Yael Schnell was born in Haifa, Israel. She danced in the Batsheva Dance Co. between 1994-2002. Aside from working regularly with Ohad Naharin, Yael
worked also with choreographers such as Jiri Kylian, Paul Selwyn Norton, Tero Saarinen, Angelin Preljocaj and more. After leaving the company, she moved to Berlin. Here Yael worked as a freelancer, creating her own work and dancing with the choreographers Ari Rosenzweig, Jorg Schiebe and Christoph Winkler, among others. In 2007, she joined the Sasha Waltz and Guests Co., and has been working with her ever since, creating and performing many pieces such as Rauschen, Kreatur, Allee der Kosmonauten, Dido & Aneas among many others. Yael is a certified gaga teacher. Gaga is a dance movement developed by the artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Co., Ohad Naharin, and has been teaching parallel to her dancing career. Yael finished her B.A. in Sociology and is currently doing her Masters in
Gaga is a movement language which Ohad Naharin developed over the course of many years and which is applied in daily practice and exercises by the Batsheva Dance Company members. The language of Gaga originated from the belief in the healing, dynamic, ever-changing power of movement, and it continues to evolve today.
Gaga is a new way of gaining knowledge and self-awareness through your body. Gaga provides a framework for discovering and strengthening your body and adding flexibility, stamina, and agility while lightening the senses and imagination. Gaga raises awareness of physical weaknesses, awakens numb areas, exposes physical fixations, and offers ways for their elimination. The work improves instinctive movement and connects conscious and unconscious movement, and it allows for an experience of freedom and pleasure in a simple way, in a pleasant space, in comfortable clothes, accompanied by music, each person with himself and others.
Gaga/people classes are open to people ages 16+, regardless of their background in dance or movement. No previous dance experience is needed. Gaga/people classes last for one hour and are taught by dancers who have worked closely with Ohad Naharin. Teachers guide the participants using a series of evocative instructions that build one on top of the other. Rather than copying a particular movement, each participant in the class actively explores these instructions, discovering how he or she can interpret the information and perform the task at hand. Gaga/people classes offer a creative framework for participants to connect to their bodies and imaginations, increase their physical awareness, improve their flexibility and stamina, and experience the pleasure of movement in a welcoming, accepting atmosphere. Participants should wear comfortable clothes and be prepared to dance barefoot or in socks. It is advisable to bring a bottle of water and a towel for use after class.
“Gaga challenges multi-layer tasks. We are aware of the connection between effort and pleasure, we are aware of the distance between our body parts, we are aware of the friction between flesh and bones… We are turning on the volume of listening to our body, we appreciate small gestures… we might be silly, we can laugh at ourselves. We connect to the sense of “plenty of time”, especially when we move fast, we learn to love our sweat, we discover our passion to move” -Ohad Naharin