Gaga is the movement language developed by Ohad Naharin throughout his work as a choreographer and Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company. Gaga has two tracks: Gaga/dancers, which is the daily training of Batsheva Dance Company members, now taught also for other dancers in Israel and abroad; and Gaga/people, open to the public and available for anyone at any age, without the necessity of previous experience. Gaga classes are held for a growing number of people in the Suzanne Dellal Centre and at additional places in the country and abroad.
“Gaga challenges multi-layer tasks. It is fundamental for Gaga users to be available for this challenge. At once we, the users, can be involved in moving slowly through space while a quick action in our body is in progress. Those dynamics of movement are only a portion of what else might go on at the same time.
We are letting our mind observe and analyze many things at once, we are aware of the connection between effort and pleasure, we connect to the sense of “plenty of time,” especially when we move fast, we are aware of the distance between our body parts, we are aware of the friction between flesh and bones, we sense the weight of our body parts, we are aware of where we hold unnecessary tension, we let go only to bring life and efficient movement to where we let go . . .
We are listening, seeing, measuring, playing with the texture of our flesh, we might be silly, decorating our insides, we can laugh at ourselves.
We learn to love our sweat, we discover our passion to move and connect it to effort, we discover both the animal in us and the power of our imagination.
We learn to appreciate understatement and exaggeration, we discover the difference between joy and pleasure and use both to protect ourselves from injuring and hurting our body, we learn to apply our force in an efficient way and we learn to use “other” forces. We become more delicate and we recognize the importance of the flow of energy and information through our body in all directions.
We discover the advantage of soft flesh and sensitive hands, we learn to connect to groove even when there is no music.
We become more aware of people in the room and we realize that we are not in the center of it all. We never look at ourselves in a mirror; there are no mirrors. We become more aware of our form. We connect to the sense of the endlessness of possibilities.
We explore multi-dimensional movement, we enjoy the burning sensation in our muscles, we are ready to snap, we are aware of what we are made of, we are aware of our explosive power and sometimes we use it. We change our movement habits by finding new ones, we can be calm and alert at once. We become available . . .”
- Ohad Naharin, March 2008
Read more about Gaga on Batsheva Dance Company’s website.
Try Gaga yourself at an upcoming DANY Studios master class taught by Ohad Naharin (Oct 1) and company members (Sep 24, 27, 10am-12pm).
See Gaga in action when Batsheva Dance Company performs at The Joyce Theater Sep 21-Oct 3. Purchase tickets now.