Posted on 25 October 2009 by Deborah Friedes Galili
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? Batshevatook Anaphaza, water bottles and all, down to the Arava desertfor 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.
Video: The Batsheva Ensemble in Ohad Naharin’s Seder.
Last year I had the privilege and the pleasure of accompanying the Batsheva Ensemble on a trip to the town of Kiryat Shmona for two school shows of Ohad Naharin’s Seder. My photo journal and account of the day – originally titled “A Day in the Life: The Batsheva Ensemble in Kiryat Shmona” – was initially published on The Winger on May 18, 2008. I’m re-posting it here so that you can get a behind-the-scenes peak into the company’s workings.
But before you read about the company’s activities last year, here’s some fresh news: the Batsheva Ensemble will be touring this month to Rwanda. They’ll be performing and doing workshops with children – and, to give something a little more tangible, they plan to donate sneakers.
Help the Batsheva Ensemble Help Teenagers in Rwanda
If you’re in Israel, you can help by donating sneakers (used but in good condition), sizes 37-45. The sneakers will go to teenaged orphans whose parents died in the genocide. Visit the Facebook page for this event to learn more, and drop off your old sneakers now through June 16th at Batsheva’s offices in the Suzanne Dellal Center.
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Now read on to learn more about the Batsheva Ensemble!
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.