Batsheva director: the show will go on

By Jennifer Lipman, October 25, 2012

The artistic director of Israel's Batsheva Dance Company has said he is saddened by the fact that his performers are being targeted by supporters of a cultural boycott of the Jewish state.

The company appeared on three consecutive nights at the Edinburgh International Festival at the end of the summer, but each show was disrupted on a number of occasions by pro-Palestinian activists.

Now, the youth arm of the company is about to set off on a tour of the UK, starting next week in Edinburgh before visiting locations including Bradford and London.

Boycotters have already declared a victory in Brighton after the organisers cancelled one of the two Deca Dance shows there following advice on security considerations.

Ohad Naharin told the Herald Scotland that he was optimistic about the emergence of "new solutions" to the problems in the Middle East. He criticised, as he has done on numerous occasions, the Israeli government.

But he said he wished that rather than interrupt the show the protesters would have been willing to engage in dialogue off stage.

He told The Scotsman: "Now that we've found out the main company can cope with it, we have a key to give the Ensemble dancers too, so I'm not worried."

"It's very sad for all of us that this is the situation that has brought us to this. But I think the Ensemble will be fine."

Last updated: 2:11pm, October 25 2012