Ohad Naharin’s Anaphaza. Photo by Gadi Dagon.
Two weeks ago, the distinctive sound of dancers drumming on enormous water cooler bottles flooded the courtyard of the Suzanne Dellal Center as the Batsheva Dance Company rehearsed Ohad Naharin’s Anaphaza. But last week, the studios were eerily silent. Why? Batsheva took Anaphaza, water bottles and all, down to the Arava desert for Phaza Morgana 2009. From October 22-25, the usually placid Timna Park overflowed with audiences and energy as Batsheva and the Idan Raichel Project put on three spectacular shows.
My preview of Phaza Morgana was originally published as “Dance in the Desert” in the Jerusalem Post.
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Dance in the Desert
This weekend, the desert won’t be so deserted. Crowds of eager spectators are flocking to scenic Timna Park, twenty-five kilometers north of Eilat, for Isrotel Phaza Morgana 2009. Nestled among the park’s striking rock formations at the foot of the magnificent Solomon’s Pillars, a 3,000 seat amphitheater will host three spectacular programs designed to entice the senses and enliven the spirit.
The world-renowned Batsheva Dance Company has partnered with the Israeli hotel chain Isrotel to present Phaza Morgana on five previous occasions, but this year’s festival promises to be the most sensational event yet. As in previous seasons, the dance troupe’s large-scale production of Anaphaza forms Phaza Morgana’s centerpiece and maintains a magical appeal.