Ohad Naharin: International Dance Day Message 2018 – Europe

Apr 25, 2018

To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the International Theatre Institute and to underline the cross-cultural and international aspect of this common language - Dance, the Executive Council and the International Dance Committee of ITI have selected five message authors to write a message – one from each of the five UNESCO Regions: Africa, the Americas, Arab Countries, Asia Pacific and Europe. The Polish Centre of the International Theatre Institute in collaboration with the Institute of Music and Dance is pleased to present the European message for the International Dance Message 2018, written by Ohad Naharin, the artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company and the author of the Gaga movement language.

 

The Message:

Dancing is about being in the moment. It’s about listening to the scope of sensations and allowing that listening to become the fuel of all feelings, forms, and content. Yet, we should always remember where we came from.

When asked what my work is about, I first answer that it is about itself. About how all of its elements meet to create its narrative. A dance narrative of volume, delicacy, the use of explosive power. The research of movement, organization and structure. Laughing at ourselves, dynamics, overstatement and understatement, the connection of pleasure and effort, and the sublimation of each dancer’s madness, passion, and fantasy into a clear form.

At its best, dance can be sublime, even if far from perfect. We need to resist the conservative and conventional thinking that has roots in much of dance education and training, and let go of old ideas for new, better ones. And we must always remember to dance a little every day...

And we must always remember to dance a little every day...and never in front of a mirror.

 

Ohad Naharin is a choreographer, the Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company, and creator of the Gaga movement language. Born in 1952 in Mizra, Israel, he joined Batsheva Dance Company in 1974 despite having little training. During his first year, guest choreographer Martha Graham invited him to join her own company in New York, where Naharin later made his choreographic debut at the Kazuko Hirabayashi studio in 1980. For the next decade he presented works in New York and abroad, including pieces for Batsheva Dance Company, the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, and Nederlands Dans Theater. Naharin worked closely with his first wife, Mari Kajiwara, until she died from cancer in 2001.

In 1990, Naharin was appointed Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company, and in the same year, he established the company’s junior division, Batsheva – the Young Ensemble. He has since created over thirty works for both companies and set pieces on many others. He has also collaborated with musicians including The Tractor’s Revenge, Avi Balleli and Dan Makov, Ivri Lider, and Grischa Lichtenberger. Under the pseudonym Maxim Waratt, he composed, edited, and mixed many of his own soundtracks. Naharin’s work has been featured in several films, including Tomer Heymann’s Out of Focus (2007) and the Heymann Brothers’ Mr. Gaga (2015). In addition to his stagework, Naharin also developed Gaga, the innovative movement research and daily training of Batsheva’s dancers that has spread internationally among both dancers and non-dancers.

A citizen of both Israel and the United States, Naharin currently lives in Israel with his wife, dancer and costume designer Eri Nakamura, and their daughter, Noga.

 

International Dance Day (IDD)

In 1982, the International Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute proclaimed 29 April – the day on which the founder of modern ballet, Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), was baptised – the International Dance Day. The International Dance Day Message is to celebrate dance, revel in the universality of this art form, transcend all political, cultural and ethnic barriers, and bring people together through the universal language of dance. Every year, a message from an outstanding choreographer or dancer is circulated throughout the world. The author of the message is selected by the International Dance Committee of ITI and the Executive Council of ITI.

 

In Poland, the annual International Dance Day messages are publicized by the Polish Centre of the International Theatre Institute in collaboration with the Institute of Music and Dance.

 

More information: https://www.international-dance-day.org/

 

International Dance Day Messages 2018:

https://www.international-dance-day.org/messageauthor.html

Ohad Naharin: International Dance Day Message 2018 – Europe powiększ
Pictured: Ohad Naharin. Photo: International Theatre Institute ITI