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The Batsheva Dance Company, under the artistic direction of Ohad Naharin, is one of the top favourites of contemporary dance audiences. Making its first appearance at Danse Danse, it will present Bertolina, a bracing, generous and haunting work by Sharon Eyal. A dancer and house choreographer with the famous Israeli company, Eyal delivers a piece bristling with raw energy and harnessing the unbridled power of a tidal wave.

“You can’t help but being completely drawn to the movements on stage, wanting to join the dancers and experience this frenzied catharsis.” (Yedioth Ahronot, Israel)

First performed at the Montpellier Danse festival in July 2006, Bertolina monopolizes 20 dancers, consumed body and soul by the breathless, sensual and earthy choreography in which pleasure verges on trance. Surrounded by 19 seasoned dancers, Sharon Eyal launches into a rhythmic ballet complete with astonishing dancing, compelling music and charming costumes. Inspired in turn by 18th-century aristocratic dress, kimonos and athletic wear, the costumes are harmonized by the grey-toned drawings on each of them. We also see garter belts, either real or painted directly on skin, stockings flecked with gold or silver, hoods, masks and many other goodies that add to Bertolina’s originality and appeal.


“It has been a long time since we saw such voluptuousness and richness of invention and character. […] The overflowing structures, the restless, beating rhythm are a wordless text on naked life, hunger and passion and the fact that stopping means death. […] The clarity of movement in her dances is such that feminine splendor becomes a magnificence greater than life, worthy of goddesses.” (Gabi Aldor, Israel)

Sharon Eyal
Born in Israel in 1971, Sharon Eyal has been one of the spectacular dancers of the Batsheva Dance Company for over 10 years. During her time there, she has developed her talents as a choreographer, becoming so adept that she was named associate artistic director in 2003 and 2004 and has been house choreographer since 2005. Eyal has choreographed seven works for the Batsheva Dance Company and for the Batsheva Ensemble: You Got to Live, Pan (2001), Ink (2002), Static (2002), After Love (2003), Love (2003), Quiet Village (2004), Part II (2005) and Bertolina (2006).

“She has her own unique language, knows exactly what she wants to say, and succeeds in doing so. And, as always, Eyal is hypnotic as a performer – noble and wild.” (Yedioth Ahronot, Israel)

Batsheva Dance Company
Founded in 1964 by Martha Graham and Baroness de Rothschild, the Batsheva Dance Company has been directed by Ohad Naharin since 1990. The company’s integrity and innovative dance have made it one of the most inspiring and sought-after in the world. With 40 dancers divided into 2 groups, the company performs an average of 250 shows a year in Israel and around the world. It makes regular appearances at New York’s Lincoln Centre and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) as well as the Barbican Centre in London and the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris. The company last visited Montreal in 2003 for the last Festival international de nouvelle danse.

The dancers, from Israel and around the world, are encouraged to express their creativity, particularly during the annual Batsheva Dancers’ Workshop Series. Many of the company’s dancers cut their teeth in the Batsheva Ensemble, the Batsheva’s junior company. The Ensemble serves as a kind of hothouse for new talents – dancers and choreographers – and is largely devoted to educational programs and community exchanges.

Ohad Naharin
The recipient of many awards and distinctions – he is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and received two Bessie Awards (2002 and 2003) as well as the Israel Prize for dance in 2005 – the internationally renowned Naharin has created several pieces for the Batsheva Dance Company, and his works appear in the repertoires of such companies as the Nederlands Dans Theater, the Lyon Opera Ballet, Madrid’s Compañía Nacional de Danza, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and the Paris Opera Ballet.

Ohad Naharin has also developed a training method called Gaga specifically for the Batsheva Dance Company. The technique encourages and teaches multidimensional movement and efficiency and texture of movement. Gaga helps to understand the connection between pleasure and effort and improves quickness and clarity of intention. It promotes the use of explosive power, recognizing one’s own movement habits and acquiring new ones. The Gaga technique also helps dancers maximize their training, reverse atrophy and weakness and increase their stamina.

Duration: 70 minutes
First Part - 30 minutes
Intermission - 15 minutes
Second part - 25 minutes


A partner to the creative process: Guy Bahar
Costume Design: Micky Avni
Lighting Design: Avi Yona Bueno (Bambi)
Sound Track Design: Uri Lichtic, Sharon Eyal, Guy Bahar
DJ Set, Mix, Live Mix: Uri Lichtic
Sound Track Editing: Ohad Fishof
Costume Design Assistance: Ian Sorkin
Graphic Execution Costumes: Dima Lifshitz, Alex Gonduras
Costumes Manufactured by: Batsheva Sewing Workshop, Directed by Dalia Lider
Printing and Material: Badey Britex Bar
Production Coordination: Guy Bahar
Music: Black Dice, “Snarly Yow” (Broken Ear Record); Alma Mater (Rodrigo Leao); Ben Neville, “Vancouver and Fairfield” (remix); Art of Noise, “Flashback” (Below the Waste); Ammoncontact, “Bella con los Nino(s)” (Trabajadores mix); Gritos de Guerra, “Arrinconamela” (Vengo Soundtrack); Anna Frank 14, “Loopim” (single); Fumiya Tanaka, “Move” (Move EP); Remedtos, “Naci en Alamo”; (Vengo Soundtrack); Shigeru Umebayashi; “Polonaise” (2046); Birds Birds Birds In The World, “Green To Me”; Gabby La La, “Be Careful What You Wish For Cause It Might Come True” (Be Careful What You Wish For); Butthole Surfers, “Hey” (Peepee the Sailor); The Chap, “Baby I’m Hurtin” (Ham)
Performers: Yaniv Abraham, Daniel Agami, Nir Benita, Caroline Boussard, Anderson Braz, Matan David, Sharon Eyal, Stefan Ferry, Shani Garfinkel, Talia Landa, Leo Lerus, Yaara Moses, Gili Navot, Rachael Osborne, Mami Shimazaki, Guy Shomroni, Gavriel Spitzer, Adi Zlatin, Erez Zohar, Noa Zouk

Photos Gadi Dagon