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Ohad Naharin in America: “Out of Focus” Documentary

Posted on 27 April 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

(Video: Excerpt from Tomer Heymann’s Out of Focus)

More and more video cameras are making their way into dance studios as choreographers seek to document their work.  Usually the footage remains in personal or company archives, unseen by outsiders.  But the film Out of Focus offers the public a peek inside the process of Ohad Naharin, artistic director of Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company.

In 2007, filmmaker Tomer Heymann focused his lens on Naharin as the choreographer coached New York’s Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in Deca Dance.  Besides close up views of the choreography, Heymann’s Out of Focus includes interview clips with Naharin.  With bits of conversation set against the sometimes bustling backdrop of the studio, the discussion feels particularly fresh, open, and honest.

While the Batsheva Dance Company recently displayed Naharin’s repertory on tour in the U.S., Heyman’s behind-the-scenes documentary has been seen primarily  in Israel.  Now, though, Out of Focus is coming to New York.  92YTribeca’s screening on April 30th will include a special appearance by Heymann himself.

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