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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 6:28 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
A Theatrical Universe Where All Disparate Things Can and Do Happen

JACK ANDERSON
NY Times

The Batsheva Dance Company of Israel offered Ohad Naharin's "Anaphaza" at the New York State Theater on Wednesday night as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. What was "Anaphaza" aside from an imposing title? <a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/25/arts/dance/25ANAP.html target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:24 pm 
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Quote:
Beauty, Chaos Reign in Dance's 'Anaphaza'

CLAUDIA LA ROCCO
Associated Press

NEW YORK - A man in heavy face paint, silver gown and combat boots stomping around to Aaron Copland. <a href=http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030725/ap_on_en_ot/dance_batsheva_2 target=_blank>more on Yahoo</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:46 am 
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Location: NYC
Well, I saw this show. It was highly entertaining, at times gorgeous...but am I alone in feeling disappointed when meaning didn't accumulate? There were many powerful images but I just felt emptier and emptier as it went on because there didn't seem to be an overall vision other than juxtaposition of fun episodes that each 'worked' while they were happening....anyone else?


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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 10:48 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
Ideas Bred in China and Israel Coincide at Lincoln Center Festival
Landscape Painting


Deborah Jowitt
Village Voice

You'd guess that a piece named Ana- phaza—after a mitosis in which mother and daughter cells get as far from each other as possible—would be mainly about separation, but Ohad Naharin does not, I think, see separation as always desirable, even if it's often necessary. <a href=http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0331/jowitt.php target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:06 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Batsheva Dance Co/Anaphaza Lincoln Center Festival, New York
By Hilary Ostlere for The Financial Times


"Anaphase" is a stage in cell division and growth where the chromosomes in a cell break in half and are pulled to opposite poles. It's the stated idea of Anaphaza, a 90-minute extravaganza of dance, theatrical effects, improvisation, singing, drumming and electric guitar performed with energy and clamour.

The dancers, schooled well in Graham technique and further fortified under the choreographic influences of Jír{u}i Kylian, William Forsyth and the company's director, Ohad Naharin, perform what amounts to a circus of dance. They are interspersed with episodes that occasionally descend into gimmickry, such as drawing audience members to the stage to perform passively with the dancers.

click for more


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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 5:03 pm 
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Review 07/25/03

The Batsheva Dance Company’s performance of Anaphaza at the New York State Theater last Saturday night brought people together. By the time the work was over, audience members who had been strangers to each other 90 minutes earlier were discussing current politics in Israel, speaking in Hebrew about the performance, or complimenting one of several women chosen to participate in one section of the dance.
This bonding experience is ironic considering the name of the piece is derived from the biological term “anaphase,” the ambiguous stage of mitosis in which chromosomes have divided and occupy opposite poles but are still part of the same cell. Various stages of separation and inclusion are explored in each of the short sections that make up the entirety of Anaphaza.
In the opening, all 24 dancers share the same pulse to create one giant organism. Dressed in dark suits and seated in chairs forming a semi-circle around the stage, the dancers progress through a stream of accumulative movement that includes standing and singing words to a Passover song, twisting in and out of their chairs, puncturing the air with arm and head gestures, and sitting with elbows on knees, heads bent low. Once the dancers have stripped their suits down to shorts and halter tops, the cycle is broken.
One brief scene after another takes hold; a succession of frantic solos that keep a single overhead spotlight hopping around the stage, a playful duet for a boy, a girl, and their pants, and a single-file line of dancers marching diagonally across the stage, clapping empty water jugs together on every other step. Choreographer Ohad Naharin’s vocabulary makes the movement itself look anarchic. Dancers’ limbs twist and swirl and torsos arch drastically, all appearing to rebel against the stable, governing core that keeps them firmly over their feet.
The segments incorporating elements other than dance were seething with dry humor. Anaphaza’s emcee, who could be a direct descendent of Lurch from The Addams Family, informed the audience in his eerily distant voice that the piece could not continue until we rose to our feet. Then:
“If you believe in reincarnation, you may be seated.”
“If you make over $250,000 a year, sit down.”
This process immediately split the audience in two polar opposites, those sitting and those standing, the latter diminishing with each condition. (The one that wiped out over half the audience was, “If you do not like the place where you work, be seated.”) Though we may have felt a separation when the possession of a certain trait caused us to sit down, joining in this common activity and being invited to actually acknowledge each other made us feel united.
The piece as a whole was the same way. Most scenes were short and transitioned quickly, leaving little room for subtlety. In the midst of some, it was hard to fathom its relevance to the piece, as disconnected as it was from the three previous phases.
In retrospect, however, it is clear that Naharin wove numerous themes through Anaphaza. The water jug walk echoes a metronome recording that accompanies six women in the beginning. Traditional celebratory events, like Passover and birthdays, play a role but are also skewed with cynicism. And whenever things get heavy, simply dance, drum, or sing.
For all its hyperbolic presentation, it’s possible that Anaphaza could leave one wondering what it truly wants to be. Maybe that’s the most accurate corollary to the anaphase analogy and the source of the piece’s adolescent charm. Much like daughter cells forming from the mother cell, Anaphaza exhibits both desire and hesitancy to break free. After its spirited performance, even the audience was feeling the same way.

