Poetry in Motion. This is how a journalist called the way how Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar’s L-E-V Dance Company depicts emotions on stage. Although she is widely acknowledged as a world famous choreographer, Eyal herself cannot really identify with this label, as she perceives her tasks much more complex:
Choreography has become just about one thing, just about doing a dance piece for example. But for me, it’s a lot about the atmosphere, the emotions — there are a lot of elements together. It’s a bit less dualistic. It’s just creating what I love: I love to dance and I love to create. As for the narrative part of a dance piece, I think it’s not that I’m not creating a character, and not making a story —because there is story and character in everything! Even if you didn’t mean it, it’s just there. It already exists. I believe in the story that comes from inside the body.
So we can expect something like that from the performances by L-E-V. Stories that might say something different to each member of the audience, and dancers who have to go really deep in their self-knowledge journey until they figure out what, how much and how they want to show, and artistic directors who do not really lead them on this journey, they rather just accompany them.
Eyal and Behar have been working together for thirteen years with great success. Both fans and critics agree that their joint company brought their works into a newer and higher dimension. L-E-V currently has twelve members, and if we translated its name from Hebrew, it could be H-E-A-R-T. No surprise, as emotions are important in all their pieces, and the last two are specifically about love.
The first of their “love” pieces was indeed based on poetry. Neil Hilborn’s poem OCD is the inner monologue of a person living with this disorder, stumbling around life with obsessive thoughts and acts webbing it all around, and searching the way for their partner who found OCD cute in the beginning of their relationship, but nowadays rather annoying.
Eyal states that she read the poem over and over again, and she already saw the same choreography inbetween the lines that she eventually created with and for L-E-V. This was the first time ever that she did not start with imagining movements for a certain topic, but another artistic piece inspired her. She really wanted to put poetry rhythm, and that certain world seen through the subject of them poem, on stage.
And it was only the beginning. Their second love-related piece, Love Chapter 2, helps the audience even less to interpret what they say. In the case of OCD Love, there was the poem itself or OCD that influenced the interpretation. However, in Love Chapter 2, you can see love that is always lacking something, whether you live in an (allegedly) happy relationship, or (allegedly) lonely on your own. It is about the moment that flies away so fast, and we feel that for some reason, it was not full, it was not enough.
Emotions run really extreme in this performance, dancers getting to the darkest moments of unhappiness and the crazy, tensive, exploding joyfulness: they want to show everything that love can be. And love can be indeed everything, and also the opposite of everything, as the long-term changing is also depicted in this one 55-minute-long piece. Or in some moments of it.
I’m a living, loving, functioning being broken into crumbs of love, giving myself to the blast.
This is what audience can find in the Trafó on May 24. And maybe even you can see yourself in the mirror Love Chapter 2 shows, you who would not even have thought about it…