“It is a privilege to grant dancers at the very start of their careers the ability to become our creative partners. We hand them the Gaga tool box, our ongoing research of many years, and we make it available to them for immediate use. We watch them go beyond their familiar limits on a daily basis to become great interpreters. Often the young dancers of the Ensemble show me fresh, new ways of looking at my own work.” – Ohad Naharin
Batsheva - The Young Ensemble was founded by Naharin in 1990 when he joined the company as Artistic Director; out of an interest in nurturing creative processes, mentoring young dancers, and developing young audiences in Israel. Its unique framework comprises independent choreographic support, rigorous studio training, domestic and international touring, and an exemplary school outreach program. The temporary nature of the program’s two-year structure colors it with a wide range of emotions, inspiring the dancers to make the most of their experience and make a significant impact on both their own practices and the execution of Naharin’s choreography. Each year nearly 400 dancers from around the world travel to Batsheva’s home at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv for Ensemble auditions. The Batsheva senior company is composed almost entirely of Young Ensemble graduates.
"The Young Ensemble is unquestionably one of the most magnificent collections of dancers... Beyond their fine and strong technique, their re-enactment of "MAX" by Ohad Naharin sparkled with freshness, making the work a spectacular display of effortless streaming, and connected the dancing body to something greater, beyond its limits. Any choreographer should feel fortunate to work with such an ensemble, since their implementation of "MAX" managed to retrieve some preliminary authenticity and innocence, and left a lasting impression on the retina". (Israeli Dance Critics Circle awarding the 2014 Prize for Best Interpretation to the Ensemble).
Batsheva - The Young Ensemble Dancers:
Ariel Gelbart was born in 1995. He is a graduate of the Katzir High School dance department in Rehovot. In 2012-2014 he attended the Maslool Professional Dance Program at Bikurey Ha'Itim Center, Tel Aviv, directed by Naomi Perlov and Ofir Dagan. He served in the IDF as a privileged outstanding dancer. In 2014-2017 Ariel danced with The Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak Dance Company in Tel Aviv. Joined Batsheva – the Young Ensemble in 2017.
Londiwe Khoza was born in South Africa in 1993. She studied at Cape Academy of Performing Arts from 2012 to 2014 and graduated with Distinction and top honours. Simultaneously, Khoza was a soloist at the Cape Dance Company. In 2015, she was invited to study at the Central School of Ballet in the UK and to dance with the Joburg Ballet, South Africa’s most prestigious ballet company. Khoza Joined the Young Ensemble in 2016 as an apprentice. Londiwe joined the Ensemble as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, as a protégé of Ohad Naharin. She joined Batsheva - the Young Ensemble as a dancer in 2017.
Shir Levy was born in 1994 in Kfar-Saba, Israel. She graduated from the Kfar Saba Conservatory and the dance department at Herzog High-School. In 2011 she received a scholarship to attend the American Academy of Ballet Summer Course, and participated in the Mia Arbatova competition. In 2012 she participated in the excellence project at The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company as well as in the Batsheva Excellence program. In 2012-2014 she attended the "Maslool Professional Dance Program" at Bikurey Ha'Itim center, Tel-Aviv. She served in the IDF as a privliged outstanding dancer. She danced with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Second Company in the season of 2014-2015, and with Inbal Theatre in 2015-2016. Shir joined Batsheva – The Young Ensemble in 2016 as an apprentice and as a dancer in 2017.
Ohad Mazor was born in 1998 in Haifa, Israel. He graduated from Reut High-School for the arts in Haifa and from the Michal Hasson-Bardas Dance Center. In 2013 he participated in the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company Students Excellence Program. He also participated in the summer courses at the Juilliard School in 2013 and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance in 2014. In 2013 and 2015, Ohad was granted the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship. He joined Batsheva – the Young Ensemble in 2016.
Robin Lesley Nimanong was born in 1995 in The Netherlands. He studied at the Amsterdam University of Arts, and apprenticed at Kale Dance Company in Portugal. He participated in De Dutch Don't Dance Division in the 2013-2014 summer course and in the Gaga HJS Amsterdam course in 2014 and 2015. Between 2014 and 2016 he worked with various choreographers, including Giulio D'anna (Lets!, 2014), Heidi Vierthalerr (2015, Broken Water), Liat Waysbort (2015, Before After Beyond), and Eldad Ben Sasson and the Kale Dance Company (2016, Tal Dew). He joined Batsheva – the Young Ensemble in 2016.
Igor Ptashenchuk was born in 1997 in Ukraine, and in 2000 moved to Israel. He graduated from the dance department at Reut High-School and received the America-Israel Foundation scholarship in the years 2012-2015. He also received scholarships for summer courses at The Juilliard School and The American Ballet Academy. He participated in the excellence project of the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in the years 2011-2012. In 2015 He won the Jeannette Ordman scholarship as well as the Mia Arbatova classical ballet competition. In 2015-2016 he danced in many projects such as “Man of the Hour” by Itzik Galili, “Grounded” by Alon Shtoyer, “Carmen” by Eli Lazar and “Billy Elliot” by Eldar Groissman. Igor joined Batsheva – The Young Ensemble in 2016.