Israel is a 20th-century country, and modern dance is a 20th-century art form. It’s no coincidence, then, that the country and Batsheva, its unofficial national troupe, became global players together. In 1964, the nascent country was still young, restless, and teeming with people who wanted to dance when a wealthy baroness bankrolled Batsheva’s founding and hired American modern-dance pioneer Martha Graham as the troupe’s first artistic advisor. Today the company is one of just a handful in the world that merits a booking in the Kennedy Center’s enormous Opera House as opposed to the center’s smaller venues. Choreographer Ohad Naharin has led Batsheva since 1990, and “Sadeh21,” his new work for the group’s 2014 world tour, proves the Israeli dancers’ continual relevance on world stages. Dance, as they demonstrate, is not just a way of moving—these performers use Naharin’s motions to establish their place in the world. Batsheva Dance Company performs Nov. 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Opera House, 2700 F St. NW. $20–$62. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org.