Batsheva Dance Co. marks 50 years with S.F. shows

Celebrating its 50th anniversary year with a world tour, Israel’s acclaimed Batsheva Dance Company will perform next week at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

The Tel Aviv–based contemporary dance company, Israel’s largest, with 34 dancers from Israel and abroad, will present Sadeh21, movement studies set to the music of Brian Eno and David Darling and choreographed by longtime artistic director Ohad Naharin. Performances are set for Thursday, Nov. 6 through Nov. 8.


Batsheva dancers perform Sadeh21. photo/ courtesy batsheva dance company

Naharin joined Batsheva in 1990 and is the founder of Gaga, an innovative movement language designed to achieve deeper knowledge and understanding of the body and of the self. Naharin also started the Junior Batsheva Ensemble, a secondary dance company with younger dancers. 


Batsheva Dance Company, founded in 1964 by the Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild, was originally under the artistic direction of Martha Graham and was the only group to perform her repertory outside her own company. Transforming contemporary Israeli dance under Graham’s influence, Batsheva underwent a metamorphosis under the direction of Naharin.

The company, based at Tel Aviv’s Suzanne Dellal Center, is making its fourth appearance in San Francisco during its world tour, which also includes other performances in California as well as Florida, New York and Washington, D.C.

During the San Francisco visit, Batsheva is teaming up with ODC Dance Commons and offering Gaga classes for people with or without dance experience on Nov. 7.

The shows, presented by San Francisco Performances, take place 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6 and 7 and 2 p.m. Nov. 8 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Tickets are $40-$70 at Gaga classes ($20) are at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 7 for dancers, 1 p.m. for others. Preregistration is required at