Kennesaw State’s Department of Dance to present “YAG: The Movie” featuring Batsheva Dance Company

dancers from Yag
The Batsheva Dance Company performs in "YAG: The Movie," choreographed by Ohad Naharin. Image by Ascaf. 

Dance on film offers a unique artistic medium, presenting different layers of movement and choreography

KENNESAW, Ga. (Mar 1, 2022) — Kennesaw State University’s Department of Dance will present YAG: The Movie from Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin and Israel-based Batsheva Dance Company. The film will be shown March 18-19 in person at the KSU Dance Theater on the Marietta campus, and March 18-20 (on demand*) via ArtsKSU Virtual. 

Screendances or dance-for-camera performances have been around for quite some time, but dance companies pivoted to the medium as a way to show work during the pandemic, according to Marsha Barsky, Chair of the Department of Dance. She says, “Screendances were vital during the pandemic since they provided an alternative form to presenting dance. Now that we are emerging from a post-pandemic world, we want to sustain and grow an appreciation for this art form by offering the best work available to both our students and our community.” 

YAG: The Movie fits the criteria perfectly: Ohad Naharin is one of the most visionary choreographers of the 21st century, and the Batsheva Dance Company is arguably one of the world’s most renowned professional dance companies. “We are so excited to share this work explicitly designed for the camera,” says Barsky. 

Naharin explains that “YAG: The Movie is a chamber piece that links six dancers with an existential thread, transforming them into a family that shares the same movement DNA.” Exploring family dynamics is central to the work.

“The question of how a family as a unit is ingrained in the body and activates as it runs through YAG: The Movie. In the face of the mantra chanted by the dancers – a biographical foothold that discloses their relationship – the dance erupts as an uncontrollable tremor, a vital force that binds them,” says Naharin. 

Naharin describes the work as the “collective memory of the family unit” which utilizes rhythms, vibrations, gestures, soft and disciplined movements, intersected by movements that explode and cut through the air with sweat, passion, pain, and laughter. When a voice tries to wrap around movement, the movement flees the voice, undoing the ties that formed in the imagined family tree. 

Barsky adds, “Dance has the power to shape our understanding of society, community, and culture, and it connects us to the relevant questions of our time. The uniqueness of showing dances made specifically for the screen to our community is that it presents different layers of movement and choreography and offers another type of physical response and embodied engagement with the work.” 

In YAG: The Movie, Naharin touches the spiral, almost compulsive movement up and down life – a spiral that is how we walk away from our parents and towards them, even after they are gone. The film is the iteration of movement in the flesh, a dance that stands as the opposite of death. 

The screendance will be shown March 18-19 at 8 p.m. in person at the KSU Dance Theater on the Marietta campus, and March 18-20 online via ArtsKSU Virtual. Tickets are $15-$20 for all showings. Watch the trailer here.

*Special note for virtual patrons: This film is available on demand from Friday, March 18 at 8 p.m. until Sunday, March 20th at 8 p.m. Streaming will expire at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 20th. 

--Kathie Beckett

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