Protests fail to disrupt Batsheva Ensemble’s Deca Dance show at Sadler’s Wells.

The Batsheva Ensemble, the youth wing of the main Batsheva dance company, received a standing ovation at Sadler’s Wells in London last night after an outstanding display of music and dance. Batsheva’s Deca Dance show, a collage of impressive pieces, consists of 16 dancers aged between 18 and 24 years-old. The 16 are mainly Israeli although there are two dancers from Spain and one from Russia, America and Japan, respectively.

As you enter the auditorium there’s a single dancer already on stage welcoming you in with some humorous improvisation.

Ten minutes in to the show shouts of “Free Free Palestine” were quickly drowned out by spontaneous audience applause. Security was dotted unobtrusively around the theatre to deter anything more prolonged. Two more similar attempts at disruption took place during the show but they were met with a similar audience response.

The second half was dominated by the female and male dancers seemingly dressed as Chabad Lubavitch Jews in dark hats, white shirts and dark trousers. They then interacted brilliantly with the audience, and the audience with them, before bringing the curtain down with the most powerful rendition of all thirteen verses of Echad Mi Yodea, the Passover table song, you will ever see and hear.

The 1500 seats were virtually sold out although you can walk in just before the show and pick up a ticket. The show continues tonight and tomorrow night at the same place before, finally, moving on to Plymouth on Friday and Saturday. Try to see it before it leaves these shores.

Typically, The Guardian newspaper, who are quite happy to promote racist cultural boycotts against Israel that also demean apartheid, linked their report Batsheva Dance Company braces for Gaza protests in London straight through to the Facebook page of Don’t Dance With Israeli Apartheid.

Sadly, for The Guardian and the boycotters the disruptions were muted and the audience loved Batsheva’s performance, as could be seen by the rousing ovation and the three curtain calls given to Batsheva last night. Here is part of that ovation:


29 responses to “Protests fail to disrupt Batsheva Ensemble’s Deca Dance show at Sadler’s Wells.

  1. I would like to thank the protesters for motivating me to go to the Batsheva in Manchester. They were terrific.

  2. Jonathan Hoffman

    Batsheva last night: Vibrant, Original, Gripping, Wonderful … and best of all, ISRAELI….. Go and see them tonight or tomorrow …. only two small interruptions and one tiny one … leave plenty of time for the bag check queue …

    Or in Plymouth on 23rd/24th

  3. thank you Richard – thank you so very very much

    how good to read that the audience seems to found a way to boycott “them”.

  4. BDS Der Guardian and any company that advertises in its pages.

    Islamofascism and Fascism must never be rewarded.

  5. Strange that in a virulently antisemitic society like the UK…hammered home ad infinitum on this very blog, with a new Kristallnacht predicted by the in-house Cassandra, Yousef..”I’m not a Jew and I’m an atheist”…the Prophet…..that Batsheva should be so welcome with dates all over the country. Cognitive dissonance anyone? Not likely in the outer limits of denial and self-deception where any feelings of discomfort stemming from the threat to victimhood are conveniently repressed.

  6. I attended the Rally Supporting Batsheva organised by the ZF – it was great to stand in Solidarity with Israel with so many wonderful people – well done to everybody Who demonstrated & attended the show .

  7. Good.

    This is the kind of treatment BDS deserves. For as much as I hate the settlement building in the occupied territories, I hate dishonest so-called “human rights activist” thugs who refuse to recognize Israel even more.

  8. jewtalkMichael Goldman

    “The second half was dominated by the female and male dancers seemingly dressed as Chabad Lubavitch Jews in dark hats, white shirts and dark trousers”
    Just interested on how you knew that they were dressed as Chabad Hassidim rather than Belz, Gur , Satmar or any other of the hunreds of Hassidic sects.
    Pease don’t feel compelled to reply.

    • They were laying phylacteries in public.

    • richardmillett

      It’s art. That is who they evoked for me. In one sense I knew they weren’t supposed to be religious at all seeing as each dancer went into the audience and picked a woman to bring on to the stage to dance with. Hardly, the act of a very religious male. Plus, the female dancers were also dressed like that. But they then ended up with this powerful rendition of Echad Mi Yodeah. During the Q&A afterwards we were told that the objective was to achieve “a ballroom effect” for the interactive dancing; so they might not have been Chabad at all. It was up to us to interpret as we wished. Excuse me for suspending disbelief for a lovely hour and a half and, maybe, getting it all wrong. But that’s art! Why don’t you go and see them in Jerusalem on Dec. 5th and tell me exactly who they are for you?

  9. Three fantastic evenings with only minor interruptions which were dealt with efficiently by security . The applause drowning out the idiots , first occurred in Edinburgh back in August . Not planned , simply a spontaneous outpouring of pride , affection and admiration for this incredibly talented dance troupe . It’s also a demonstrable rejection of the nihilism of the other side who were screaming their River to the Sea mantra .
    PSC stalwart Naomi Windbag Idrissi was there looking to get in via a side entrance . She was recognised and eventually gave up .
    This was a big fail by the PSC despite wheeling out our favourite third diva Deborah Fink . Her behaviour is becoming increasingly bizarre . Could be early onset menopause .

    • Harvey

      I can assure you that the relation between bizarre and menopause is the opposite – i.e. menopause gives women with bizarre tendencies a pretext to parade them under the umbrella of some hyped (by whom?) suffering which in reality is non-existent unless of course any slightly discomfortable bodily signals are considered to belong into intensive care units.

