Batsheva Dance Company has been critically acclaimed and popularly embraced as one of the most exciting contemporary dance companies in the world. Together with its junior Batsheva Ensemble, the organisation boasts a roster of 40 dancers drawn from Israel and abroad. Touring extensively throughout the country and internationally, the two companies present 250 performances annually.
Ohad Naharin assumed the role of Artistic Director in 1990 and propelled the company into a new era with his adventurous curatorial vision, distinctive choreographic voice, and revolutionary movement language, Gaga. Through daily training in Gaga, Batshevaʼs
dancers research new movement possibilities and awaken their dynamic sensitivity. They bring an eager curiosity and ripe imagination to rehearsals, where they participate actively in the creative process.
Company members are also encouraged to express their unique talents by creating for the annual Batsheva Dancers Create project. Many of the main companyʼs dancers honed their skills as members of Batsheva Ensemble, which cultivates dancers from ages 18-24 and carries out the educational agenda of Batsheva.
In addition to performing for young audiences around the country, the Ensemble holds open rehearsals, Gaga classes, and repertory workshops for dance schools. Batsheva Ensemble also engages in outreach activities, performing for underserved populations throughout Israel.
Batsheva Dance Company was founded as a repertory company in 1964 by the Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild, who enlisted Martha Graham as artistic adviser. Despite its youth, Batsheva was immediately granted the honor of being the first company outside Grahamʼs own troupe to perform the legendary choreographerʼs dances.
During its first few decades, Batsheva Dance Company was guided by artistic directors Jane Dudley, Norman Walker, Brian MacDonald, William Louther, Kaj Lothman (who also jointly directed with Linda Hodes for one year), Paul Sanasardo, Moshe Romano, David Dvir, and Shelley Sheer.
Each director varied the repertory with works by prominent American and European choreographers and introduced new creations by emerging Israeli artists.
Batsheva was also shaped by Robert Cohan, who served as artistic advisor during Romanoʼs directorship, and by a series of rehearsal directors including Ruth Harris, Moshe Romano, Linda Hodes, Amira Meroz, Rena Gluck (who also served briefly as associate director), Rahamim Ron, and Jean Geddis. Ohad Naharin was appointed as Artistic Director in 1990.
Naomi Bloch-Fortis served as Associate ArtisticDirector and Executive Director until September 2009. Dina Aldor is the Companyʼs Executive Director as of September 2009. Since 1989, Batsheva Dance Company has been in residence at the Suzanne Dellal Centre in Tel Aviv.
Batsheva Ensemble was founded in 1990 by Ohad Naharin upon his appointment as Batsheva Dance Companyʼs Artistic Director with the mission of developing, encouraging and cultivating young talents as well as young audiences. The Batsheva Ensemble operates alongside the senior Batsheva Dance Company. International in nature, the Batsheva Ensemble is made up of individually unique dancers aged 18-24 from Israel and abroad.
Its members are selected annually by Ohad Naharin from a competitive pool of approximately 300 dancers. The Ensemble dancers are the outstanding graduates of prestigious schools around the world which range from the Julliard School in New York to the Paris Conservatory.
Many former dancers with the Batsheva Ensemble are now active dancers and choreographers in the Israeli and international dance scene such as Hofesh Shechter, Amanda Miller, Yuval Pick, Yossi Berg, Inbal Pinto and more.
Batsheva Ensemble dancers train daily with Ohad Naharin and perform regularly in the companyʼs seasons in Israel and abroad. The Batsheva
Ensemble opened the Sydney International Dance Festival in Australia in January 2006, and has also appeared in the US, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Monte Carlo. Fueled by passion and explosive energy, Batsheva Ensemble is hailed by both critics and audiences alike.
First performed in 2000, Deca Dance is a celebration of 20 years of Naharinʼs work with Batsheva Dance Company. Highlighting many facets of his repertoire, Naharin takes sections of existing works and reorganizes them into a new fresh experience. Deca Dance offers the possibility to look at Naharinʼs repertoire, from its most extravagant to its most intimate and heartrending. Deca Dance continues to evolve to this day.
“Deca Dance is not a new work. It is more about reconstruction: I like to take pieces or sections of existing works and rework it, reorganize it and create the possibility to look at it from a new angle. It always teaches me something new about my work and composition. In Deca Dance I took sections from different works. It was like I was telling only either the beginning, middle or ending of many stories but when I organized it the result become as coherent as the original if not more.” Ohad Naharin
Deca Dance UK Tour 2012*
Naharin’s Virus (2001)
Black Milk (1985)
*not in order of appearance