Opus Osm Minutka: Preview decadance


Viktor Konvalinka in rehearsal for ‘decadance’

Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin brings his ‘gaga’ dance style to The Czech National Ballet’s performance of his decadance. Here’s a quick look at ‘gaga.’

Opus Osm’s Minutka (Little Minute)

Five Fast Facts about decadance

premiering June 4, 5 at The New Stage

1 Ohad Naharin actually didn’t start dancing until he was 22; but then he went straight to the top – studying at Juilliard and the School of the American Ballet. During his first year with the Batsheva Dance Company he was spotted by Martha Graham, who invited him to join her company. In 1990 he was appointed artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company.

2 He forbids the use of mirrors in his studio, because he wants his dancers to feel the movement from within, not just by watching themselves move. He explains that his ″gaga″ style is not concerned with how high a dancer can jump, but about ″healing … clarity of form … soul … .″ And he believes that everyone can dance, regardless of their age. Watch him explain gaga:

3 decadance is not a new work, but rather a work reconstructed from excerpts of his other choreographies, reorganized and reworked from a new perspective. Dancers perform to a wide range of music by everyone from Dean Martin to Antonio Vivaldi, from traditional Israeli music to Brian Eno. Watch for characteristic Ohad Naharin movements contrasting stillness with explosiveness, internal strength from deep within vs tiny, delicate movements.

4 The cast for The Czech National Ballet performance is sure to include the incomparable, creative Viktor Konvalinka. A 2004 graduate of the Prague Dance Conservatory, he attended summer master classes at the Dance Academy in Dresden and Philadelphia. He joined the Czech National Ballet in 2004, became a demi-soloist in 2005, and soloist a mere year later. He has presented many unforgettable moments here, dancing most recently in Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Čarodejův Učeň), as well as in many of his own astounding choreographies. Watch him in this excerpt from decadance:

5 decadance will be presented at The New Stage (Nová Scéna), premiering June 4-5 (sold out); and June 7 (3 and 8 pm); and June 23 and 24 (7 pm); it returns in late August.

– Mary Matz, Opus Osm editor

Photo Credits: Hana Smejkalová; videos, YouTube, Czech National Ballet

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