to experiencing horrific visions in their sleep. There is a touch of filmmaker David Lynch's surreal quality when what appears to be an Angel of Death takes to the stage in stilts and in cyber fetishist costuming.<P>Just when it started to feel a bit like some funfair gone awry, it was time for the interval.<P>Bracing myself for more of the same in act two, I was pleasantly surprised with the puppet-like dance of the Chinese Princess, the 5 puppeteers were some sort of<BR>Bedouin-cum-Tibetan monk hybrid. The light and humourous accompaniment by our industrial minstrels completed the vignette.<P>Soonafter, we are launched back into Sabotage Baby's fierce and unrelenting physicality that is Batsheva's signature. The dancers make it seem all so easy and fluid despite the complexity of highly personal gesture interspersed with leaps and bounds across the stage. The Angel of Death makes another appearance - this time with her cohorts who are on even higher stilts, their presence on stage gives the impression of a surreal Mardi Gras.<P>The ballet winds down as the dancers become a moving choir. They undulate up and down the stage like waves, singing a haunting rendition of what sounds like 'Frere Jacques', a familiar nursery rhyme delivered like some doomsday revelation in its tonal quality.<P>I think there is something to be said about escapism, especially during a time when Britain and the US seem to be teetering on the edge of war. Of course, those who know Batsheva, don't expect an evening of 'entertainment' but rather expect an experience lived vicariously through stellar craftsmanship and powerful dancers. However, 'Sabotage Baby' is not for the lighthearted.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Batsheva Dance Company - 'Sabotage Baby'
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2001 1:15 am 
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The London critics only enjoy elements of 'Sabotage Baby'. Clement Crisp is a man of strong likes and dislikes and Dance Theatre is generally not his cup of tea. To say that he did not enjoy the evening would be an understatement. His broadsides have as much panache as ever.<P><B>A cloud over Dance Umbrella</B><BR>By CLEMENT CRISP in The Financial Times<P><BR>The Barbican management very kindly placed notices outside its theatre warning patrons of the noise levels in Tuesday night's appearance by the Batsheva Dance troupe from Tel-Aviv. They would have done better to alert us to the appalling nature of the evening's offering - Ohad Naharin's Sabotage Baby. The "music" was actually very jolly. It was provided by Orkater, a Dutch ensemble which manufactures din from a complex of machines and gizmos that lurk at the back of the stage. Peter Zegveld and Thijs van der Poll (the musician/ machinists) busy themselves furiously amid this deranged gamelan, which is a cross between the Titfield Thunderbolt and Da Vinci's prototype for a Teasmade. Crazed tootlings, fearful borborygms, the occasional twang, fill the air, while Naharin's hapless cast lumber about, by turns lethargic or frenetic. <P><A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=011005002059&query=ballet" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><P>*******************************************<P><B>Batsheva Dance Company</B> <BR>by Judith Mackrell in The Guardian <BR>Rating ** (out of 5)<P><BR>Sabotage Baby, Ohad Naharin's latest "total creation" for Israeli company Batsheva, contains moments of eccentric whimsy and industrial-strength beauty that are guaranteed to snag the eye. <BR>There's an outlandish duet in which one of the musicians, dressed in a mechanic's overall, plays an entire solo on a metal toolbox while his mate recites an endearingly daft storyline in cod Esperanto. <P>There's a scene that updates the lurid canvases of Hieronymos Bosch to an apocalyptic factory floor: a crowd of workers writhe and despair under the gaze of four spiteful looking angels, the latter sporting wire and feathers in a twisted approximation of wings, and towering impressively on stilts. <P><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/reviews/story/0,3604,563632,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><P>*******************************************<P><B>Batsheva Dance Company - Ohad Naharin</B><BR>by Luke Jennings in The Evening Standard<BR>Rating: *(out of 3) <P><BR>Dance Umbrella kicked off last night with a performance from Israel. Since 1990 the Batsheva Dance Company has been under the direction of former kibbutznik Ohad Naharin. Trained in New York, Naharin has acquired a reputation for idiosyncratic collaborations, notably with the rock group The Tractor's Revenge. <P>Sabotage Baby, the work Naharin has brought to London, features the Orkater Ensemble, who work with sound machines. These, created from redundant electronic appliances, line the back of the stage like some post-apocalyptic monument to industrial hubris, and variously crank, bleep, squall and fizz as the evening proceeds. <P><A HREF="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/hottx/music/top_review.html?in_review_id=459699&in_review_text_id=415208" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><P>


