Impressions of: "Mr Gaga" -- A Documentary on Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company
MR. GAGA will play in New York February 1-9 at the Film Society Lincoln Center and February 1-16 at Film Forum.
There will also be a special screening at BAM Center on January 30, 2017. For more info, click here.
Director Tomer Heymann; Photo: Mari Mur
Heymann, who has made fourteen films, found MR. GAGA the most difficult: agonizing over what frame should open and close the work; wondering how to convey the multiple layers of Naharin’s art along with the depth of confusion this choreographer often stirs up; and, sussing out how to capture the drama in a form as abstract as dance. Heymann wrestled with his three editors about the story of the autistic twin, finally deciding for its inclusion because the incident says a lot about the manipulative nature of the artist.
The director approached this documentary, made painstakingly over nine years, as a weaver of fine and rough threads. We see Naharin push his dancers to repeat a phrase, particularly a fall, until he sees their complete release. Dancer/Choreographer Reggie Wilson says that being one of Naharin's dancers in the 1980s was tough, yet everyone stuck it out because of a collective sense that they were mining something important. Naharin's first wife, Mari Kajiwara (1951-2001), to whom the movie is dedicated, understood what he was aiming for and could express it to his dancers.
Batsheva Dance Company in Mr. Gaga; Photo: Gadi Dagon
Thoroughly memorable and intriguing, MR. GAGA begins his theatrical run at the Film Forum on February 1, 2017 (where it runs through Feb. 16th) as arranged by Distributor/Executive Producer Diana Holtzberg of East Village Entertainment, in conjunction with the U.S. tour of Batsheva Dance Company at BAM February 1-4, 2017.