Batsheva Dance Company

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Ohad Naharin (b. 1952)


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Israeli dance company founded in 1964 and named after its sponsor, Baroness Bethsabee de Rothschild, Martha Graham's wealthy benefactor. The foremost modern dance ensemble in Israel, it made its debut in Tel Aviv in 1964. From the beginning it took artistic advice from Martha Graham, and until 1970 it was directed by the ex-Graham dancer Jane Dudley. In the 1980s Robert Cohan, another Graham dancer, acted as artistic adviser. The repertoire featured works by Graham including Errand into the Maze, Embattled Garden, Cave of the Heart, and Diversion of Angels, plus The Dream, which Graham created for the company in 1974. In the mid-1970s, however, the special relationship between Batsheva and Graham was severed when Linda Hodes (who had been joint artistic director) became a director of Graham's company in New York. Works by Robbins and Limón were added to Batsheva's repertoire and new works created. Guest choreographers included Tetley, Morrice, Butler, and Cranko and Israeli choreographers included Rena Gluck, Moshe Efrati, Ehud Ben-David, and Rina Schenfeld. In 1973 Bethsabee de Rothschild broke her ties with the company in order to devote her energies and financial support to Bat-Dor. Following her departure, the company received financial support from the Israeli Government. In the 1980s, under the joint directorship of Shelley Sheer and David Dvir, a younger generation of choreographers such as Mark Morris, Daniel Ezralow, and Ohad Naharin were brought in to make work. In 1990 Naharin was appointed artistic director. He acquired works from Kylián, Vandekeybus, Preljocaj, and Forsythe; however in recent years his own works have increasingly dominated the repertory. The company tours internationally, and Naharin himself has become a major influence on younger Israeli choreographers.

http://www.batsheva.co.il Website of Batsheva Dance Company

Subjects: Dance.

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