Love Cycle: Love Chapter 2

Love Chapter 2 by L-E-V, choreographed by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, is a twin-piece to OCD Love, both part of the Edinburgh International Festival. Whereas OCD Love is mesmerising and expresses a deep psychological understanding of the mental disorder, the meaning of this follow-up is so opaque, the movements so repetitive and obscure, its effect is soporific.

The dancers move as if in a trance and sadly, many of the audience will feel it hard to keep their eyes open.

The same dancers as in OCD Love are featured, but all are now wearing androgenous grey leotards with a wrinkly washed-out look, and long calf-length black socks, appearing in a greyish yellow light. A techno soundtrack by Ori Lichtik starts with a metallic tick tock in a similar way to the previous show. Deeper in tone amd with a strong two-beat rhythm, later incorporating melody, the sound of a fiddle playing a reel is followed by a latin singer. The choreography is also more varied, fluid, beautiful at times but fails to express much except alienation.

As before, the dancers barely acknowledge each other though there is some blocking and line formation with synchronous movements. Much of the movement involves reaching out and retracting, a swaying which becomes hypnotising. The dancers move as if in a trance and sadly, many of the audience will feel it hard to keep their eyes open. Towards the end of the show one female dancer punches another (Mariko Kakizaki) and at last we can see some expression of the avowed theme of the show, the hate that follows having at first loved an OCD lover.

This straight arm punch, as Makizaki recoils only to rebound and be punched again and again, is a multiplication of the one in OCD Love. The problem for this reviewer is that it is possible to recognize many of Eyal's choreographic signatures of the other show, walking on tip toe, deep pliés, extreme back bends (though this time it is performed by a male, Darren Devaney) but merely expanded and repeated. The straight arm punch is the only move with psychological justification. The rest are in danger of becoming mere tics or tricks.

The dancers perform with amazing stamina and skill and are to be congratulated. It is a shame that the dance itself is so enervating.

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The Blurb

Sharon Eyal is one of the most exciting choreographic talents to emerge in recent years. Working with multimedia designer Gai Behar, she formed L-E-V Dance Company, creating work that is stark, uncompromising and fiercely beautiful, powerful in its expression of emotion and obsession.

L-E-V Dance Company's Love Cycle is formed of two complementary but standalone shows at this year's International Festival. 

Love Chapter 2 is L-E-V Dance Company’s most recent work, premiered in 2017. It is a dark, provocative piece of startling intensity, one that begins where love breaks down and stares unflinchingly at isolation and loneliness. Using powerful gestures and captivating imagery, it explores the connections between all of us – and what we are left with when they break down.

Presented separately, its companion piece OCD Love, is an intensely kinetic dance piece that collides together frenzied passion and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is inspired by slam poet Neil Hilborn’s brutally funny OCD, which describes a woman charmed then exasperated by the inescapable obsessions of her partner. Pitting a single female dancer against a corps of males, OCD Love dissects her torn sympathies – as she strives for freedom from them yet depends on their control.

Pushed relentlessly forward by the pulsating techno beats of DJ Ori Lichtik, these two shows by L-E-V Dance Company are uninhibited, provocative and exhilarating, like no dance works you’ve seen before. They ask: is there anything more unexplainable than love?

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Sharon Eyal Creator
Gai Behar

Ori Lichtik Music
Alon Cohen Lighting designer
Rebecca Hytting, Gon Biran Costume designers

More information about some of the artists:

L-E-V Dance Company Website | Facebook | Instagram

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