Mr. Gaga

                                                                                           Mr. Gaga

Mr. Gaga tells the story of Ohad Naharin, renowned choreographer and artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, an artistic genius who redefined the language of modern dance.

Review: ‘Mr. Gaga’ Doesn’t Sing but Has His Own (Dance) Language

The Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin is a complicated man. And that much is made clear in “Mr. Gaga,” Tomer Heymann’s documentary about his life and work, which opens with Mr. Naharin’s instructing a dancer on how to fall to the floor after simulating a seizure of sorts. His dissatisfaction is palpable, yet his terse directives begin to seem contradictory. He wants the dancer to be conscious of what she’s doing, but also to fall naturally. Despite expending much effort, she is showing her boss exactly what he doesn’t want to see.

All I could think about was how bruised her side was going to be. Mr. Naharin, however, is not a sadist. As years of rehearsal and performance footage demonstrate, Mr. Naharin, leader of the Batsheva Dance Company, based in Tel Aviv, doesn’t ask his dancers to do anything that he wouldn’t do himself, or subject them to anything he wouldn’t put himself through.

Possibly the most exciting documentary for fans of edgier modern dance since “Pina.”.

Dennis Harvey

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