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L-E-V Dance Company

November 24, 2017
L-E-V dance ocd-love-photo-by-regina-brocke

Photograph by Regina Brooke

OCD Love

Reviewed November 23, 2017                         

NAC Babs Asper Theatre, Ottawa

(Repeat performance November 24, 7:30 p.m.)

OCD Love, a new dance work created by L-E-V co-artistic directors Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, has all the hallmarks of these remarkable and innovative artists. It’s dark and moody. The movement is staccato and repetitive. Sound artist Ori Lichtik’s original accompaniment – from arrhythmic percussive ticking that varies in tone, to reverberating soulful strings — is loud and threatening, and yet hauntingly beautiful.

There are some similarities with the 2011 work House, which was also a collaboration between Eyal, Behar and Israeli techno musician Lichtik, produced for Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company. Eyal, a native of Jerusalem who danced with and created works for Batsheva Dance before establishing her own company L-E-V in 2013, said she was inspired to create OCD Love by slam poet Neil Hilborn’s text about obsessive compulsive disorder.

“I feel it reflects me so much,” says Eyal. “I couldn’t stop reading it. For me it was already choreography. . . . I know the way it feels and smells. Like the end of the world, without mercy. A smell of flowers, but very dark.”


lev dance ocd-love-photo-by-regina-brocke

Photograph by Regina Brooke

On a shadowy stage, six dancers clad in simple flat black dance costume perform a kind of meditation, each vibrating to his or her own inner voice.

Their precise, solid, athleticism is what makes the work outstanding, astonishing even for their nearly superhuman performance. Lichtik’s music entirely informs the movement, driving the dance into a darker dimension.

There are some odd gestures and awkward poses during the approximately one-hour work, such as when two men hold a female dancer in a stiff sideways pose and use her as a battering ram against one of the other dancers. While a lone female opens the work, for the most part all six dancers are on stage and when they synchronize their rigid, tight movements, the whole draws a fascinating portrait.

The piece doesn’t appear to have anything to do with love, but the relationship among the six is enthralling and the work is eerily compelling.


From → Contemporary

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