I take the stairs at a run, risking my neck by sprinting in socks, gripping my shoes in one hand and my bag in another, a mess of T-shirts dangling from my arm. I’m always running 5 or, let’s face it, 10 minutes behind, sheepishly dropping straight into pliés in fourth position or “accidentally” missing pranayama and chanting. But Batsheva Dance Company has been very clear: class begins at 11:30, and once class begins, no one enters or leaves. Maybe it’s the cultural influence of the Tzahal, Israel’s military, I think. My uncharacteristic punctuality is noted by a friend, who laughs and says, “In Israel, class always starts 10 minutes late.”
Batsheva Dance Company at 50: American Concepts and the Israeli Spirit focuses on the interaction between American choreographers and Israeli dance. Choreographers who have set works on or created works for the company include Martha Graham, Jerome Robbins, Anna Sokolow, Donald McKayle, José Limón, Robert Cohan, and, more recently, Elizabeth Streb, Douglas Varone, and Danny Ezralow. The exhibition highlights the artistic dialogue between American concepts and Israeli culture as well as the company’s local and global characteristics.
Ethnic, ancient, and contemporary dance will be featured in San Francisco Performances’ upcoming 2011-2012 season.