The unsigned editorial from the evening’s program notes.
Performative movement, the practice of dance, or even just standing up from a chair, can be about collapse as much as precision. Training his dancers to collapse into the abilities of the body and using bodies in movement to reveal and to convince is a constant in his work, Batsheva artistic director Ohad Naharin told a group of students, faculty and staff in a special artist talk on campus this week.
He also broached the concept of echo, and how he as a choreographer likes to explore movement that embraces and refines echo, which has the potential to be unleashed and
expressed so uniquely by any given individual body in motion.
The body can echo. The concepts and ideas behind a work of dance can echo through us as the audience long after the performance has ended.
And indeed, the legacy and influence and artistry of one of the world’s greatest dance companies certainly echoes— across languages, lineages, cultures, geographies, and tonight throughout this hall and within each of us.
We are extremely proud to be part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of Batsheva Dance Company. The impact this institution has had on the world of dance is profound, and called for a series of programs and moments to create additional echo throughout our local community of dance artists and audiences.
We were fortunate to spend some time earlier this week on campus to hear Ohad speak about his background and aesthetic, and hosted two Gaga workshops open to students and the public.
The dancers performed Sadeh21 andanswered questions from local high school students in a Design for Sharing demonstration performance, making an impact on young emerging arts lovers and potential artists.
Part of tracing the echo of Batsheva for us also involved connecting with Danielle Agami, former Batsheva dancer and founder/director of local company Ate9. Danielle created a beautiful installation work in honor of Batsheva for the Saturday night program.
We also took the presentation of this influential company as an opportunity to start building a deeper dialogue with dance practitioners from across Los Angeles, with a special “Dance Gathering” preview performance at which we hope to begin forging new connections and inspiring new conversations about dance in our city.
For now, this weekend we celebrate Batsheva with the U.S. premiere performances of Sadeh21, a piece that serves as a wonderful introduction to the company for those who may have never seen Batsheva perform before, but also embodies the rich history and tradition of an institution that has reached a major milestone in the art of performance.
Welcome Batsheva, and welcome to you all.