NYU Tel Aviv students recently participated in a rare modern dance experience. The Batsheva dance troupe practices in a famous dance pavilion located in Neveh Tzedek, a neighborhood in southern Tel Aviv with cobbled stone streets and small artisan shops. NYU students were invited into a private final rehearsal of the troupe’s choreographer, Ohad Naharin’s, most recent dance production.
A week before the rehearsal Students also had the opportunity to attend a public GAGA Dance lesson. Gaga is the movement language developed by Ohad Naharin throughout his work as a choreographer and Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company.
Yitian Zhao, a Business and Finance student from NYU Shanghai attended the class: “This class really empowered everyone, regardless of their previous dancing background, to fully take advantage of our body’s flexibility. By offering tips on how to coordinate different body parts, Ohad Naharin took us onto a journey where we could artistically interpret our emotions via body.”
The intimate performance if “The Hole” a week later had an occasional pause for the choreographer’s interjection and improvisation, which is an experience that only the dancer’s themselves are typically invited to see. Following the performance Ohad sat down with our students to field questions about his career path, creative process and choices in crafting this sort of evocative dance performance. In addition, NYU students had the opportunity to meet up with a fellow NYU alum who joined the Batsheva group following his graduation.
The NYU Tel Aviv students loved the performance. Michael Luckiman, a junior studying Neural Science at NYU Shanghai commented: “the event was astounding, well synchronized, immersive, and almost violently scary. There were constant surprises about the show, shocking its way into your memory“.
Daniela Echeverria, a History Major from the College of Arts and Science reflected, “Usually I am not so much a fan of contemporary dance; I went into the performance expecting to be entertained but not moved; Instead, the Company’s work had a profound emotional effect on me.” Daniela continued and mentioned she was grateful for the discussion session we had with Naharin “He left many questions and answers openended. In this way, he allows each individual spectator an opportunity to cultivate an experience of his art that is entirely his/her own.”