4 years ago5,000+ Views
In 1972, when the news came about Martha's failed suicide attempt, Bat Dor was at its peak. Backed by Bat Sheva's patronage, they had everything a dance group could want. Jeannette could bring almost anyone to work with them. Paul Taylor, Elvin Ailey and Antony Tudor were among those who gave master classes in the school and choreographed for the dance company. A specialized team of sport health professionals was working for them, and they performed all over the world, flying in their own private jet. In addition they have just moved to their new home. A large facility in the basement of a residence and commerce complex, in the middle of Tel Aviv. "Lesson number 6: Give up everything if you have to, to preserve relevancy. An artist only dies when she or he become irrelevant. The source of your power, is in the desires of your audience. Never shelter yourself from them." In 2005, At the age of 70, Jeanette was disenchanted and bitter. She suddenly understood why the response of leading critiques to Bat Dor's performances were always somewhat lukewarm. They appreciated their precise and professional performance, but said that some of the creative magic was lost. They attributed that to her too strict methods that left no room for the self expression of the dancers, but believing that they are wrong, she did not listen to their criticism. She now knew that they were right. But it wasn't because of her, or her methods. The discipline and exact formulation of everything were necessary for what she was trying to achieve. The problem was with Bat Sheva who was over sheltering her. Being adjunct to the government offices district of Tel Aviv, the basement from which Bat Dor operated was in fact a large bomb shelter. Was it only a coincidence that Bat Sheva chose this facility? In the same year in which they started operating from there, Bat Sheva arranged for Jeanette to move to a villa across the street from hers, with an underground tunnel connecting the two houses. In the aftermath of what happened with Martha, Did Bat Sheva want to keep her under her thumb? She was supposed to give up now. She could take the money given to her and retire. Her lawyer and her friends told her to do that, but she just couldn't. Being faithful to her word to the end, she tried to keep her part of the agreement and turn Bat Dor into a public organization. But it was too late. In 2006, Bat Dor was closed.
@timerurnerjones, The Batsheva dance company still exist. It is publicly funded and its artistic director is Ohad Naharin, a student of Martha Graham. Bat Dor also still exists... kind of... I will write about it in the next, and last, chapter
Bat Dor closed, but I know that there still has to be some dance company existing!