Coming to theatres tomorrow, Wednesday, February 1:
IDFA, Hot Docs, SXSW, London, New Orleans, Vilnius, Full Frame, DOK Fest Munich, DOXA, Transilvania, Seattle, Tel Aviv, Sheffield, Shanghai, SF Jewish, Miami Jewish, New Zealand, Bergen, Sao Paulo, RIDM
A portrait of acclaimed Israeli dancer/choreographer Ohad Naharin.
An eight year labor of love for Heymann, this dance doc pieces together the four decade career of Naharin, who only began dancing at 22, after his compulsory service in the Israeli army. His early promise drew the attention of Martha Graham, and later Maurice Bejart, but his iconoclastic spirit proved an ill fit for their modern dance companies, leading Naharin to develop his own work, including Gaga, the movement language which lends this film its name – not at all a reference to the pop star Lady Gaga, though the too insular title may very well lead to confusion and disappointment for some audiences. Viewed as a pioneering figure in modern dance, Naharin, who, since 1990, has been the artistic director of Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, reflects on his long career, including a freedom of expression standoff on the occasion of Israel’s 50th anniversary that elevated him to the status of national hero. Heymann does an admirable job in synthesizing the choreographer’s career and showcasing impressive footage of his dances, which will draw dance film fans, while the political undertones of his work may also provide an entry to some audiences, like me, otherwise indisposed to dance docs.