Dance - Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet unleashes Ohad Naharin's Decadance

The New York-based company performs to a sold-out show at Emory Feb. 24-26

Those lucky enough to have a seat at this week's sold-out Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet performance will be treated to an intimate viewing of exceptional artistry and pulsing energy. Cedar Lake performers vibrate with a kinetic energy that swirls in their ribs and flings outward in piercing and sweeping gestures. Their movement seems to surge from a deep internal source, as if itching to pour forth from underneath the skin.

Under the artistic direction of Benoit-Swan Pouffer, the New York-based company supports a risk-taking repertoire from international artists and emerging choreographers. From Feb. 24-26, the world-class company performs Decadance by Ohad Naharin, artistic director of Israel's Batsheva Dance Company and one of the international dance scene's most substantial voices.

Decadance is an evolving compilation of excerpts from Naharin's prolific body of work. Since 2000, he's explored this compositional cutting and pasting as a way to reconsider each piece from new vantage points. The unique format gives audiences a broad introduction to his choreography and an insightful glimpse into his development as a dance maker. Like a greatest hits album, Decadance reveals different shades of the artist's voice and switches gears frequently enough to offer something for everyone.

The concert, to be held at Emory's intimate Schwartz Center Dance Studio, features selections from "Black Milk" (1985), "Anaphaza" (1993), "Mabul" (1992) and "Naharin's Virus" (2001). Profound senses of ritual, pleasure, and moving in community permeate much of the work. The dancing ranges from casual romp to fierce articulation to daring athleticism; the music from lilting Vivaldi to pulsing Arabic pop to traditional Jewish song.

On Wed., Feb. 24, Israeli dance scholar Deborah Friedes Galili will Skype in from Tel Aviv to offer the free pre-show lecture, "Foreign Exchange: American and Israeli Dance from Martha Graham to Ohad Naharin." Galili will trace the complex relationship between American and Israeli dance and the role of cultural exchange in the rapid globalization of contemporary dance at large. Galili is currently an administrator of Naharin’s movement language, Gaga, which continues to gain diasporic momentum and accolades from choreographers such as gloATL’s Lauri Stallings.

Though Cedar Lake's performance at Emory will be an abridged version of Decadance with limited costumes and lighting, the company will supplement the performance with videos in which they describe the process of working with Naharin and embodying his pieces.

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