Three has always been a magical number; its power transcends time itself. Ohad Nahrin’s Shalosh (Three), which was created in 2005, exerts its power once more, returning to the stage of Suzanne Dellal in Tel Aviv, February 11 – 13. Shalosh is marked by an intimacy and extreme simplicity – set and costumes are minimal, the emphasis is on the dancers and the movement. The intense involvement generated by that focus creates a richly dense sensory experience, one that can be savored time and again.
The evening is composed of three sections, each taking its name from Latin. In Bellus (pretty, pleasant) the dancers move to the sounds of Bach’s Goldenberg Variations, as performed by the inimitable Glenn Gould. The next part, Humus (earth, land) enters a somewhat different landscape with Brian Eno’s Neroli providing the soundtrack to an introspective exploration of the moving body.
In a press meeting that took place yesterday in the Batsheva Company’s studio, Ohad Naharin reflected on the work, saying that Shalosh marks a turning point for his work with the dancers, “Gaga became the heart of the daily practice of the company. This is the year in which this shared language became the subtext for the work. It [Shalosh] is very closely connected to the practice, and is different in a meaningful way from previous processes.” Just as an acquaintance with gaga enhances the understanding of the magic Naharin works onstage with his dancers, Shalosh is one of the works that conveys some sense of the experience of gaga.
Many of Naharin’s works are characterized by their energetic physicality and density of visual information. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the concluding section of the evening – Secus (not so, otherwise). The soundtrack, arranged by Ohad Fishof, is diverse, including: Chari Chari, Chronomad (Wahed), and the Beach Boys. At one point the dancers line up single file, like schoolchildren, in three different lines facing the audience. As each dancer reaches the front of the line, he or she steps forward and presents a pose or movement, then walks around to the back of the line. The next dancer either repeats the movement or creates a new movement – all this, multiplied by three. It’s a delirious, dizzy dance sequence, at once visually challenging and emotionally charged.
Shalosh (Three) by Ohad Naharin, performed by The Batsheva Dance Company
February 11 & 13 at 21:00, February 12 at 14:00
Suzanne Dellal Centre, 5 Yehieli Street, Tel Aviv
Image credit: Gadi Dagon