Batsheva Dance Company: Hora

This article is from 2012

Batsheva Dance Company: Hora

Photo: Gadi Dagon

Learning the new language of dance

For most of us, the word ‘gaga’ means one of two things: an anthemic, hands-in-the-air Queen song, or a peroxide blonde dressed in meat.

At Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, however, it has a whole other meaning. The brainchild of Israeli artistic director, Ohad Naharin, gaga is a new movement style developed to help his dancers reach their potential. Which, if the company’s 2008 Festival show Deca Dance is anything to go by, is working out just fine.

‘Gaga is a toolbox,’ explains Naharin. ‘And when we use it, it allows us to develop speed and efficiency of movement. It’s also about texture and delicacy, and listening to our bodies so we discover when one body part moves, it echoes in the rest of you.’

Despite the use of music widely known from science fiction film soundtracks, Hora is a piece of pure abstract dance, and Naharin wants us to keep an open mind. ‘Hora has an abundant reference points,’ he says, ‘but I ask the audience not to let those references manage them, or prevent them from having a real, fresh experience.’

Edinburgh Playhouse, 473 2000, 30 Aug–1 Sep, 7.30pm, £10–£30.