A Reel Life film section
Issue: Winter 2016
Mr Gaga (2015) movie review
Beyond Familiar Limits
Ohad Naharin is one of the most prominent, innovative and productive choreographers in the world. The film follows Naharin between Japan, Holland, Sweden and Israel - through the uncompromising work with dancers and draws a unique portrait of the 60-year old artist at the most critical point of his personal life.
Mr Gaga is a bio pic of choreographer Ohad Naharin by Tomar Heymann and was 8 years in the making.
While I'm not usually one for viewing documentaries, watching the short and the way Ohad interacted with his dancers during rehearsals, quite short of some performances and listening to Ohad as he worked with people, I found myself quite interested in seeing the rest of the documentary.
It tells the story of Ohad Naharin from when he knew he had to dance through to leading the Batsheva Dance Company in Israel.
Gaga is a new way of gaining knowledge and self-awareness through your body. Gaga provides a framework for discovering and strengthening your body and adding flexibility, stamina, and agility while lightening the senses and imagination.
There are vignettes shot in various formats from 1974 through to 2015 showing rehearsals, parts of performances and interviews with various dancers, choreographers, his parents and people who knew Ohad well.
I've now seen it twice and have come out of each viewing finding I have seen more than the last. It is well paced with jumps between many performances and time frames, giving an overall picture of what was happening during his life from when he first started dancing, the ups and downs, his marriage and his acceptance of heading the Batsheva Dance Company.
Mr Gaga is an awesome piece of work that I found interesting on many levels and thoroughly enjoyed both viewings.
I also met writer/director Tomar Heymann and spoke with him for a short time. A most personable and engaging man who spent a lot of time putting this documentary together and finally getting all the required permissions to show it publicly.
And why is Ohad Naharin called Mr Gaga -- he developed a language of movement called gaga, best described by Ohad below:
"Gaga is a new way of gaining knowledge and self-awareness through your body. Gaga provides a framework for discovering and strengthening your body and adding flexibility, stamina, and agility while lightening the senses and imagination. Gaga raises awareness of physical weaknesses, awakens numb areas, exposes physical fixations, and offers ways for their elimination. The work improves instinctive movement and connects conscious and unconscious movement, and it allows for an experience of freedom and pleasure in a simple way, in a pleasant space, in comfortable clothes, accompanied by music, each person with himself and others.
"We become more aware of our form. We connect to the sense of the endlessness of possibilities. We explore multi-dimensional movement; we enjoy the burning sensation in our muscles, we are ready to snap, we are aware of our explosive power and sometimes we use it. We change our movement habits by finding new ones. We go beyond our familiar limits. We can be calm and alert at once." -- Ohad Naharin
Links to official sites below
Playing now at NOVA cinema Melbourne, New Farm cinema Brisbane and State Theatre Hobart.
by Richard Hryckiewicz
for movie, TV show, or person
Just the facts:
Title: Mr Gaga (2015)
The Players: Ohad Naharin, Tzofia Naharin, Mari Kajiwara, Natalie Portman,
For more information about this movie, check out the internet movie database (IMDb).
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