Batsheva Ensemble, the youth branch of Israel's world-renowned contemporary dance group, Batsheva Dance Company, appear at Birmingham Hippodrome on Tuesday 13 – Wednesday 14 November for the very first time, performing Deca Danceby Batsheva's Artistic Director Ohad Naharin - part of a Dance Consortium UK debut tour.
The Ensemble's talented corps, aged 18 to 24, are hand-picked by Naharin during a rigorous annual audition process. The ensemble is made up of an international collection of just 16 young dancers, many of whom are graduates from some of the world's most prestigious dance schools, including Julliard in New York and the Paris Conservatory.
While many of the dancers from Batsheva Ensemble go on to perform in Batsheva Dance Company, the Ensemble is proud to function as an independent dance group, presenting dynamic and technically superb performances in their own right. Among Batsheva Ensemble's notable alumni are choreographers Hofesh Shetcher who directed Watch This Space, part of the first International Dance Festival Birmingham 2008 and Itzik Galili who earlier this year brought a new dance work Sombrisa to the Hippodrome stage as part of the 2012 Festival.
For its first appearance in the UK, Batsheva Ensemble will present Deca Dance, a showcase of memorable and exciting segments from Ohad Naharin's dance productions from the past 20 years, including scenes from the acclaimed Black Milk,and Minus 16. Set to an eclectic mix of music, from Vivaldi to The Beach Boys and Goldfrapp, Deca Dance is constantly updated to incorporate Naharin's latest pieces, offering a fresh look at the work created for Batsheva each time it is performed.
Batsheva Ensemble was established by Naharin in 1990, upon his appointment as Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company, with the mission of developing, encouraging and cultivating young dance talents as well as younger audiences. Admission to the ensemble provides a two-year intensive training program that includes work in the studio studying Naharin's famous Gaga movement language, repertoire classes, local performances with an emphasis on educational outreach work and international touring.
Originally from Kibbutz Mizra in Israel, Ohad Naharin is recognised as one of the world's preeminent contemporary choreographers. As Artistic Director of both Batsheva Dance Company and Batsheva Ensemble he has guided both companies with an adventurous artistic vision and reinvigorated their repertory with his unique choreographic voice. Naharin is also the originator of an innovative movement language, Gaga, which has revolutionized the company's training, and emerged as a growing force in the larger field of movement practices for both dancers and non-dancers, with classes in Gaga technique growing in popularity around the world.
Naharin's inventive and textured movement vocabulary have made him a favourite guest artist for many international dance companies. His works have been performed by Nederlands Dans Theater, Ballet Frankfurt, Lyon Opera Ballet, Compañía Nacional de Danza (Spain), Cullberg Ballet (Sweden), the Finnish National Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, Balé da Cidade de São Paulo, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (New York), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Les Grand Ballets Canadiens de Montréal.
This will be the first time the company will perform in Birmingham and rarely will people see such urban, gritty and skilled dancers as these.
Tickets for Bathsheva Ensemble who perform from Tuesday 13-Wednesday 14 November are priced £15-25. Perf times: 7.30pm.
Book online at www.birminghamhippodrome.com or telephone 0844 338 5000.