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Jane Enkin Previews Mr Gaga -A True Story of Love and Dance at Rady JCC's Wpg International Jewish Film Fest

by Jane Enkin, May 21, 2017

MR GAGA Germany/Israel/Netherlands/Sweden, 2015, English, Hebrew with English subtitles, Director: Tomer Heymann, 100 minutes

Guest Speaker: Brent Lott, Artistic Director, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers

by Jane Enkin Music and Story  janeenkinmusic.com

For Festival Calendar and to order tickets  click here: http://www.radyjcc.com/cultural-events/winnipeg-international-jewish-film-festival 

 

“What’s unique about Gaga is we learn to listen to our body before we tell it what to do, and the understanding that we must go beyond our familiar limits every day.”

The voice is that of world-renowned Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. In the documentary Mr. Gaga, we first watch Naharin at work in his rehearsal studio.  Gently and persistently he is coaching a dancer in a choreographed fall to the floor; as she falls over and over, the image becomes more dramatic, the fall itself looks more and more punishing.  “You have to let go,” he tells her.

Naharin has been filmed in motion throughout his entire life, so director Tomer Heymann can draw on home movies of the five year-old running about with scarves, the teenager improvising energetic falls on the lawn, and, from the 1970s on, the professional dancer and choreographer at work. As we watch, Naharin reviews in voice over the early influences that shaped his life, some warm and some disturbing.

Naharin explains his goals as a young dancer, including “delicacy and aggressiveness at once.” As a mature choreographer in rehearsal, he works with the dancers on precise gestures, but also on evocative, poetic imagery for them to hold in mind.

Throughout the film we see tantalizing glimpses of the polished works in performance – beautiful, because the dancers themselves are so beautiful, sometimes geometric and abstract and sometimes emotional and intimate, often harsh or abrupt, always fascinating.

 
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