Gaga – Ohad Naharin’s Movement Language
The language of Gaga originated from the belief in the healing, dynamic, ever-changing power of movement.
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
- Gaga/people, open to the public and available for anyone at any age, without the necessity of previous experience
Gaga is a movement language which Ohad Naharin developed over the course of many years and which is applied in daily practice and exercises by the Batsheva Dance Company members. The Gaga/people track was developed for everyone and at every age, and it is studied by an increasing number of people at the Suzanne Dellal Centre, in Jerusalem, and in other locations in Israel, New York, San Francisco, London, Belgium, and around the world.
“Gaga challenges multi-layer tasks.
We are aware of the connection between effort and pleasure, 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, yet, our form is not shaped by gravity . . . 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 turning on the volume of listening to our body, we appreciate small gestures, we are measuring and playing with the texture of our flesh and skin, we might be silly, we can laugh at ourselves. We connect to the sense of “plenty
of time,” especially when we move fast, we learn to love our sweat, we discover our passion to move and connect it to effort, we discover both the animal we are and the power of our imagination. We are “body builders with a soft spine.”
We learn to appreciate understatement and exaggeration, we become more delicate and we recognize the importance of the flow of energy and information through our body in all directions. We learn to apply our force in an efficient way and we learn to use “other” forces.
We discover the advantage of soft flesh and sensitive hands, we learn to connect to groove even when there is no music.
We are aware of people in the room and we realize that we are not in the center of it all. We become more aware of our form since we never look at ourselves in a mirror; there are no mirrors. We connect to the sense of the endlessness of possibilities. Yielding is constant while we are ready to snap . . .
We explore multi-dimensional movement, we enjoy the burning sensation in our muscles, 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 . . .”
Video: Excerpt from Tomer Heymann’s film Out of Focus, with dancers from New York’s Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet
Video: Ohad Naharin talks about Gaga at the Guggenheim Museum in New York