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November 11, 2014


Reviewed November 11, 2014                         

NAC Theatre, Ottawa

Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, who created House for the Batsheva Dance Company in 2011, pitch their seven dancers into a cold cruel atmosphere. Clad in androgynous, tight-fitting body suits of shimmering black leatherette or flat beige/nude, their movements draw lines and shapes in a hollow, grim space. No props. No external distractions.

Photograph by Gadi Dagon

Photograph by Gadi Dagon

There is no sense of “house” or “home” or any kind of lived-in space. And there is little sense of relationship – other than mechanistically sexual.

The dancers are merely colourless bricks in an unknown landscape moving rigidly, repetitively, robotically, making small, tight scratches in the air and contorting their faces into fearful gazes. With wisps of smoke and ghostly lighting, the theme is stark and futuristic.

Ori Lichtik, an Israeli musician, drummer and creative DJ who works in tandem with Eyal and Behar to create their works, improvises with fresh layers of digitally manipulated effects for each live show. The resulting sound for House is metallic, industrial and threatening. Under Avi Yona Bueno’s gloomy lighting, the athletic and precise dancers express a sense of isolation and ugliness.

Towards the end of the 55-minute piece, a throwback to disco adds some fluidity and humanity as three couples harmonize with some sense of companionship. If you haven’t liked it up to this point, this might just change your mind.

A native of Jerusalem, Eyal danced with and created works for Batsheva Dance before establishing her own company, L-E-V last year.

Overall, House is eerily hypnotic, but in a sad rather than in a mesmerizing way.


From → Contemporary

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