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Robert Abrams
Performance Reviews
Lincoln Center
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

Batsheva - Anaphaza

by Robert Abrams
July 26, 2003
Lincoln Center
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.
140 West 65th Street
New York, NY 10023

Batsheva Dance Company - Anaphaza

Robert Abrams
July 26, 2003

This full length performance opened with a dramatic flash. The entire company performed an energetic chair dance where waves of agony were released repeatedly, like in a ritual.

Anaphaza was the sort of show that seems to have a message lying just below, or sometimes just above, the pure dance and entertainment. The show was about remembrance and celebration without being obvious about it. In one section that suggested this theme most strongly, a dancer danced while names of people the company had known who had passed away were recited.

The sections often presented different styles tied together with offhand elements, like party hats. There was a ballerina section with angular movements. There were wild group and solo presentations. There was a section done to bouncy Samba music. There was a section where a film was projected onto a sheet held by a dancer, who slowly let the sheet drop until the film was projected on her dancing naked back. There was one section where one dancer just ran around the stage several times. There was a Blues Brothers-esque section danced to rock drums. There was a lot of drumming. They had a drummer on an upper platform. Sometimes three of the dancers joined him and drummed away with skill and abandon. Several times dancers came on and danced with and drummed on water bottles, ala Stomp. There were several audience participation sections, which were very well done with just enough structure so that the audience could play along and look like a coherent part of the show. In one such section, the audience was asked to stand. The audience was asked a series of questions, which led to some people sitting. In the end, one person was left standing because he was celebrating his birthday. He was brought up on stage and without apparent instructions admirably acquitted himself playing along with the movements of the other dancers on stage. The entire company presented him with a balloon. In another audience participation section, members of the company came into the audience and asked women to dance with them. They did some clutch and sway, and some swing. They even did a few lifts with the audience members, which looked well and safely done. Interspersed with their dancing with the audience members, the company members broke away from their partners and did some, as the three year old son of a friend of mine would call it, crazy dancing. Slowly the company members sent the audience members back to their seats until there was only one such couple left on stage.

All in all, Anaphaza was an exhilarating show that easily crossed the language barriers presented by their use of Hebrew in most of the voiceovers and other speaking roles. Sometimes this barrier was crossed with a translator, and the rest of the time no translation was needed.

Choreography was by Ohad Naharin. Costume Design by Rakefet Levy. Lighting Design by Avi-Yona Bueno (Bambi). Sound Design by Frankie Lievaart. Stage Design by Arik Levi. Music by Aaron Copland, Guem, Arvo Pärt, Rolf Wallin, Dani Makov, Avi Belleli, and Ohad Naharin. Dancers were Eldad Ben-Sasson, Jeremy Bernheim, Caroline Boussard, Stefan Ferry, Kristin Francke, Yoshifumi Inao, Roi Itzhak Halevy, Luc Jacobs, Gili Navot, Inbar Nemirovsky, Chisato Ohno, Rachael Osborne, Maya Weiser, Inbal Yaacobi, Arkadi Zaides, and Noa Zouk. Ensemble dancers were Yaniv Abraham, Matan David, Florencia Lamarca, Talia Landa, Shi Pratt, Guy Shomroni, and Gavriel Spitzer. The Drummer was Dani Makov. The Bass Guitar was Avi Belleli. The Guest Performer was Ronny Nenner. The Film was by Ruth Gadish. The adaptation for Choir was by Arnon Zlotnik. The makeup was by Carmit Bezner Boozaglo. The typesetting was by Beny Kori. Anaphaza is based on the "Opening Ceremony" commissioned by the Israel Festival 1993.

Batsheva Dance Company in Ohad Naharin's "Anaphaza," Lincoln Center Festival, July 23-26 at 8 p.m., New York State Theater
Photo courtesy of Gadi Dagon

Batsheva Dance Company in Ohad Naharin's "Anaphaza," Lincoln Center Festival, July 23-26 at 8 p.m., New York State Theater
Photo courtesy of Gadi Dagon

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