Tag Archive | "Decadance"

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Invitation to a Lecture at Emory University on American and Israeli Dance

Posted on 20 February 2010 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Video: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet performing Ohad Naharin’s Decadance

If you’re in Atlanta, Georgia – or if you know someone in Atlanta – here’s a heads up:

I’m happy to announce that I am speaking in the Emory Friends of Dance Lecture Series on Wednesday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time).  My talk, Foreign Exchange: American and Israeli Dance from Martha Graham to Ohad Naharin, will precede a performance by Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet of Ohad Naharin’s Decadance.  I won’t be in Atlanta in person, but I will be speaking via Skype and have an exciting presentation prepared!

Cedar Lake performing Ohad Naharin’s Decadance.  Photo by Paul B. Goode.

Here’s the official blurb about my lecture:

Forty years ago, Israel’s premiere dance company imported works by top American choreographers.  Now cutting-edge American troupes like Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet are drawing crowds with choreography by Israeli artists.  In this lecture, dance scholar Deborah Friedes Galili explores the dynamic relationship between American and Israeli dance and traces the meteoric rise of Israeli contemporary dance.  This lecture will be presented live from Israel via webcam prior to the performance by Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.

Cedar Lake performing Ohad Naharin’s Decadance.  Photo by Paul B. Goode.

My lecture is free and open to the public, so if you’re in Atlanta, I hope you will come listen in the Chase Lobby at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, 1700 N. Decatur Road.  I will speak for one half hour, and then there will be a question and answer session.  Please let others know about this event as well!

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Ohad Naharin’s “Deca Dance” in Israel: A Cycle Completed

Posted on 27 January 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

(Video: The Batsheva Dance Company in Deca Dance)

Whenever possible, I try to publish my writings from last year in conjunction with a related event that’s happening now.  As the Batsheva Dance Company embarks on an extensive North American tour and takes Ohad Naharin’s Deca Dance on the road, it seems like the right moment to re-post my writing on the work.

I first published this article as “A Cycle Completed: Deca Dance in Israel” on The Winger on July 11, 2008.

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It’s fitting that I saw the Batsheva Ensemble perform the latest version of Ohad Naharin’s Deca Dance at the Suzanne Dellal Center last week.  You see, Deca Dance is the piece that drew me here to Israel.  I wrote my Fulbright grant proposal having only seen the Batsheva Dance Company perform an earlier incarnation of this work (albeit 3 times).   I hadn’t seen any of Naharin’s other dances, nor had I seen any other Israeli companies.   Now – 4 years after I last saw Deca Dance, 9 and 1/2 months after landing in Israel, 2 days after finishing the term of my Fulbright grant, and 90-some dance concerts later – I feel I have come to the end of a cycle.

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Americans in Israel: Cedar Lake in Tel Aviv Dance 2008

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in Ohad Naharin’s Decadance. Photo by Paul B. Goode

It used to be that Israeli companies like Batsheva Dance Company and the now defunct Bat-Dor toured to the U.S. with American repertory (( Batsheva Dance Company was founded in 1964 by the Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild, a patroness of Martha Graham.  Graham was the company’s artistic adviser, and the group performed not only several of her works but also dances by numerous Americans and Europeans – some of who became artistic directors during the group’s early decades. )).  But Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet’s appearance at the Tel Aviv Dance 2008 festival marks a turning point in dance history: this American company is bringing Israeli repertory to Israel.  Cedar Lake’s programs will include excerpts from Decadance by Ohad Naharin, Batsheva’s artistic director.

Last year I peeked into Cedar Lake’s rehearsal process with Naharin by watching Tomer Heymann’s documentary, Out of Focus.  Whereas the Batsheva dancers take class daily in Gaga, a movement practice developed by Naharin, Cedar Lake’s dancers had to move away from their ballet background and immerse themselves in a dramatically different method of training and working.  This shift required the dancers to trade a traditional emphasis on external appearances for an intense process of personal and physical exploration – a major challenge for dancers reared and rooted in the ballet studio, with its ever-present mirror.

But Cedar Lake is explicitly billed as a contemporary ballet company.  Its repertory is not drawn from 19th century ballet classics but from a range of modern-day works, some of which blur the borders between genres of dance.  Thus the dancers that tackled this challenge did so with within the company’s framework of versatility and physical facility, which is beautifully captured in this video below:

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