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AUDIENCE REVIEW: "Naharin's Virus" is Infectious

"Naharin's Virus" is Infectious

Batsheva The Young Ensemble

Performance Date:
July 10 - 22

Freeform Review:


Batsheva The Young Ensemble

Choreographer and Artistic Director : Ohad Naharin


A name any dancer with a Netflix account would recognize who came through the Joyce stage this summer. All the way from Israel, Batsheva’s second company called The Young Ensemble performed the highly anticipated Naharin’s Virus which was created in 2002 . The theater work was riveting and entertaining.

The difference between calling them a theater company and not just a dance company is their ability to do more than just move their bodies in an artistic way. There were moments of random talking or screaming by the dancers and other times a large blackboard was used to express words and phrases. All of which was performed to the expression of the concept of the work, that someone is looking over you and that there is no freedom for these individuals and community on stage.

Wearing an NYC Financial Business Attire suit was dancer Evyatar Omessy, hovered one floor up from the dancers, reciting a monologue as an adaptation of Peter Handke’s Offending the Audience.

He recited a mish mash of random phrases calling the audience “sons of bitches” and ranting about “wrong numbers”. He recited about “a play within a play” but his acting may be a little exaggerated and feels that he is actually performing a play pretending to be performing a play in a play. Interestingly he can leave his suit standing up and return to it when he likes, as he dances with the troupe beneath him in and out throughout the work.

Naharin is known for his movement to create heightened sensations by going beyond an audience’s viewing palette. The flailing and jolts of energy from the dancers seem organic and visually interesting. Nor pedestrian or animalistic, it is hard to put a finger on the identity of the dancers even though we know they are human through the story of the piece.

The costumes were muted nude colors and black. The movement and tone, dramatic and alluring. Unison sections provoked a lot of influence from folk dance and Naharin’s palette for body articulation was expanded. Imrpessive small articulate movements were executed by these young dancers in harmony and precision. 

The audience cheered in delight at the end of the performance and myself included left amused, Naharin's Virus is contagious. Viewing until July 22, I recommend seeing it. Dancers can also take a masterclass on July 20.



James Martin

Photo Credit:
Batsheva Dance Company

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