Mr. Gaga

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Israel | 2015 | 100 minutes | Tomer Heymann

This intimate documentary immerses us in the beauty of contemporary dance, and gives us an exclusive behind-the-curtain look at the mind of renowned choreographer Ohad Naharin, artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company.

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"There is no one, regardless of ability level, that can't be connected to physical sensations," says Ohad Naharin. "There is no one that can't separate limbs in his body and move them. There is no one that can't bend, fold, straighten. There is almost no one that isn't able to listen to music and feel a groove." Naharin, world-famous choreographer and artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, is the creator of the gaga movement language, a dance practice that incorporates improvisation and expressive movement that "demands listening to the body before we tell it what to do." This intimate documentary immerses us in the life and mind of this renowned man, from his childhood in an Israeli kibbutz through his rise in the New York dance world and back to his native land, enhanced beautifully through video footage of some of the greatest, most breathtaking, and most passionate contemporary dance pieces in the medium's history. Not only a story of artistic temperament, this is also a chronicle of his political ideals—his troupe famously refused to perform at Israel's 50th anniversary when faced with censorship—and a love story between Naharin and Mari Kajiwara, the Alvin Ailey dancer who followed him across the sea. Come peek behind the curtain and let your body sing.

Director Biography
Tomer Heymann is an award-winning Israeli documentary filmmaker. His 2006 film Paper Dolls won multiple awards at the Berlin International Film Festival, and his latest, Mr. Gaga, won the Audience Award at SXSW 2016. 

Sponsored by KING 5, The Seattle Times

  • Director: Tomer Heymann
  • Principal Cast: Ohad Naharin
  • Country: Israel, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 100 minutes
  • Producer: Barak Heymann
  • Screenplay: Tomer Heymann
  • Cinematographers: Itai Raziel
  • Editors: Alon Greenberg, Ido Mochrik, Ron Omer
  • Music: Ishai Adar
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: SXSW 2016 (Audience Award: Documentary Spotlight), Sofia International Film Festival 2015 (Best Documentary), Tempo Documentary Film Festival 2016 (Best Documentary)
  • Filmography: The Queen Has No Crown (doc, 2011); I Shot My Love (doc, 2010); Out of Focus (doc, 2007); Black Over White (doc, 2007); Paper Dolls (doc, 2006); Bridge Over the Wadi (doc, 2006); Aviv-Fucked-up Generation (doc, 2003); It Kinda Scares Me (doc, 2001)
  • Language: English, Hebrew
  • Format: DCP