Posts Tagged ‘Gaga’


Gaga. I must keep moving until the end.

June 20, 2012

It’s no doubt that this Spring semester has taken a lot out of me. We finished off our choreographic works, have performed student works and professional repertory, the highlight of which was dancing on the main stage at Suzanne Dellal. This week, I finish my studies with technical exams. But in an effort to squeeze out just a little bit more dance from this experience in Israel, I’m turning to Gaga.


Photo Credit: Gadi Dagon

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My Experience as Told by Natalie Portman

May 20, 2012

Does anyone remember the time we saw Natalie Portman at The Joyce Theater when we went to see Batsheva Dance Comapny perform Project 5? She was just hanging out with Ohad Naharin. No big. It’s funny how small the world is, or how small you can make it seem when you make funny connections.

Anyway, Natalie Portman knows exactly how I feel here in Jerusalem when I’m battling my own perceptions of physical and conceptual reality, in terms of moving the body (especially in Gaga class) and approaching choreography (especially in Melanie’s class). It’s about breaking habits and releasing yourself from mental and physical (and emotional?) atrophy.

Please enjoy Portman’s perfect portrayal of my plight:

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Batsheva Ensemble Auditions

February 11, 2012

I’ve been sick for four days now, with a constant fever and impossible nights of sleep. Violent chills alternated with what I considered the true meaning of what it is to sweat. I think it’s something like the flu. I’m taking care, don’t you worry. I tried running in the middle of the week, but was only met with fatigue. With high spirits though, I attended auditions today for the Batsheva Ensemble.

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It’s the end of Fall semester.

February 1, 2012

Last night’s performance of the Academy Ensemble’s projects was great. I’m eager to see where our work will go in the coming months. I know it’s late, but here’s some rehearsal footage I found on the Academy website.



This performance and this week marks the end of the Fall semester, finally! I look forward to the following this month:

  • doing some local tourism and perhaps some hiking
  • attending a Gaga/ Batsheva repertory workshop at the Academy
  • continuing Ensemble rehearsals
  • rehearsing my own choreography
  • beginning Hebrew classes
  • running…


I hope I can keep this break relaxed, yet productive!



Kolben Dance and Gaga/people

October 1, 2011

On Tuesday morning, I took company class with Kolben Dance, headed by Amir Kolben, a member of the faculty at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. The class was structured much like a ballet class, first starting at the barre, then with the typical center format. I must say that for not having done ballet for almost two months, I was able to hang just fine! I quite enjoyed taking class with the company, and wish that my schedule allowed me time for some kind of apprenticeship.

Here is a video of Kolben Dance’s “Plus Minus.”



Later that day, after our Dance in Israel lecture, we hopped on the bus to Tel Aviv. We took a Gaga/people class with Ohad Naharin, developer of the movement language called Gaga. That class had over one hundred people in it, and Ohad used no music for the first half to “prove that we can be groovy without it.” I think he just wanted everyone to be able to hear him. It was really something else to have been able to be led through the class by the man that developed the language. He was casual and light-hearted, but somehow I figured he would be.

Just a touch of perspective:  Ohad Naharin is a year older than my father!

The people attending the class were a mixed population:  dancers and non-dancers, tourists, folks of all ages… I think I even spotted a pregnant woman. People seem to take Gaga/people classes like you would take a Pilates or yoga class in the United States. What impressed me was Ohad’s ability to make the movement language accessible for this general population. Everyone found their own ways to “let go,” and the entire class seemed to leave the studio fully satisfied. Amazing.

I think I’m beginning to understand the matter-of-factness of Gaga, and more about not taking myself too seriously–trying to “keep it conversational,” as Doug Elkins would say. This departure from essentially trying too hard is really letting me loosen up and find new ways to isolate new body parts, but simultaneously and non-consciously.

If I hadn’t said it before, it’s hard for me to put into words.



Oh, and might I add… I always love the music instructors use when leading a Gaga class. It’s all funky and one song is completely different than the last. I’m a huge fan of anyone that can put on a hip hop track filled with [dirty] American slang and make an entire class shake their pelvises in ways they never have before.



Atrophy of the Common Dancer

September 16, 2011

“The instructors amuse me. They’re not used to speaking in English, so they’ll once in a while say a word in Hebrew and then survey the class for translations. It really is something observing their English word choices. Aya had wanted to explain something the other day about articulating our feet. (A perfect lesson for me.) After she surveyed the class, she landed on the word ATROPHY.”

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I Came Here to Dance(Jerusalem)

September 11, 2011

I came here to dance, and you came here to read about it.

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