Last week Ohad Naharin, famed Israeli choreographer and Artistic Director of the Batsheva Dance Company, announced that he will be stepping down from the role in September of 2018. Naharin, who has led the company since 1990, will be replaced by the current rehearsal director (and former Batsheva dancer) Gili Navot.
He's certainly not the first dance director to take a step like this. In 1999, Jiri Kylian gave up his position as artistic director of Nederlands Dans Theatre. More recently, in 2008 Alexei Ratmansky left his position as artistic director of the Bolshoi and moved to American Ballet Theater to focus on choreography.
Naharin has become world-renowned for not only his leadership of the company and choreography, but for his development of the movement language 'Gaga', which he began on his Batsheva dancers and is now taught around the world. Naharin has stated that this new shift will allow him more time and energy to devote to choreographing and further refining the Gaga technique.
Naharin will still remain involved in the company, continuing as resident choreographer.
photo: Michal Chelbin