More about the Company


More about the Company

The Batsheva Dance Company was founded in 1964 as a repertoire company by the Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild, who appointed Martha Graham as its artistic consultant. The company was the first troupe in the world, aside from Graham’s own company of course, to perform the dances of the legendary choreographer.

In its early years, the company was identified with the dancers who formed the “founding generation” core of the company, among them Rena Gluck, Rina Schenfeld, Moshe Efrati, Ehud Ben-David, Galia Gat, Ruth Lerman, Yair Vardi, Ahuva Anbari, Moshe Romano, and Rahamim Ron. In the company’s first decades, it was led by artistic directors and rehearsal directors from abroad as well as from within the company – Jane Dudley, Norman Walker, Brian McDonald, William Louther, Caj Selling (who served as co-director with Linda Hodes for one year), Paul Sanasardo, Moshe Romano, David Dvir, and Shelley Sheer. Each director expanded the repertoire with works by renowned American and European choreographers, and staged new works by Israeli creators. Batsheva was also shaped by Robert Cohan, who served as artistic consultant during Romano’s tenure, and by rehearsal directors such as Ruth Harris, Romano, Hodes, Amira Amira Mayroz, Rena Gluck (who also briefly served as assistant director), Rahamim Ron, and Jean Geddis-Zetterberg.

Ohad Naharin was appointed artistic director in 1990, and continued to serve in this role until 2018. Naomi Bloch Fortis joined the company at the same time, first as assistant artistic director and later as the company’s CEO and co-artistic director. Adi Salant served as co-artistic director from 2012 to 2018. Gili Navot was the artistic director in 2018-2022. In July 2022, Dr. Lior Avizoor was appointed to the position of the company’s artistic director. Dina Aldor has been the company’s CEO since 2009. Batsheva Dance Company is the house company of Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv.

Batsheva Center in Suzanne Dellal

More about the Company
צילום: יורם בוזגלו

Designed by architects Ronit and Elisha Rubin, the Batsheva Center in Suzanne Dellal Complex was inaugurated in 1999, on the tenth anniversary of Suzanne Dellal Complex. Built at the historic location of the Levinsky Seminary, the building is adjacent to the Inbal Dance Theater, which used to house the gymnasium of the School for Girls. The center includes two spacious studios – the Varda Studio in memory of Varda Kenny, which is also used by the company as an intimate performance space, and the Suzy Studio in memory of Suzanne Dellal. A third studio used by the company is Studio Dalia, in honor of Mrs. Dalia Horowitz, situated in the historic building that holds the company’s offices. About 50 dancers and artistic staff members work in the building every day creating, rehearsing, and practicing.
The Batsheva Center was built with the support of the Dellal Family Foundation and Zeev Sokolowski, Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, and the Ministry of Culture through the Tel Aviv Foundation, the Sammy Ofer Batsheva Fund, and the company’s international and Israeli friends.
In 2016, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, the company refurbished the Batsheva residence. In this renovation project, the floor in Varda Studio was replaced and Suzy Studio was refurbished.

Awards and Prizes

Over the years, the Batsheva Company and Ensemble received the following prizes: New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for “Naharin’s Virus” (2002), New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for “Anaphase” (2004), the Minister of Culture and Sport Prize for Dance Companies for the performance of “Sadeh21” (2021), the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award was given to the Batsheva Ensemble for the performance of “MAX” (2014), DANZA & DANZA Magazine’s Best Dance Performance in Italy Award for “Three” (2016), the Minister of Culture and Sport Prize for Dance Companies for the performance of “The Hole” (2019).

The Yair Shapira Prize was awarded to the company’s dancers and creators for their contribution to the world of dance: Eri Nakamura (2021), Billy Beeri (2019), Maayan Sheinfeld (2018), Nitzan Ressler (2017), Ian Robinson (2016), Iyar Elezra (2015), Bobi Smith (2014), Matan David (2013), Luc Jacobs (2012), Adi Zlatin (2011), Hillel Kogan (2010), Danielle Agami (2009), Rachel Osborn (2009), Noa Zouk (2007), Yaniv Nagar (2007), Gili Navot (2006), Stefan Ferry (2005), Eldad Mannheim, Ensemble Director (2004), Naomi Bloch Fortis, Director (2003), Aya Israeli (2002), Yael Schnell (2001), Yoshifumi Inao (2000), Craig Jacobs (1999), Nir Tamir (1998), Naomi Perlov (1997), Yossi Yungman (1996), Sandra Brown (1995), Sharon Eyal (1994), Avi Yona (Bambi) Bueno (1993), Tami Vinig Lotan (1992), Iris Lahad (1991), Ido Tadmor (1990), Shula Botney (1989), Erez Levi (1988), Richard Orbach (1987), Nira Triffon (1986), Alice Dor-Cohen (1985), Siki Kol (1984), Jay Augen (1983), Ofra Doudai Mizrachi (1982), Haim Ohn (1981), Shelley Sheer (1980), David Dvir (1980), Rahamim Ron (1979), Lea Avraham (1978), Nurit Stern (1978), Gene Hill Sagan (1976).