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L - E - V: Love Chapter 2
Duration: 55 minutes
Creator: Sharon Eyal
Co-creator: Gai Behar
Music: Ori Lichtik
Production: L - E - V
Premiere: 6 July 2017, Festival Montpellier Danse
No ballet slippers, just black socks. Six dancers from the Israeli L-E-V Dance Company handle them with consummate ease and mastery. Given that they are superbly trained for it. Three men and three women slide across the stage in different formations. The woman is setting the rhythm that establishes relationships, the male bodies adapt and follow. The relationships never end in a duet, a point everyone continuously veers towards but never actually reaches.
It soon transpires that Love Chapter 2 by choreographers Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar is a take on loneliness, absence of love, lack of happiness and longing for intimacy. The more the dancers seek love, the more obsessively, aggressively and passionately they try to get hold of it, the less likelihood – and less hope – there is of ever finding it.
The score by deejay Ori Lichtik forgoes melodicism and harmonic structures, instead building on interlacing and interlocking rhythms, and principally on intensifying and enhancing the rhythmic pulse by way of hypnotic elements of noise. The choreography follows the music devotedly and (only) logically.
The dancers, possessing technical brilliance and signature artistic style, make light work of the hour-long tour de force. Flaring up like the pain of the unattainable, the dancers’ choreographic lexicon escalates, governed by a metronomically precise musical matrix. Only to be cut short at the culminating point, the point of no return, by – a stage curtain. Is Chapter 3 next? Have the dancers stopped at all?
The dancers’ emotional numbness and the prevailing music-driven shrill metallic atmosphere suggest that this lack of conclusion is indeed the case. True, Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar tend to bring a dark perspective to their contemplation of love. Theirs is a cold-blooded poker, more a desperate struggle for love than its attainment. Are we truly talking about love?