Tag Archive | "Gaga intensive"

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Dancing in Israel: Summer Workshops

Posted on 24 April 2011 by Deborah Friedes Galili


Sheetal Gandhi’s students at Bridge: Choreographic Dialogues 2009. Photo by Tully Chen.

When I first came to Israel to research dance in 2007, I occasionally crossed paths in open classes with other dancers from abroad.  While local studios have always welcomed dancers from around the world, increasingly, short-term seasonal workshops are geared towards an international population of students.  Thinking about expanding your horizons by training in Israel?  Here are a few programs to keep on your radar.


Video: KCDC’s International Summer Program

The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (KCDC) has launched an international summer dance program for dancers age 15-20. Taught by directors and dancers of both the main company and its junior ensemble as well as guest teachers, this program’s offerings include ballet and modern technique, strengthening sessions, and classes in the repertory of KCDC’s artistic director Rami Be’er. Participants live in guest houses on Kibbutz Ga’aton, home to the company and the Galilee Dance Village, and besides enjoying their stay on the kibbutz, the dancers enrich their experience abroad with weekend trips to other locations in Israel.

KCDC’s 2011 program is scheduled for July 7-21, and more information can be found on the company’s website.


Dancers at the Gaga Intensive Summer Course. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Since its inception in 2008, the Gaga Intensive has grown in size and popularity. Taught by Ohad Naharin and members of the Batsheva Dance Company, the two-week workshop includes Gaga/dancers classes, repertory classes focusing on Naharin’s choreography, and methodics classes, sessions which enable dancers to more deeply research key concepts. The course is open to professional dancers and dance students age 18 and up, and classes are held at Batsheva’s studios at the Suzanne Dellal Centre in Tel Aviv.

The 2011 Gaga Intensive Summer Course is already full, but you can stay tuned to the Gaga website for updates about future workshops.


Video: Bridge Choreographic Dialogues 2009

Bridge: Choreographic Dialogues began as a program linking dance artists in Tel Aviv and Los Angeles, but it has grown into a broader endeavor with an increasingly diverse international faculty and student body.  Held at the Suzanne Dellal Centre under the artistic direction of Barak Marshall, the two-week program is open to dancers age 20 and up who have at least three years of professional experience.  While the exact offerings depend on the program’s faculty, Bridge: Choreographic Dialogues usually features classes in ballet, modern dance, and contemporary repertory as well as choreographic workshops.

The 2011 Bridge: Choreographic Dialogues will be held from July 31-August 12.  More information can be found on Suzanne Dellal’s website and the workshop’s website.  

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Announcing the Gaga Intensive 2010

Posted on 01 April 2010 by Deborah Friedes Galili


Gaga Intensive. Photo by Gadi Dagon

Many of you have inquired about the 2010 Gaga Intensive, a two-week summer course offered by Ohad Naharin along with dancers from Batsheva Dance Company.  So, as the registration coordinator for the workshop, I’m pleased to offer you the scoop: this year’s intensive will be held from July 11-23 in Tel Aviv at the Batsheva studios in the Suzanne Dellal Center.  The Gaga Intensive is geared towards dancers and dance students age 18+.  Classes in Gaga, Naharin’s repertory, and Gaga methodics will run Sundays through Thursdays from 10:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon, and there will also be classes on Friday mornings. The course will cost 2000 NIS, or roughly $500.

If you have questions, please do not contact me through Dance In Israel but instead e-mail me at: [email protected]

You can register at: www.gagapeople.com

Hope to see you in Tel Aviv this summer!

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Gaga for Dancers: From the Gaga Intensive to New Open Classes

Posted on 27 August 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Gaga Intensive

Dancers at the Gaga Intensive 2009.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

I’ve been studying Gaga for the better part of two years, but the vast majority of the classes I have taken fall under the rubric of “Gaga People,” Gaga classes which are open for participants regardless of any previous dance experience.  There’s something magical about these classes.  It’s not often that you walk into a dance studio full of people ranging in age from their early 20s to their 70s, some of whom have performed professionally and some of whom simply love to move but have never taken a dance class before.

