Bat Sheva Dance Company: A Pioneering Force in Israeli Dance
Bat Sheva is an Israeli contemporary dance company founded in 1964 by Baroness Bat Sheva de Rothschild and American choreographer Martha Graham. The company was built around a group of dancers who were passionate about modern dance and the lyrical theater. Initially, Bat Sheva functioned as a repertoire dance company, and their early performances were accompanied by pianist Nathan Mishori. From 1990 until 2017, the company was artistically led by Ohad Naharin. Since 2017, Gili Navot has been the artistic director.
Bat Sheva 2 and Bat Sheva Ensemble
Bat Sheva 2 was established in 1976 and operated until 1987, under the artistic direction of Rina Gluck and Rina Shaham, with Nira Paz joining in 1980/81. This subsidiary group included talented dancers such as Hadah Oren, Rachel Kafri, Ruth Asher, Miri Magnes, Sharon Pinzley, Ronit Land, Anna Sokolov (as part of the ensemble's participation in productions at the Haifa Municipal Theater, "Kanafayim"), and others.
The Bat Sheva Ensemble, founded in 1990, serves as a breeding ground for young dancers, with many of them transitioning to the main company after two to three years. The ensemble primarily performs for children and teenagers.
Legacy and Impact
The Bat Sheva Dance Company holds a prominent place in the history of Israeli dance. From its inception, the company has been a driving force behind the development of contemporary dance in Israel. Under the guidance of various artistic directors, Bat Sheva has continuously pushed boundaries and explored new forms of expression, leaving an indelible mark on the world of dance.
The ensemble, Bat Sheva 2, and Bat Sheva Ensemble have also played vital roles in nurturing young talent and fostering a love for dance among Israeli youth. The legacy of Bat Sheva continues to inspire generations of dancers, choreographers, and artists, solidifying its status as a cornerstone of Israeli dance culture.
Through their innovative and groundbreaking work, Bat Sheva Dance Company and its subsidiaries have not only contributed to the enrichment of Israeli dance but have also left an enduring impact on the global dance scene, exemplifying the power of artistic collaboration and creativity.
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