I have a confession to make – I have an addiction. I started this addiction when I was four and there’s no cure. There’s no need to panic. Luckily, I’m not talking about anything dangerous, but rather about dancing.
Well, it will be a lie to say I was surprised when I realized it at first, I mean, how could I not be a Dinomaniac (obsessed with dancing) when I’m surrounded by so many dance companies? Well, there are lots here in Israel but I would like you to focus on the top two (in my opinion).
The first company has a biblical name. I think it’s pretty likely the dance fans among you have heard about it before. I’m talking about Batsheva, which is choreographed by Ohad Naharin.
Batsheva was established in 1964 by Batsheva De Rothschild and her dance teacher, a very important personality in modern dancing, Martha Graham. It has forty dancers, who are not all Israeli by the way, and is divided into three groups: Batsheva,Batsheva Ensemble and Batsheva 2. The dance company is recognized as a modern dance company and nowadays performs with five main creations in Israel and worldwide: Mamutot, Camuyot, Shalosh, Max and DakaDance.
Ohad Naharin, the choreographer, is well known for his amazing development called Gaga. Gaga is a special dance language, it’s a connection between the body and the feelings but with no specific goal. Although it is developing flexibility, strength and other physical elements, what’s important is the mental perspective. Gaga is not for dancers only, not at all, it’s being taught for ordinary people, and connects them to the movement world. It was even used as a sort of a medical treatment.
The second dance company is a ballet group, which is my personal favorite, and it has a very creative name – The Israel Ballet. The Israel Ballet was established by two young, talented dancers, Berta Yampolsky and Hillel Markman under the name The Holon Classical Ballet in 1967. The primary dance company had only four dancers, but today the Israel Ballet has 35 dancers from Israel and other countries. The Ballet performs original creations by Yampolsky and the Ballet dancers, like Written in the Sand and Unnamed.
The Israel Ballet is also worried about the next dancing generation, which is why Yampolsky and Markman created the National Ballet School, which is located in Tel Aviv and considered one of the top ballet schools in Israel.
Both Batsheva and the Israel Ballet are well known for their unique dances, their many awards and trophies and most important – their dedication and unique techniques. They have high standards and are extremely demanding – but that is what gets such great results.
The Israel Ballet (video from iballet on youtube.com)