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 Post subject: Re: Batsheva Dance Company - 'Sabotage Baby'
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2001 12:55 am 
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<B>Boring and bombastic</B><BR>by Nadine Meisner in The Independent <P><BR>Sabotage Baby is the kind of piece that has you slumped in your seat and grinding your teeth. It wraps the absence of any discernible theme in a bombastic, self-conscious theatricality, as if the mere fact of rubbing together a few disparate flamboyant visuals will automatically spark deep resonances. The only resonance some of us experienced was irritation, as we watched dancers, dressed in elaborate sackcloth aprons, who might or might not be slave industrial workers in some desolate post-apocalyptic future. <P><A HREF="http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=97993" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Batsheva Dance Company - 'Sabotage Baby'
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2001 12:38 am 
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Those who visited the Barbican on 3rd October to witness the opening night of the 2001 Dance Umbrella festival found themselves drawn into a fantastical world; a world of peculiarities and contradictions, in which the human and the mechanical existed alongside the otherworldly. <P>As the company’s eighteen dancers nonchalantly swaggered to congregate on the stage, the house-lights slowly dimmed and the auditorium doors gradually closed, sealing us in and apparently consigning us to our fate. Events quickly took a sinister turn as casual head-nodding and bent-kneed, rhythmic, foot-<BR>shuffling gave way to spasmodic jerking and writhing and rabid head-rolling. Just as startlingly, the churning mass dispersed and the performance became a singular demonstration of technical prowess and artistry; curves, rolls, arches and extensions that seemed at odds with what had gone before but was executed with such astonishing beauty that it was difficult to experience any kind of malcontent. Confusion, yes; uneasiness, certainly; but this was merely the beginning and it soon became apparent that the only thing to do was to sit back and allow the wave of weirdness to wash over me.<P>Providing both an audible and visual backdrop to the activity was an array of unique and bizarre instruments; machinery and gadgets retired from their original purpose and given a new lease of life on the stage. The distant mambo music that initially accompanied the ensemble gathering gave way to shrieks, rumbles and violent belches of industrial noise, contributing to the ominous transformation and sending icy slivers of delicious foreboding down the spine. The sudden appearance of a menacingly demonic figure on stilts, striding among the dancers like some gigantic predatory insect, only served to fortify the sense of trepidation and alarm. <P>Yet a glistening thread of humanity throughout the piece saved this from being a totally alienating experience. In spite of the eerie nature of the work, it also, paradoxically, remained reassuringly, earthily, human. This was due in part to the feather-light touches of wit sprinkled throughout, evinced by the odd eruption into song or rhyme, or the sudden, unanimous move into ersatz samba. Incomprehensible as a whole Sabotage Baby may have been, but the potency of this theatrical event will certainly stay with me for a long time. <P> <P>


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 Post subject: Re: Batsheva Dance Company - 'Sabotage Baby'
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2001 1:10 am 
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Allen Robertson discusses various works from Dance Umbrella, starting with Batsheva:<P>Umbrella Festival; London <BR>BY ALLEN ROBERTSON <BR> <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>THERE was nowhere to go but up. This year’s Dance Umbrella, which holds out the promise of being one of the most vivid in recent memory, kicked off with an unpalatable bang that proved to be nothing more than a whimper. The muddled, raucous opening attraction, Sabotage Baby from Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, was one of those amorphous unstructured events where anything seems to be fair game and nothing is left out. <BR>A cluttered extravaganza, choreographed by Ohad Naharin, it spilt across the Barbican stage raw and unedited — a post-apocalyptic romper room where ideas dribble away in an anarchy of noise and self-indulgence <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <P><BR><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-2001353874,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><p>[This message has been edited by Emma Pegler (edited October 12, 2001).]


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