For the first time, Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin brings his work to The National Theatre in ‘decadance.’
This background article by The Czech National Ballet is provided as a service to our readers.
Ohad Naharin: decadance
For the first time ever, the Czech National Ballet’s repertoire will include works of the legendary Israeli creator Ohad Naharin, who for several decades has been among the crème de la crème of the world’s modern dance theatre.
Choreography: Ohad Naharin
Lighting and set design: Avi Yona Bueno (Bambi)
Costumes: Rakefet Levy
Music: Perez Prado & His Orchestra, Billy May´s Rico Mambo Orchestra, The John Buzon Trio, Dick Dale, traditional Israeli music, Antonio Vivaldi, Marusha, Don Swan & His Orchestra, Dean Martin, Chari Chari, Kid 606, AGF, Fennesz, Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, Chronomad, The Beach Boys, Rayon, Seefeel
1st premiere performance: 4 June 2015, the New Stage (National Theatre)
2nd premiere performance: 5 June at the New Stage (National Theatre)
Further performances: 7, 23, and 24 June, 27 August
The auspices of the production have been personally assumed by His Excellency Mr. Gary Koren, Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Czech Republic.
The mosaic made up of such towering figures as Jiří Kylián, Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, Christopher Bruce, and William Forsythe will now be supplemented by another, very precious, stone.
Gaga is a language that is still developing. And it largely concerns listening to your body, that which it feels, no matter if you are dancing or are at rest. This consciousness in turn creates space for emotions, as emotions are borne on a current of energy. Becoming aware of your body gives rise to space for its explosiveness; to explode, you also need space. Yet becoming aware also creates scope for subtlety. And that is what I strive to achieve.
And although the evening will comprise a special combination of parts of and entire opuses conceived by Ohad Naharin over the past decade, to a certain degree it will be a new form, since original moments will be created within the direction line and choreographic structure of the whole performance.
Ohad Naharin’s powerful charisma, specific geographic and cultural background, singular and unique poetics of movement, and idiom in general represent an immense and novel experience not only for the Czech National Ballet dancers but also, and most notably, for the audience, who can expect an exceptional, overwhelming, remarkable spectacle.Born in 1952 in Kibbutz Mizra, Ohad Naharin began his dance training with the Batsheva Dance Company at the age of 22. During his first year with the company, Mr Naharin was singled out for his talent by the visiting choreographer Martha Graham, who invited him to join her own company in New York. While in the USA, he studied and polished his technique.
He went on to perform internationally with Israel’s Bat-Dor Dance Company and Maurice Béjart’s Ballet du XXe Siècle in Brussels.
Mr Naharin returned to New York in 1980, making his choreographic debut at the Kazuko Hirabayshi studio, and that year he formed the Ohad Naharin Dance Company with his wife, Mari Kajiwara.
Since 1990, he has been at the helm of the celebrated, phenomenal Batsheva Dance Company, based in Tel Aviv.
In addition to creating choreographies for the stage, Mr Naharin has pioneered Gaga, an innovative dance language, which emphasises the exploration of sensation and availability for movement and is now the primary training method for Batsheva’s dancers. Gaga has also attracted a wide following among dancers around the world and appealed to the general public in Israel and worldwide.
Ohad Naharin is a choreographer capable of escalating the audience’s tension, his productions are rituals and celebrations, great events and spectacles. Even though his works are in the repertoire of the world’s most renowned companies, he has never premiered any of them with any other than his own, Batsheva.
On the other hand, he does not transfer his works to other companies blindly, without arrangements, usually modifying them, as well as often devising tailor-made collages made up of abstracts of his choreographies and amending them with new elements and connections.
Mr Naharin’s choreographies are vital, ever-evolving. This is also the case of the version of decadance created for Prague and the Czech National Ballet.
Photo Credits: Top: Pavel Hejný; bottom, Gadi Dagon