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Batsheva Dance Company: Decadence

We attended as a guest of the venue.

One thing I absolutely love doing is taking time away and dipping in the arts. This venue was no ordinary dip…it an artistic plunge! Segerstrom Center for the Arts presented Israel’s acclaimed Batsheva Dance Company in the Segerstrom Hall for a special one-night-only engagement. This ballet company brought in a whole new revolutionized dance.

After sinking back in my red velvet-plush theatre chair at the Segerstrom Hall, I couldn’t help but be excited! The Batsheva Dancers awed the crowds from beginning to end. It was poetry in motion watching the performers drift, almost effortlessly, across the stage.

For five decades, the Batsheva Dance Company has been considered one of the foremost contemporary dance companies in the world.

I’ve had the privilege of attending many ballets in my lifetime (the Royal Opera Theatre Ballet in London and Vaganova Ballets in Seattle to name a few), but I had never witnessed anything quite like this ballet. I found myself completely engaged by the experience. I smiled as I watched the creative fluidity of each movement and the sheer athleticism of each dancer. It was short of miraculous. It’s no wonder they called it: Decadence 2017!

Ohad Naharin, creative genius and choreographer “pushes his dancers to the point of exhaustion and into the neighborhood of sublimity.” The Batsheva dancers graced the stage with mindful expressions of love and passion. Together with its Junior Batsheva Ensemble, the company boasts a roster of 34 dancers drawn from Israel and abroad, maintaining an extensive performance schedule locally and internationally with more than 250 performances every year. In Decadence: 2017, Naharin offers the audience a new perspective. He says, “It’s about creating something that goes beyond what is inside the box, it’s about creating a moment that is unlike any other. He encourages his dancers to go beyond their familiar limits on a daily basis.” It becomes a multi-dimensional movement from traditional ballets. “You start to feel the flow of texture, pleasure, and effort.”

“In Decadence 2017, Naharin doesn’t follow the convention of other genres. Dance in America come from the ballet world which has to obey certain codes in order to exist. We are doing something that doesn’t obey, but has a different agreement with our audience, a wilder side of Contemporary Art.”

It’s fun to imagine what it would be like to tour the world, traveling from city to city in Italy, Australia, Africa, rendezvousing in different ports. It is the life of these dancers. Awwww…to travel the world and to be able to express your passion through dance! Okay, as I fell off in a dream…maybe in my next life! Hah!

This would be the perfect date night. I left the theatre feeling lighter on my feet as if to feel the grace and ease of the performers carrying me home. The dancers flood the stage with so much energy and intensity. “It’s the kind of dance that reaches an emotional pitch that expresses what words cannot.” Sydney, Morning Herald. The dancers swing wildly from quiet contemplation to explosive movements.

“I couldn’t be happier, said Andy Mohr Segerstrom’s Executive Vice President. You can sit there thinking it’s a dramatic performance and then humor will come out. I’ve always admired the Batsheva Dance Company, and it’s an honor to welcome one of the greatest choreographers in the world to our center.”

Thank you, Segerstrom Center for bringing this Dance Company to Orange County. I look forward to Batsheva Dance Company’s return.

Colleen Shissler is a native of Southern California, a tenured 22 year primary educator, and a proud mom of two wonderful children. She’s married to a loving husband (a City Director of Laguna Beach). Colleen enjoys volleyball, expressing her inner artist, good wine with good friends, dog walks around the lake, and spending time with her large family in Monterey.
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