-Jenai Cutcher


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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:36 pm 
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Location: Maryland USA
Batsheva Dance Company
Washington Post
Saturday, February 28, 2004; Page C08

Quote:
Ohad Naharin has never met a corner he couldn't turn into a curve. His Israeli Batsheva Dance Company dancers constantly snaked around themselves and each other in "Deca Dance" on Thursday night at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater.
more


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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 11:46 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Batsheva Dance Company's performance of Ohad Naharin's "Deca Dance" must rank among the best all-round shows of the San Francisco Bay Area this season. The work is everything many modern dance choreographers try to achieve but don't. A compilation and "reconstruction" of previous works by Naharin, "Deca Dance" is innovative, intense, mesmerizing, entertaining and funny. There is not a single dull moment where your mind wanders (it seems there have been lots of mainstream modern dance works like that lately) nor is there choreography that tries your patience (like most prententious works). I rarely strongly recommend a show but this is a must-see.

And, oh, if you go, bring your dancing shoes...


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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 12:03 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
So did you go on-stage Azlan?

This sounds like an expanded version of Oharin's "Minus 16", which NDT2 has toured extensively. It's an interesting idea for the choreographer to call on his back catalogue in this way.

<small>[ 11 March 2004, 03:49 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:49 am 
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Location: San Francisco, CA
I'm so excited to see them... I'm going tomorrow evening so I'll give you the full report. Everything of Naharin's I've seen so far (although it isn't much) I've really enjoyed.


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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 2:22 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
No, Stuart, I didn't go on stage. I sat upstairs. The program notes didn't include "Minus 16" (it did however credit "Anasphaza") but I knew right away I was lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) to sit upstairs when I heard the familiar music and saw the dancers in the black fedoras. That segment got lots of laughs from the audience which was made up mostly of the usually critical San Francisco dance community -- they were certainly won over!


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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:02 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
A review from the SF Chronicle.

Quote:
Extravagant fun with Batsheva, from surf-guitar hora to politics
Israeli troupe makes first S.F. visit in Naharin's 'Deca Dance'

Janice Berman, Special to The Chronicle

"Zachacha" was one of eight dance excerpts in the San Francisco Performances program Wednesday night that Naharin titled "Deca Dance," a survey of his last 10 years at Batsheva's helm. The company, founded in 1964 by Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild and Martha Graham, has been directed by Naharin since 1990 and is making its first visit to San Francisco as part of a national tour.
more...

And the SJ Mercury News.

Quote:
Dance on the wild side

FUNNY BUT DISJOINTED ISRAELI COMPANY BREAKS DOWN WALL WITH AUDIENCE

By Anita Amirrezvani

Mercury News

Dance critics normally stay safely out of the limelight, scribbling in the dark. Our performance is on the printed page. But on Wednesday, when a charming Norwegian dancer named Kristin Francke extended her hand to me, I found myself making an unexpected debut on the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts stage.
more...

<small>[ 12 March 2004, 01:09 PM: Message edited by: LMCtech ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2004 4:54 pm 
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Location: San Francisco, CA
Batsheva Dance Company - ‘Deca Dance’

The Ministry of Silly Dances
March 12, 2004 – San Francisco Performances, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
By Mary Ellen Hunt

For the past few years, the Bay Area has gotten little tantalizing tidbits of Ohad Naharin’s choreography via visits from Alvin Ailey and Nederlands Dans Theatre II. So a very palpable anticipation attended the San Francisco debut of Naharin’s company Batsheva, when they rolled into the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts last week courtesy of San Francisco Perfor mances.

We all have our biases, and I hope that no one will think less of me for liking—and I’m going to invoke the “A” word here -- accessible work. That might be a funny way to describe the smorgasbord of eccentric excerpts that Naharin cooked up and served under the moniker “Deca Dance” to celebrate his decade of dance.

