Ohad Naharin is Turning Over the Reins at Batsheva
It's difficult to imagine a Batsheva Dance Company without Ohad Naharin at the helm. The provocative choreographer has been the Israeli troupe's artistic director since 1990, during which time the company, its lead choreographer and his movement language, Gaga, have become more or less synonymous. But changes are afoot.
Batsheva quietly announced on its website this weekend that Naharin will be stepping down from his post as artistic director in September 2018. Taking over the top job is former company member Gili Navot, a master Gaga teacher and choreographer who has also staged Naharin's work. In a release following the announcement, Naharin praised Navot's "outstanding leadership qualities necessary for management."
Not to worry, Naharin fans: The enigmatic leader isn't going far. He'll continue to serve as the company's house choreographer. Of his decision to step down, Naharin says, "When I arrived to Batsheva 27 years ago, the company was in a deep identity crisis. As artistic director, I was committed to a dramatic change. We had to change the way we thought, the way we trained and why we danced, to change our artistic values, production values and work ethics. These vital changes enabled me to be at my best as a creator. Today...Batsheva operates at the highest level. This enables me to resign from my role as artistic director and dedicate myself to creation, to the dancers and to Gaga research."
So while things are changing, the company's identity isn't likely to undergo too drastic a makeover, especially with an artist so steeped in Gaga as Navot. We are curious to see how much the new director will choreograph on the company (she participated in the Batsheva Dancers Create platform multiple times during her company days), not to mention what guest choreographers she'll bring in.
We're wishing Batsheva, Naharin and Navot all the best as they navigate this transition over the coming year.
The Primetime Emmy Award nominations are out! Congrats to the seven choreographers who earned nods for their exceptional TV work this year. Notably, that work was made for just two shows, "So You Think You Can Dance" and "World of Dance."
And there was a particularly remarkable snub: While the dance-filled hit "Fosse/Verdon" earned 17 nominations across many of the major categories, Andy Blankenbuehler's fabulous Fosse remixes weren't recognized in the Outstanding Choreography field.
Here are all the dance routines up for Emmys:
"Dancers can do everything these days," I announced to whoever was in earshot at the Jacob's Pillow Archives during a recent summer. I had just been dazzled by footage of a ballet dancer performing hip hop, remarkably well. But my very next thought was, What if that isn't always a good thing? What if what one can't do is the very thing that lends character?
Capezio, Bloch, So Dança, Gaynor Minden.
At the top of the line, dancers have plenty of quality footwear options to choose from, and in most metropolitan areas, stores to go try them on. But for many of North America's most economically disadvantaged dance students, there has often been just one option for purchasing footwear in person: Payless ShoeSource.
When Sonya Tayeh saw Moulin Rouge! for the first time, on opening night at a movie theater in Detroit, she remembers not only being inspired by the story, but noticing the way it was filmed.
"What struck me the most was the pace, and the erratic feeling it had," she says. The camera's quick shifts and angles reminded her of bodies in motion. "I was like, 'What is this movie? This is so insane and marvelous and excessive,' " she says. "And excessive is I think how I approach dance. I enjoy the challenge of swiftness, and the pushing of the body. I love piling on a lot of vocabulary and seeing what comes out."