      Thus if you promote the myth I assume that you have a doctor uncle whose riches you hope to inherit 😉

      • Hi Silke
        No doctor uncles . Thought hormonal changes might account for an increase in her bizarre behaviour .
        Its really hard to describe . She looked like she was on drugs , pacing up and down on our side , crossing and re crossing the road and then suddenly going into diva soprano mode . Its as if she was attracted like a moth to a flame being among the Zionist enemy . She made for our speaker system which was unprotected and reached out as if to knock it over but drew back , thinking better of it.
        Maybe she’s bipolar .

      • No she sounds very normal to me getting her high from acting out –
        I just witnessed some 4 to 6 year olds do it in the super market. Kids whom obviously nobody had told as yet that they aren’t the only people who matter in the world. (I feel intensely sorry for parents who have to steer their little ones through the temptations of a super market, but I also think that there is something wrong with everything goes)

        In fact that’s how most of those people strike me i.e. like the kids who enjoy themselves most when they can tear wings of flies

        with the exception of course that this story has a happy ending

      • as to hormonal changes – first comes the belief in their existence –

        I for example am perfectly convinced that hormonal changes turn tolerably well behaved men into grabbers – closer to reality seems however that they become grabbers because at that age they are more likely to have a position in life which makes them believe that they can get away with it and more often than not they can if they judge their own standing correctly.

        and with certain women (and men) political activism seems to provide a good protection behind which they can shamelessly act out just like they did at the age of 4 or would have liked to do at that age in the super market, on the beach, in the restaurant or wherever else their parents think it OK to test the patience of others.

  10. Michael Goldman

    Here in Israel we are all keeping abreast of your daring activities via the Internet.
    We applaud you all !!

  11. richardmillett

    Michael, we all know what you are going through in Israel and are very worried. That is a very harsh approach from you, I think.

  12. James
    No one here is saying the UK is antisemitic , only that the PSC is .

  13. Gosh Richard
    There was me thinking that michaels comment was a compliment . You obviously know him well

  14. Ok
    I missed michael’s earlier comment at 8pm

    • In all seriousness, I do applaud you guys – the ones who go out and do.

      I know what Michael is hinting at – that we’re going through air-raid alerts while you’re watching dancers, etc, but that’s only half of the story.

      Very few Israelis chose to be in the more dangerous areas or drove to Beer Sheva to help out. We did what we had to do because we live here and had no choice.

      The Harveys, Richards and Sharons of this world could have stayed home as 99.99% of Anglo Jews do, but they didn’t. They’re always there every time, not doing the least they can, but the most.

      On Shabbat we’ll read about Jacob leaving Israel and the midrash explains how the angels of Israel were replaced by the angels of the galut. Yes, it’s a metaphor, and it tells us that your challenges are different to ours and so are the dangers you confront. Of course, we have a historic argument because we think all Jews should be here and you don’t, but that’s for another day. Today and every day we (Michael included) are very proud of you all.

  15. Michael Goldman

    Rich I’ve got to say that I am affected no more than you the situation here.
    All Jews around the world are worried and I expect that you care no less than me about the lives of our brothers.
    I shall not deny that my comment had a trace of cynicism burrried deep within it’s laybrinth but it was only written in jest and there was no intention to offend but rather just to take the piss.
    I was also more that slightly interested to see if anyone would notice.
    Wishing one and all a lovely day!

  16. Jonathan Hoffman

    I went all three evenings. Sensational.

    The Standard: “With Batsheva you don’t just see the choreography, you feel it; the deep urge to move, whether in rolling waves, deep curves or champagne-cork leaps. This is choreography that rejoices in the body – an not in the sexual way that seems to be the only way modern culture knows how but in a deep and honest, humorous and human way. More than that, Naharin is not afraid of entertaining. He knows the impact of a big unison routine. Some sections are as punchy as a pop video. and the audience participation is one of the most joyous things I’ve ever seen on stage.”

    Please come back to London soon!

  17. a video from a pro-Israel demo on Frankfurt’s main shopping street – of course it makes no difference to Israelis but I can’t give up hope that it is preferable to spewing hate.

    I got it here and the blogger has three kids in the game (one already in reserve and a fourth still too young for it) and if it made her feel even a tiny bit better about her home country (she is Christian gentile) then I am all for it.

  18. Harvey….your misogynistic attacks on the PSC women…’windbag’….’diva’….and the menopause reference…..are beneath contempt. I guess the last 40 years of human development by-passed you. Or more to the point, cheap below-the-belt ad hominem attacks are a staple in the crude arsenal of the Zionist ideologues.

    • James
      Stick to the point , namely that the PSC is institutionally antisemitic . I have an ever burgeoning archived collection from the likes of Greta Berlin to minor actors such as Pam Hardyment and Janet Green ( sorry was that also misogynist .
      We know PSC is a repository for antisemites to hide away under the cover of antizionism in order to share their racist views .

      • Harvey

        a glimpse at Tony Greenstein’s recently informed me that Greta Berlin has acquired non-grata status possibly even become toxic. Could it be that James is a bit behind on the status quo?

        and never mind James blaming somebody else for -istic attacks that has its own kind of …istic charme.

        there are some people whose “misogynism” is nothing but an almost irresistible invitation for some friendly gender against gender fighting.

        By contrast If James would declare himself to be a feminist or feminist friendly I’d start running for safety.

      • Sadly, all shades of opinion include misogynistic men. This has nothing to do with ‘Zionist ideologues’.

  19. James
    Interesting reading on the PSC . It doesn’t tell a fraction of the story .