Saturday, October 22, 2016

'Decadance' by Ohad Naharin



The one performance I quickly bought tickets to at Esplanade's da:ns festival 2016 was 'Decadance' by Batsheva Dance Company. It's put together and choreographed by 64-year-old Ohad Naharin, and I'm a huge fan. :) Still, I bought tickets late because I wasn't sure about travel plans. Glad I made it! 😍

There was a fun pre-show solo and group jig. 'Decadance' is made up of 11 vignettes extracted from Ohad Naharin's repertoire of works in the past two decades, for example, 'Kyr''Sadeh21' and 'Secus'. As a result, it was an eclectic range of music played. Hehehe. When the strange techno remix of electronic artist Marusha's 'Over the Rainbow' and Dean Martin's 'Sway' came on, the dancers had members of the audience up on stage with them dancing in this excerpt of 'Zachacha'. Very nice!

The illusion of beauty and the fine line that separates madness from sanity, the panic behind the laughter and the coexistence of fatigue and elegance.

The opening sequence was danced to 'Echad Mi Yodea', a familiar thirteen-verse song traditionally sung and for me, heard at Passover. This version is sung by Israeli rock group Tractor's Revenge. You literally sing from One to Thirteen. Great for remembering numbers in Hebrew. Oof. 'Eh-khahd' is numeral one in Hebrew. 'She-NAH-yeem' is two, but feminine pronounciation is 'she-TAH-yeem' and so on. (Translation here by Behrman House Publishing.)

The contemporary pieces are explosive and technically demanding. In Ohad Naharin's trademarked style 'Gaga'. This piece was mainly presented by the Company, not the Ensemble. The 17 dancers moved brilliantly, using their bodies in ways only contemporary dance movements allowed. There was utter freedom, yet complete control. What a superb performance. 

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