What is Gaga dance?


A question on the lips of many a dance lover is simple: What is Gaga dance? Despite what the name implies, it does not have anything to do with the quirky music icon!

Gaga method is a dance technique which has been developed by the Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin for his Batsheva Dance Company around ten years ago, and on the surface holds many similarities with release technique and other modern dance and contemporary styles. Why has the Gaga method only just reached mainstream British shores?

Teachers of the method prefer to give their dancers inspiration and stimulation. Rather than demonstrating or providing steps, the teachers use visualisation to enable the participants to become aware of every inch of the their bodies and the imagery it can evoke from the inside out, rather than the technique be just about ‘making shapes’ with movement, but completely imagining the growth of the organic movement, solely for their body.

The dance form is concentrating on finding movement from the body rather than imposing rules or parameters on the creative body. This finding of movement is centered on the intrinsic body and its abilities, with the name Gaga developing from ‘baby talk’ and the idea that it is natural, instinctive and a communication with an audience. As a result, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ movement as participants are able to work with their bodies and the movements and images that are relative to them. 

In terms of professional Batsheva dancers, the result of the Gaga method is virtuosic yet organic movement, and an empowering experience for all involved. The method is largely free and based individually on each body through generating the movement from within rather than imposing shapes on the body from the outside world, therefore a seemingly effective counter to the highly disciplined and rigorous dance techniques such as classical ballet and more technical modern dance techniques.

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