Out of Focus

Choreographer Ohad Naharin takes dancers beyond the mirror

Watch the dancers of New York’s Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet learn to leave the mirror behind in Out of Focus. In the film, documentarian Tomer Heymann captures the enigmatic Ohad Naharin, Israel’s most popular — and controversial — choreographer during five days of intensive rehearsals with the company. Artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, Naharin teaches the Cedar Lake dancers “Gaga,” his own performance style and vocabulary of movement. Alternating from smiles to pouts, Naharin encourages, cajoles, scolds and charms the dancers into bravely moving beyond technique and into artistic freedom, complete with wildly flailing arms and shaking hips. But it’s his interviews with Heymann, when Naharin isn’t moving but talking, that are the most revealing. The exchanges show Heymann to be intelligent and probing, with Naharin as articulate as he is narcissistic. Out of Focus screens at 7:30 p.m. Jewish Community Center, 5601 South Braeswood. For information, call 713-551-7255 or visit www.jcchouston.org. $6 to $8.

Mon., Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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