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Dancing Gaga, Coming Home: Ohad Naharin’s Movement Language

By Nina Pick

Published Oct 13, 2022

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Echad Mi Yodea

(7 min) Gaga is a movement language created by Ohad Naharin that’s based in experiencing the body from the inside out. I’ve watched his dance repeatedly since I first saw it in the film Mr. Gaga, and it gets me every time. I see it as a portrayal of moving through inner and outer imprisonment— of trauma, capitalism, oppression— to arrive at a radical experience of freedom. 

Coupled with the Passover song “Echad Mi Yodea,” the dance speaks to me of the frustration and fury at being disconnected from our bodies and the earth, and of our longing to come back into contact with oneness.  

Watching this video, I was stunned by the way the dancers inhabit their bodies with such a sense of both commitment and abandon, and I experienced a deep longing to be able to move like that. Luckily, I discovered Gaga dance classes online. Dancing Gaga is completely shifting my experience of being in my body— it makes me feel like my body is coming home to itself. 

 

Above:  

‘Echad Mi Yodea’ from “Decadance” / “Deca’le” for the entire family  

By Ohad Naharin 

Performed by Batsheva – the Young Ensemble 

 

Full performance is 75 minutes without intermission. 

Choreography: Ohad Naharin 

Lighting Design: Avi Yona Bueno (Bambi) 

Costume Design: Rakefet Levi 

Music arranged & performed by Ohad Naharin and The Tractor’s Revenge. 

 

World Premiere: 2000, Suzanne Dellal Center, Tel Aviv 

Trailer for Mr. Gaga

(2 min)

Synopsis from the film’s official website:

“Ohad Naharin, artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, is regarded as one of the most important choreographers in the world. Meeting him at a critical turning point in his personal life, this spirited and insightful documentary will introduce you to a man with great artistic integrity and an extraordinary vision. Filmed over a period of eight years, director Tomer Heymann mixes intimate rehearsal footage with an extensive unseen archive and breathtaking dance sequences.

This story of an artistic genius who redefined the language of modern dance is guaranteed to leave you skipping.”​

Find screenings and learn more about the film here.

Documentary, 100 min.

English and Hebrew

Israel, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands  2015

Shooting Formats:

8mm , 16 mm, high 8, beta, mini dv, HD

Screening format: DCP

International Premiere:

October 2015 –  BFI London Film Festival

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Nina Pick is a spiritual and somatic counselor based in Great Barrington, MAssachusetts.

Reflections

Reflect 

In what ways are you and/or your people imprisoned? 

Go deeper 

In what ways are you yearning for freedom? 

Express yourself 

What would freedom look, feel, and move like in your body? 

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