Yet there was also something special about taking Gaga classes with 120 other dancers during the Gaga Intensive this summer.  “Gaga Dancers” classes challenged me to more thoroughly explore the underlying concepts of Ohad Naharin’s movement language and enabled me to research these ideas while connecting more consciously to my body’s knowledge of ballet and modern dance forms.  I wasn’t just working from my lena; I was working my arabesque from my lena.  I was floating while doing changements, exploring biba while doing developés, and sensing my luna while doing pliés and relevés.

I’m happy to announce that starting on September 8th, Gaga classes designed specifically for dancers will be opened to the public in Tel Aviv.  Like the “Gaga People” classes, these will take place at the Suzanne Dellal Center.  If you have previous dance training, you can get your groove on at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  And I’m also happy to announce that starting soon, I’ll be the one working the door!  For more details, please see the Events calendar.

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Before open “Gaga Dancers” classes start, I wanted to share another glimpse of last month’s Gaga Intensive.  I first wrote the article below, “Learning to Speak Gaga,” for the Jerusalem Post. To read what other dancers thought about their Gaga experience, check out my previous post, “Reflections on the Gaga Intensive 2009.”

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Learning to Speak Gaga

Amidst the waves of tourists arriving in Israel this summer was one particularly diverse group, gathering, from around the globe, in Tel Aviv.  They came from the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, Belgium, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Denmark, Italy, Greece, Cameroon, Japan and Korea.  Like some other foreign visitors, they were eager to experience an unfamiliar culture and learn a new language. But these weren’t typical tourists and they weren’t planning to study Hebrew.  They are dancers.  And they came to immerse themselves in Gaga.

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Reflections on the Gaga Intensive 2009

Posted on 06 August 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Gaga Intensive

Ohad Naharin leads class at the Gaga Intensive 2009.  Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Last year, I only made it to two days of the Gaga Intensive because I was heading back to the U.S. for the summer.  But this year, I enjoyed two glorious weeks of dancing with 120 participants from around the world.  During our breaks, I talked to many of the dancers about why they came to the workshop, what they enjoyed most, and what they got out of the experience.  I’ll be posting more of my writing about the Gaga Intensive later, but first I wanted to bring you some inspiring voices from these dancers.

If you want to share your experience from the Gaga Intensive, you can write a comment at the bottom of this post!

* * *

Allison Shir

– United States, via Amsterdam

I came to the Gaga workshop to expand my vocabulary in a new way.  Sometimes if you keep going to the same classes and do the same styles, your artistry can get stale.  I think this [intensive] is a lot about how your artistry can feed your physicality and technique rather than the other way around.  I think that makes for a much richer and satisfying workshop, and you can take away a lot for your career and your life.  It’s not just about dancing with your body but with your life, and about the interconnectedness of everything – there are dynamic possibilities within everything here.

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A Glimpse into the Gaga Workshop

Posted on 07 April 2009 by deborah friedes


Gaga Intensive. Photo by Gadi Dagon.

Nearly every time I have written about Gaga, I have received inquiries from readers about opportunities to study Ohad Naharin’s movement language.   Several people have wondered about attending a Gaga intensive, and now I’m happy to announce that there will indeed be a workshop in Tel Aviv from July 19th-31st, 2009.  Contact [email protected] for more information.

Although I spent most of the summer of 2008 in the U.S., I visited the Gaga workshop for a day and joined participants in their classes.  To get a sense of what might be in store for this year’s Gaga intensive, check out my reflection on last year’s experience, posted below.  My article was originally written for The Winger on July 30, 2008.

* * *

In between packing and tying up various loose ends in Tel Aviv a few weeks ago, I swung by the Suzanne Dellal Center to check out Batsheva’s Gaga intensive workshop.  Eldad Mannheim, who manages the Batsheva Ensemble, had told me it was full, but I don’t think I was prepared for what I saw when I walked into Studio Varda on a Wednesday afternoon.   Dancers had come literally from all over the world – the U.S., Mexico, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and no doubt many other countries – to study Gaga.

The participants had already taken a morning Gaga class by the time I arrived, and now they were busily reviewing material from the daily repertory class in small groups.  On the day I attended the workshop, Danielle and Bosmat first led us through a tight gestural section from Ohad Naharin’s MAX.  After seeing this excerpt not only in MAX but in several performances of Seder, I was quite eager to try my hand(s) at this movement (so to speak).

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