But strangely enough, whether it was a strutting lounge singer in pointe shoe stilts, or abstraction to the shimmerings of Arvo Part, there was always something accessible about Naharin’s work. There’s seriousness, and sometimes exquisite silliness, but you can’t help thinking that these are smart dances from a smart man. True, I would have liked to see more of Naharin’s whole evening-length works, before getting the bits and pieces. I think it would have made more sense. But we take what we can get.

Naharin has been known to often return to and rearrange his choreographies. For “Deca Dance,” he coyly declined to state which excerpts were from what, but a little research helped to connect some of the dances in Column A to titles in Column B.

The evening opened a balloon figure blowing upwards from its tether onstage as the audience filtered in. But the real meat got going with an excerpt from “Naharin’s Virus.”

Eleven dancers, torsos encased to mid-thigh in white bodysuits, stood looking a little dazed at the edge of the stage. Every so often, one of the dancers, like a mime gone mad, would break into one of Naharin’s trademark look – seemingly wild and feral, yet controlled movements. The others joined in a jittery phrase and then stilled. At the conclusion they backed away slowly, disappearing into the darkness and strangely shrinking as they did.

A series of solos and duets was punctuated by a lengthy excerpt from the beefcake, manly ritual, “Black Milk” -- amusingly interrupted by the outlandishly costumed woman in pointe shoe stilts from “Sabotage Baby.”

And in a segment from “Zachacha,” the company, in shapeless black suits and fedoras, swept into the house searching for unsuspecting partners from the audience to dance onstage (at Saturday’s show unless my eyes deceived me, they managed to nab at least one dancer from a prominent local company that actually performs regularly at the YBC). It takes a fairly self-assured charismatic company to pull this one off, which they did. The audience of course loved it right to the end, when the spotlight followed the last civilian as she searched for her seat again.

“Up here Veronica!” someone shouted helpfully and the audience broke into good-natured laughter.

It’s a pity we don’t know the company better, or else I’d be able to tell you the name of the exquisite dancer who performed the first of three dances to the music of Part right afterward. A mover of intensity and lightness, she had the audience utterly silent and in rapt attention.

Naharin seems to like kitsch, and there was a distinctly Monty Python feel to the man who came out to intone “Intermission” and then proceeded to stand implacably in front of the curtain. He stayed there for the whole intermission, by the way, breaking into a quirky little private improv while we were out getting a cup of coffee, so that we returned feeling like we’ve somehow missed one of the best parts of the show.

Another favorite segment of the evening was the “Echad Mi Yodea” section, which appears in “Anaphaza” as well as in “Minus 16,” and in this case, opened the second half of the program. A half circle of 15 dancers stood in front of chairs while a portentous woman's voice spoke of the “panic behind the laughter.” And then precipitously, we are pitched into a high-voltage, military-style version of the Jewish children’s song “Who Knows One?” (a kind of “Twelve Days of Christmas” for Passover) recorded by the Israeli group Tractor’s Revenge.

The group swings wildly from quiet contemplation to explosive phrases of movement, as a lone dancer moves toward an empty chair. The barely contained fury of the wave that ripples around the circle literally flings the last dancer to the ground. As they proceed through the thirteen verses of the song -- flinging off hats, jackets, shoes, throwing them to the center of the stage and finally stripping down to underwear -- the frantic physicality of the dancers is coupled with a strangely phlegmatic quality.

Indeed, it is this wild side of Naharin's choreography that makes his own company so appealing. To say that they have a rawness to their movement is not to imply lack of training, but rather a kind of primal attack in even the most lyrical of places. It also makes the overriding intellectualism appealing, and -- soming back to the "A" word again -- accessible. These are not dancers or works from which the audience is shut out. We are invited to be a part of everything, and more than happy to accept.


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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2004 6:51 pm 
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That's exactly how I felt about this performance! I'm putting this work in my top ten list for the season.


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 Post subject: Re: Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 4:29 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Yes, accessible dance certainly has a place in my book too Mary Ellen - both for the potential to bring in and retain a new dance audience and for my personal pleasure in seeing the combination of fine dancing and entertainment.

In London both NBT's "Dream" and the new Tango por Dos show provide excellent and accessible shows that I would be happy to recommend to non-dance goers. I'm sure they would enjoy them and they will be exposed to fine dancing.

Looking forward to this Batsheva production reaching the UK, but I think we have "Naharin's Virus" first.

<small>[ 19 March 2004, 05:33 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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