On November 15 EMIS students joined local schools at the Arab Jewish Community Center in Jaffa to watch the Batsheva Young Ensemble perform Kamuyot by Ohad Naharin. The performance was captivating, as the dancers sat among the audience and even had audience members stand up to join in the performance. The dancers not only demonstrated a deep connection with each physical movement, they also made connections with the audience as they actively made eye contact and engaged with students. The intimate setting of the performance enabled the audience to have a unique viewing experience, with the dancers close enough to touch at times. Additionally, with seating on all four sides surrounding the dance floor, the dancers changed directions continually, thus allowing the audience different perspectives for each gesture and motion.
After the performance, EMIS students had the opportunity to talk to some of the Young Ensemble members and the Young Ensemble Director, Idan Porges. He explained the new revolutionary movement language, Gaga, invented by Ohad Naharin. This new framework for dance allows for a deeper connection to each physical movement that the dancer makes. However, Gaga is not just for the experts. As Idan explained, anyone can employ the Gaga methodology and improve their own knowledge and increase their self-awareness of motion and physical sensation. Gaga also helps the dancers in the ensemble better connect and communicate with one another as they all strive to improve and perform to the best of their abilities.
Chen Agron and Mourad Bouayad, members of the Young Ensemble, also spoke to the students. Chen is from Israel and in her second year with the ensemble and Mourad is from France and in his first year with the ensemble. Each has a passionate drive for dance and detailed the strenuous hours and dedication that goes into every performance. They spoke of the importance of being self critical and honest as they continually work to improve their dance. The ensemble is made up of individuals from around the world, all coming together to make something beautiful. Every year there are auditions for the Young Ensemble, which is structured as a two year program to nurture and train young dancers.
After the riveting performance and conversation, the dance students from EMIS had the opportunity to take a Gaga class themselves! They began their own explorations of movement and tapping into a deeper connection of every aspect of motion. For all the students, however, the Young Ensemble is an inspiration of what can happen when young people from all over the world work together for a common goal with respect, perseverance, passion, and a willingness to learn.