Naharin, Ohad

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NAHARIN, OHAD (1952– ), Israeli dancer and choreographer. He was born in Israel on kibbutz Mizra, and grew up in the town of Tivon, near Haifa; he is the son of artistic parents who were involved in music and theater.

Naharin started professional dance training after he finished his army service. After a year of training with the *Batsheva Dance Company, he performed in The Dream (1974) and was asked to stay on with the troupe for another year. He then studied for a year at Juilliard in its Professional Studies Program. He danced for a year with Maurice Béjart's Ballet of the 20th Century and moved to New York. He married Mari Kajiwara, the Japanese-American dancer who danced in the Alvin Ailey Company. His dance creations are performed by the top dance companies of the world. Naharin's first work as choreographer was Haru No Umi (1980). In New York he founded the Ohad Naharin Dance Company, which toured worldwide. In 1990, he was appointed the artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company. His choreography challenges visually and excites the senses. "If you could hold one of Ohad Naharin's dances in your hand, it would feel smooth. Think of a polished stone, it looks like a piece of secret sculpture, but hurl it and it becomes a weapon" (Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice, New York). His works include: Black Milk (1986), Tabula Rasa (1987), Sinking of the Titanic (1990), Kyr (1990), King of Wara (1990), Anaphase (1993), and Mamootot (2003). In his work Playback (2004), performed in Eilat, he appeared as dancer, singer, and instrumentalist. Naharin won the Israel Prize for dance of 2005.

[Ruth Eshel (2nd ed.)]