(b Israel, 22 Jun. 1952)
Israeli dancer, choreographer, musician, and company director. He studied dance as an apprentice with the Batsheva Dance Company, and also trained in New York at the Juilliard and Graham schools. He danced with several companies, Graham, Béjart's Ballet of the 20th Century in Brussels, and Bat-Dor before forming his own small troupe in New York (from 1980) and embarking on his own choreography. He worked both in Israel and abroad before becoming artistic director of Batsheva in 1990. One of his first successes there was Kyr, a full-length production for which he also composed the music in collaboration with Tractor's Revenge, an Israeli rock group, and he has gone on to create numerous works for the company. His choreography is distinguished by the primal physicality of its movement style, usually in tension with a rigorous formal structure, the eclectic choice of its musical repertory, and by its occasionally surreal staging. Naharin has remained with Batsheva as artistic director (apart from a brief sabbatical) and has exerted a powerful influence on younger Israeli choreographers such as Hofesh Shechter. Naharin's dances are in the repertoires of many companies, including Nederlands Dans Theater, Sydney Dance Company, Bavarian State Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Cullberg Ballet, and Rambert Dance Company. His Axioma 7 (mus. Bach) was created for the Geneva Ballet in 1991 and subsequently taken into the Rambert repertoire (1994). A list of works for his own company includes Mabul (1992), Anaphase (1993), Sabotage Baby (1997), Zachacha (1998), Moshe (1999), Naharin's Virus (2001), and Bolero (2008).