Gaga – Ohad Naharin’s Movement Language
Gaga is the movement language that was developed by Ohad Naharin throughout many years, parallel to his work as a choreographer and the artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company. The language of Gaga originated from the belief in the healing, dynamic, ever-changing power of movement.
Gaga classes are predicated on a deep listening to the body and to physical sensations. The instructions are deployed to increase awareness of and further amplify sensation, and rather than turning from one prompt to another, information is layered, building into a multisensory, physically challenging experience. While many instructions are imbued with rich imagery, the research of Gaga is fundamentally physical, insisting on a specific process of embodiment. Inside this shared research, the improvisational nature of the exploration enables each participant’s deeply personal connection with the language.
Gaga provides a framework for discovering and strengthening the body and adding flexibility, stamina, agility, and skills including coordination and efficiency while stimulating the senses and imagination. The classes offer a workout that investigates form, speed, and effort while traversing additional spectrums such as those between soft and thick textures, delicacy and explosive power, and understatement and exaggeration. Participants awaken numb areas, increase their awareness of habits, and improve their efficiency of movement inside multilayered tasks, and they are encouraged to connect to pleasure inside moments of effort. The language of Gaga is in a continual process of evolution, and the classes vary and develop accordingly.
Gaga has two tracks:
- Gaga/dancers, which is the daily training of Batsheva Dance Company, 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 dance experience
“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 . . .”