News
Jane Cracovaner and Elijah Laurant with MOVETHECOMPANY, which will perform at the Joyce Ballet Festival this week. Photo Craig Foster, Courtesy Joyce Theater.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've pulled together some highlights.


The Joyce Ballet Festival Is Back

New York City's Joyce Theater kicks off its five-company Ballet Festival June 26-July 7. Showcasing a variety of styles including neoclassical and contemporary dance, the festival prides itself on featuring smaller companies. Below, check out the three companies opening this week. (Feeling festive? Enter our giveaway to win tickets to the Ashley Bouder Project at the Joyce on July 5.)

Keep reading... Show less

It's hard to find a dancer who isn't fascinated by Ohad Naharin. The choreographer and director of the Tel Aviv-based Batsheva Dance Company is best known for his distinctive movement language, Gaga, which emphasizes a deep sensory awareness and finding pleasure and freedom in moving. Though his work is contemporary, it's joined the repertoires of several ballet companies, including Atlanta Ballet and Paris Opéra Ballet.

Batsheva in Naharin's Last Work, photo by Gadi Dagon

Now, thanks to Tomer Heymann's documentary Mr. Gaga, Gagaphiles will get an intimate and rare look into Naharin's life and work. The film, which Heymann worked on for eight years, will be released in the U.S. on February 1.

Ohad Naharin, photo by Gadi Dagon

Along with striking performance footage of Naharin's work, Mr. Gaga provides glimpses of his process in the studio, and the demanding dynamic between him and his dancers. In the opening scene, for instance, one Batsheva dancer practices a fall, again and again, as Naharin asks her to let go of control.

The film also paints a fuller picture of Naharin's life, both personal and professional: There's footage of him as a child growing up on a kibbutz in Israel, performing for Israeli troops and dancing with Batsheva after beginning his formal dance training at age 22. The documentary also touches on his time spent dancing with Martha Graham in New York City, and attending The Juilliard School and the School of American Ballet.

In addition to the film's release, U.S. audiences have another chance to see Batsheva, and Naharin's choreography, in action. The company is currently in the middle of a North American tour. They'll perform Naharin's Last Work in New York City this week, from February 1–4, and go on to Costa Mesa, Seattle and San Francisco later this month.

Check the Mr. Gaga showing dates and locations to find a screening near you, and check out the trailer below:

For more news on all things ballet, don’t miss a single issue.

Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev in rehearsal. Joe Toreno.

When former Bolshoi stars Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev called off their engagement in 2013, fans wondered whether their spectacular onstage partnership was over as well. On their breaks from St. Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Ballet, where both are now principals, she guested with The Royal Ballet while he toured with Kings of the Dance and told the press that maybe, someday, they would dance together again.

In July 2014, they reunited in Solo for Two, a self-curated evening of contemporary choreography created for them by Ohad Naharin, Arthur Pita and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. The premiere at Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts marked their return to performing together and a new stage in their artistic lives, defined by creative freedom and self-determination (performances in London and Moscow followed). “In classical dance, you follow the rules," Osipova explains. “In contemporary dance, you have no rules. I love that feeling of freedom."

Keep reading... Show less

American Dance Festival has traditionally showcased great modern companies. But this year ADF is taking a slightly different tack, exploring the symbiotic relationship between ballet and modern dance with its “Where Ballet and Modern Meet” theme. Many of the modern choreographers whose works will be presented during the Durham-based festival—familiar names like Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Ohad Naharin and Mark Morris—have created works for major ballet companies. ADF will also feature pieces by ballet choreographers like William Forsythe (Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is set to perform his Slingerland Pas de Deux, pictured) who have helped shape the world of modern dance. The festival runs June 11–July 25; www.americandancefestival.org. — MF

mailbox

Get Pointe Magazine in your inbox