What is Gaga?
Gaga is the movement language developed by Ohad Naharin throughout many years, parallel to his work as a choreographer and the artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company. Gaga originated from Naharin’s need to communicate with his dancers and his curiosity in the ongoing research of movement. Gaga classes are predicated on a deep listening to the body and to physical sensations.
The movement research developed by Ohad Naharin
Gaga is the movement language developed by Ohad Naharin throughout many years, parallel to his work as a choreographer and the artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company. Gaga originated from Naharin’s need to communicate with his dancers and his curiosity in the ongoing research of movement. Gaga classes are predicated on a deep listening to the body and to physical sensations. The instructions are deployed to increase awareness of and further amplify sensation, and rather than turning from one prompt to another, information is layered, building into a multisensory, physically challenging experience. While many instructions are imbued with rich imagery, the research of Gaga is fundamentally physical, insisting on a specific process of embodiment. Inside this shared research, the improvisational nature of the exploration enables each participant’s deeply personal connection with Gaga. Gaga provides a framework for discovering and strengthening the body and adding flexibility, stamina, agility, and skills including coordination and efficiency while stimulating the senses and imagination. The classes offer a workout that investigates form, speed, and effort while traversing additional spectrums such as those between soft and thick textures, delicacy and explosive power, and understatement and exaggeration. Participants awaken numb areas, increase their awareness of habits, and improve their efficiency of movement inside multilayered tasks, and they are encouraged to connect to pleasure inside moments of effort. The language of Gaga is in a continual process of evolution, and the classes vary and develop accordingly.
Types of Classes
Gaga/people classes are open to people ages 16+, regardless of their background in dance or movement. No previous dance experience is needed.
Gaga/people classes last for one hour and are taught by dancers who have worked closely with Ohad Naharin. Teachers guide the participants using a series of evocative instructions that build one on top of the other. Rather than copying a particular movement, each participant in the class actively explores these instructions, discovering how he or she can interpret the information and perform the task at hand. Gaga/people classes offer a creative framework for participants to connect to their bodies and imaginations, increase their physical awareness, improve their flexibility and stamina, and experience the pleasure of movement in a welcoming, accepting atmosphere.
Participants should wear comfortable clothes and be prepared to dance barefoot or in socks. It is advisable to bring a bottle of water and a towel for use after class.
Gaga/dancers classes are open to professional dancers or advanced dance students ages 16+.
These classes last for an hour and fifteen minutes and are taught by dancers who have worked closely with Ohad Naharin. Gaga/dancers classes are built on the same principles as Gaga/people classes but also employ the specific vocabulary and skills that are part and parcel of a dancer’s knowledge. The layering of familiar movements with Gaga tasks presents dancers with fresh challenges, and throughout the class, teachers prompt the dancers to visit more unfamiliar places and ways of moving as well. Gaga/dancers deepens dancers’ awareness of physical sensations, expands their palette of available movement options, enhances their ability to modulate their energy and engage their explosive power, and enriches their movement quality with a wide range of textures.