Batsheva Dance Company, The Young Ensemble (Tel Aviv)



An adaptation of Peter Handke’s play Offending the Audience

By Ohad Naharin

Original Music and Musical Advisor: Karni Postel

Arab Folk Music Arranged and Performed by: Habib Alla Jamal, Khader Shama

Additional Music: Samuel Barber, Carlos D’ Alessio, P. Stokes, P. Parson


Premiere in Russia

April 15, 2017, 19:00

Alexandrinsky Theatre




[The] calligraphy of the body is stunning…

The New York Times

What a splendid Virus… as powerful as the eye of the storm…

Jerusalem Post

Comme un lâcher prise, un abandon de soi, cette création chorégraphique est une aspiration à la liberté.

Culturebox Franceinfo

Inspired by Naharin’s intricate movement vocabulary, which is full of tantalizing angles, disconnected hip thrusts, and slithering and sliding into seemingly impossible positions, the dancers became infected with an intensity of commitment — and the “virus” they created was a sensation.

Backstage USA


Naharin’s Virus is one of those performances that is ahead of its time. Even in a decade and a half after a premiere it looks stunningly ground-breaking and “different”.

When I first saw a performance of “Naharin’s Virus” over a decade ago, I knew that this ritualistic, insurrectionary dance was the way my own body wanted to move, if only it could be freed from gravity and decorum, Anna Della Subin says.

That is what Naharin did: he wasn’t just staging the play but liberating the dancers and letting them float freely in the sea of the sculpturesque creativity. The energy that literally radiates from the Batsheva dance here integrates with the deep meaning of the body language that was reinvented, but remained comprehensive and meaningful. Although plotless the show deeply penetrates into the audience’s soul. And probably not so much into the soul but into the self-awareness, self-consciousness of the audience.

The piece was based on and inspired by the text of Peter Handke, one of the most significant writers of the second half of the 20th century, the great rioter of the European New Wave. Offending the Audience was written back in the 1960-s and became one of the program works of the Neo-Avantgarde: without plot, action or even characters, capable to clear off “the exact moment in time at the exact point in space” out of the meaning imposed by words.


Text — Peter Handke (excluding the stories by the dancers)

Lighting Design — Avi Yona Bueno (Bambi)

Sound Design — Frankie Lievaart

Recordings — Frankie Lievaart, Haim Laroz

Costume Design — Rakefet Levy

Suit Design — Zohar Shoef

Speaker's voice — Henry David

Batsheva’s dancers participated in the original creation of this production

Performed by:

Chen Agron, Etay Axelrod, Yotam Baruch, Ido Gidron, Mai Golan, Ben Green, Chiaki Horita, Xanthe van Opstal, Lenny Hassin, Shir Levy, Opal Markus, Ohad Mazor, Robin Nimanong, Hani Sirkis, Evyatar Omesy, Tomer Pistiner, Igor Ptashenchuk, Korina Fraiman


World Premiere: March 14, 2001, Suzanne Dellal Centre, Tel Aviv

Duration: 60 minutes without intermission