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Echad Mi Yodea

Echad Mi Yodea

Echad Mi Yodea

Choreography by Ohad Naharin from the Batsheva Dance Company, performed by the Choreographic Cell of the James Carlès Center in 2015.

Echad Mi Yodea

“The illusion of beauty and the fine line between madness and sanity. The panic behind laughter and the coexistence of fatigue and elegance.”

In Hebrew, these are some of the words which introduce the mini-ballet Echad mi Yodea by Ohad Naharin, the director of the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv.

Echad mi Yodea (Who knows?) presents us with a semicircle of dancers seated in darkness. They sit on chairs, dressed in dark, perhaps hasidic costumes and black hats.  The dancers rise in a wave and arch their bodies, then all but the last, who drops to the floor, sink back into their seats.  In this piece which takes its name from the famous Jewish chant,  after each upheaval the group shouts in Hebrew some familiar words from jewish Passover over a hypnotic quasi Drum and Bass arrangement, leaning forward and clenching their fists. The seven-minute ballet finishes with the dancers feverishly tearing off their costumes and throw them, along with their hats and shoes, to the centre of the stage.  The climax of the piece is in this final position: the dancers stand bare, shameless in their underwear, and deliver the last words of the Hebrew verse.  This verse very precisely follows a liturgy from the Haggadah de Pessa’h, listing several Jewish teachings.  Its cumulative form seems to address itself to children, asking from One to Thirteen: Who knows what one means One? Then two, three, etc.

One is our God, you must answer throughout a Seder.  We associate Two with the two Tablets of the Law.  With Three, the Patriarchs, with Four, the Matriarchs. We associate Five with the Torah books, etcetera.  Overall, the message is the physical, spiritual and mental liberation of a community, in a recitation which can also be seen as a memory game.

Hence, in this eponymous ballet (whose nerve was a hot topic of discussion throughout its performance as part of celebrations for the jubilee of the establishment of the State of Israel in 1998): “every movement is charged with meaning, and has the capacity to hypnotise with just a simple row of swaying, theoretically insignificant, dancers” assures Ohad Naharin.

Echad mi Yodea became the most well-known work by an israeli choreographer.

Source : L'Arche Magasine

Naharin, Ohad

Born in 1952 on Kibbutz Mizra, Ohad Naharin began his dance training with Batsheva Dance Company in 1974. During his first year with the Company, guest
choreographer Martha Graham singled out Naharin for his talent and invited him to join her own company in New York. Whilst in New York, Naharin studied on a scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation at the School of American Ballet, The Juilliard School, and with Maggie Black and David Howard. He went on to perform one season with Israel’s Bat-Dor Dance Company and Maurice Bejarts Ballet du XXe Siecle in Brussels.

Naharin returned to New York in 1980, making his choreographic debut at the Kazuko Hirabayshi studio. From 1980 until 1990, Naharin has presented his works in New
York and abroad and was invited to create works for different companies, including Batsheva, the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, and Nederlands Dans Theater. Simultaneously, he regularly worked in New York with a group of dancers on different projects, together with his first wife, Mari Kajiwara. Naharin and Kajiwara worked together for many years, up to her death from cancer in 2001.
 

Naharin was appointed Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company in 1990 and has served in this role until today. During his tenure with the company, Naharin choreographed over 30 works for Batsheva and its junior division, Batsheva - the Young Ensemble. Alongside his work as a choreographer, Naharin developed Gaga, an innovative movement language intended for everyone. The dancers of Batsheva Dance Company train with Gaga on a daily basis, and it is also taught to dancers and the public worldwide by certified teachers.

Source: Batsheva Company 's website


More information : batsheva.co

Centre Chorégraphique James Carlès, Réalisation

Since 2016, the Choreographic Center James Carlès has made the choice to make available to the public a selection of its videos.

Company James Carlès Danse & Co

The Company James Carles work to the valuation of dance forms from the social traditions and popular in the West. In 1998 James Carles created the dance center and the festival “Dance in Toulouse” showcase this unusual approach, the festival “Dance and Black Continents” established in 2007, is an extension.

In his creations, the company tends to confront various choreographic cultures to other art forms. It also has operations around the research, conservation, transmission, distribution and public awareness.

In 2015 the company changes its name and becomes the Dance Company Carles James & Co.

www.jamescarles.com

 

 

Echad Mi Yodea

Choreography : Ohad Naharin - Transmission Bosmat Nossan et Yanv Avraham (Batsheva Dance Company)

Interpretation : La Cellule Chorégraphique

Video conception : Centre chorégraphique James Carlès

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