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Bat-Dor Dance Company, Tel Aviv

Bethsabée Louise Emilie Beatrix de Rothschild (later Batsheva) (1914-1999) was the youngest child of Edouard and Germaine de Rothschild. Brought up and educated in Paris she studied Biology at the Sorbonne and later Biochemistry at Columbia University, New York. In 1940 she moved with her parents to New York. After the war Bethsabée attended a few of Martha Graham’s dance classes and became a friend of Graham’s and a patron of her Dance Company, helping her to buy the school’s building on East 63rd Street, New York largely through her newly established ‘Batsheva de Rothschild Foundation for Arts and Sciences’ and in 1955 sponsored the Martha Graham dance Company’s tour  to the Far East. In 1949 she also published La danse artistique aux USA: tendances modernes.

In 1964 Bethsabée established the Batsheva Dance Company (a dance troupe and school) with the help of Martha Graham and founded on her principles of dance. Around 1967 she met and became friends with Jeanette Ordman, a classically trained ballet dancer, and wanted to install her as Artistic Director at Batsheva Dance Company but this received strong opposition from within the organisation which caused a rift between Bethsabée and the Batsheva Dance Company and led to the foundation, with Jeanette Ordman, of the Bat Dor Dance Company in 1968.

Bat-Dor made its debut in 1968 with Ordman as its leading dancer. Israel "El" Gabriel was assistant director of the company. The company had a large repertoire of modern works. Among the international choreographers who worked with Bat Dor are Antony Tudor, Rudy van Dantzig, Lar Lubovitch, Alvin Ailey, Judith Jamison, Luciano Cannito, Hans van Manen, Martha Graham, Jiri Killian and Israelis Domy Reiter-Soffer, Igal Perry and Ido Tadmor. Guest dancers included American Lawrence Leritz and the Italian Walter Cinquinella. In 1971, the company moved to a purpose built theatre,  the Bat Dor Dance Center, Tel Aviv. The company was dissolved in July 2006.

See 000/1825 Family papers: Bethsabée Louise Emilie Béatrix (Batsheva) de Rothschild (1914-1999) for a collection of 'Dance' photographs collected by the late Bathsheva de Rothschild relating to production of the Batsheva Dance Compnany and Bat-Dor Dance Company.

See 000/1801 for papers relating to a 'Tribute to Mrs Batsheva de Rothschild', organised by the Bat-Dor Dance Company and Mayor of Tel Aviv, July 1997.

In 2014, Batsheva’s Jubilee Year, the company inaugurated an archive documenting its fifty years of existence, creating a resource for the documentation and preservation of archival material relating to Israeli dance, and dance research in general, The Batsheva Archive »

Bat-Dor Dance Company, promotional material, posters, c.1980-1988

000/617/1, 1 folder

Bat-Dor Dance Company, promotional material: four posters (all different) advertising productions, c.1980-1988.

Bat-Dor Dance Company, promotional material: publications, c.1980-1988

000/617/2, 5 items

Bat-Dor Dance Company, promotional material: publications:

  • Bat-Dor Dance Company: Review of the Year 1986 (Bat-Dor Dance Company, 1986);
  • Bamat Dor, April 1986;
  • Bamat Dor, No.3 October 1988, A Special Edition celebrating 20 years of the Dat-Dor Dance Company. The publication includes an essay ‘Bat-Dor Repertoire Highlights’ by Mrs Batsheva de Rothschild;
  • Bat-Dor Dance Company: Review of 23rd Year, 1991 (Bat-Dor dance Company, 1991);
  • Bat-Dor Dance Company: The story of Bat-Dor (Bat-Dor dance Company, 1995).

Bat-Dor Dance Company, tribute to Jeanette Ordman, 1990

000/617/3, 1 volume

Volume, Bat-Dor, a tribute to Jeanette Ordman, Dora Sowden (Privately printed for the Bat Dor Company by Daniella De-Nur, Publisher Ltd, Israel, 1990). The volume includes contributions from her friends and colleagues, including Bethsabée (Batsheva) de Rothschild (1914-1999). See also 000/1801 for a 'Tribute to Mrs Batsheva de Rothschild' by the Bat-Dor Dance Company, 1997.