#AdventureswithKaren: Episode Tel Aviv

Question: What do the following three things have in common: 1) Hummus 2) wild night life 3) Batsheva Dance Company.

Answer: Tel Aviv, Israel.

I have a strong appreciation for number one and number three (and a mild tolerance for number two), so you can imagine how excited I was to be in Tel Aviv.

My first night in town gave me a quick but clear view of Tel Aviv's infamous night life. The homebody in me intended on taking it easy, but I mustered up some energy to meet up with my friend Bret. At 12AM, the party was just getting started! Some functions that evening were rumored to wrap up at 7AM, but I lasted a solid three and a half hours and was in bed by 4AM.

Bret is a friend I grew up dancing with on Teen Dance Company and who now is a member of the world renowned Batsheva Dance Company. I haven't seen Bret since he left for Juilliard nearly 8 years ago. It was absolutely electric seeing and hanging out with him:


I slept in the next morning, and after a long run along the coastline I soaked in the sun's warmth on the beach with a glass of fresh squeezed pomegranate juice in hand: 



The beach was beautiful and the hummus was to die for, but the most memorable part about my time in Tel Aviv was taking company class with Bret and the rest of the Batsheva company members. I've admired Ohad Naharin's (the company director) work and have been inspired by his movement for years. The hour long class was centered around Gaga, an improvisational technique/style developed by Naharin: 

Gaga is an experience of freedom and pleasure. 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." 
(Batsheva Dance Co. website)

Immediately after class I took a quick stroll through Old Jaffa, the historical part of town. Old Jaffa is architecturally charming, and retail shops in the area sell everything from locally made crafts to modern urban wear: 




I wish I had had a few more days in Israel to see more of Tel Aviv or to venture out to Jerusalem (and to eat more hummus!). The trip was short and sweet, and I can't wait to be back again one day.

Now off to Istanbul, Turkey!