Skip to content

Mr. Gaga


Friday, May 6, 2016 - 9:00pm
Community Partner(s)

Mr. Gaga

Tomer Heymann | 
Israel |
 2015 | 
100 minutes

Anyone who has ever witnessed the choreographic work of Ohad Naharin is unlikely to forget the experience. The Israeli choreographer has been the mastermind behind the dance company Batsheva since 1990. Ohad Naharin came late to dance, at age 22, but he made up for lost time, working with legendary choreographers Martha Graham and Maurice Béjart. A superb physical specimen, Naharin is quick to admit he has used his own physical beauty throughout his career, but the dancer/ choreographer also possesses an almost uncanny ability to make the human body seem new.

Director Tomer Heymann makes terrific use of archival footage of Ohad’s early days as a performer, as well as thrilling excerpts from his later works with Batsheva. But it is Ohad’s belief that dance should be accessible to everyone that leads to one of the film’s most cathartic moments, as the choreographer leads a room of ordinary people of all ages, shapes, and sizes through one of his Gaga-movement workshops. Like many great artists, Ohad is not always an easy character, as his relationships with the women in his life attest. He has been equally outspoken about Israel’s treatment of Palestinian people, calling the Israeli administration “a bunch of bullies,” in an interview with the New York Times. When the Orthodox Jewish community objected to one of his most famous works, that featured dancers stripping down to their underwear to the strains of the Passover anthem, Echad Mi Yodea, Ohad refused to censor the work even when Netanyahu demanded he do so. Despite the political difficulties the company has faced in recent years, the dance is everything, and there is too much pleasure in watching the performances to bog this quicksilver thing down. -DW


Tomer Heymann

Tomer Heymann was born in Kfar Yedidia in Israel in 1970 and has directed many documentary films and series in the past ten years, most of them long-term follow-ups and personal documentations. His films won major awards at different prestigious film festivals including his first film It Kinda Scares Me. Paper Dolls won three awards at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival and the audience’s award at the Los Angeles Festival.