Dancing "Gaga"--Not What You Think!

This week, I was offered the incredible chance to take classes in a technique called “Gaga” by my internship at Gallim Dance, a small contemporary dance company based in Brooklyn. “Gaga” technique has nothing to do with Lady Gaga though. Gaga as a movement language was created by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin as a new way of gaining knowledge and self-awareness though our bodies, long before Lady Gaga came on scene! The technique is said to improve instinctive movements, connect conscious and unconscious movements, and allow for an experience of freedom and pleasure in a simple way. Mr. Naharin developed Gaga by tracing his early childhood memories. To dance Gaga, it is said, one has to learn to be silly. For this reason, even though known as a contemporary dance technique, Gaga dancing is said to be a technique known by kids naturally!

Gaga dance class at Congregation Beth Elohim

Gaga dance class at Congregation Beth Elohim

Dancing Gaga in a 30-people class, there were definitely moments I hoped nobody was watching me. Our teacher, Daniel Staaf of Sweden, played songs with catchy beats throughout the classes and asked us to follow the music and experience different parts of our body collapsing internally, that we were falling off from the sky on the floor, that we were drawing on the four walls with our stretched limps, and other imageries that required playful imagination and the courage to occupy a persona that our society would consider “too silly”. Fortunately, everybody was enjoying moving our bodies to the music too much to judge what other bodies were doing. In this fun state, an hour and a half passed by in an instant. 

To learn more about Gaga you can read Twisting Body and Mind by Gia Kourlas and watch this video on YouTube. Afterwards, I hope that you will feel inspired enough to dance some Gaga in your living room!