There were eight attempts by anti-Israeli protesters to disrupt Tuesday's performance of Deca Dance.
When similar shouting occurred at the Playhouse in August, the Batsheva dancers stood still until the hecklers were ousted. The Ensemble (as the youth wing is tagged) went one better – they kept on dancing, their focus and finesse drawing ever louder cheers and applause. Maybe that poise and prowess comes with the territory that is Gaga, the movement language/philosophy devised by Batsheva's artistic director Ohad Naharin.
Deca Dance, the quirky sampler-collage of his choreography, showcases the chameleon-like nature of Gaga, and its enviably open-ended versatility that responds just as readily to a bossa nova beat as to an elegantly baroque cadence or romping folk tune. And because Gaga also encourages individuals to express themselves within the work, the dancers – from 18 to 23 years – were saucy, seductive, stonkingly wacky or delicately nuanced.
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It's hugely enjoyable, yet there is a clever twist to the random juxtaposing of mercurial moods and different styles. Alongside the mosaic of human emotions, there's a recurring motif – a loner rebel, who cuts loose from the pack, as if following gut instincts. Very Gaga, very Naharin. Did the shouters register the Arabic music on the soundscore? Who knows? A vociferously thrilled audience ignored them and, as with Naharin's well-attended post-show Q & A, made it clear Batsheva and its Ensemble are not about politics but world-class dance.