Dense, vacant work on love

REVIEW / DANCE


OCD LOVE

Singapore International Festival of Arts

L-E-V Dance Company

School of the Arts Drama Theatre/

Last Saturday

Inspired by Neil Hilborn's pithy spoken word poem, OCD, Israeli choreographer Sharon Eyal creates OCD Love, a dense yet gravely vacant work on love that is desired, missed and lost.

Formerly the resident choreographer of Israel's renowned Batsheva Dance Company, Eyal wears the influence of Ohad Naharin on her sleeve. The dancers of her L-E-V Dance Company are all Batsheva alumni but one, and they move with the signature palpitations and elasticity of the Gaga movement language that they are steeped in.

A lone female dancer opens the show, her every sinew visible as she moves through grotesque, angular positions.

Her arms reach impossibly behind her, as though seeking to mangle her shoulder by hyperextension, while her feet inch forward into the darkness.

The challenge of this opposition is breathtaking initially, but loses its effect as the solo drags on.

The same can be said of other sections in the hour-long OCD Love, which grows weary despite Ori Lichtik's hybrid soundtrack of rich strings and thick techno beats.

Eyal's choreography is full of vivid gestures, sassy little twerks and shimmies and is a clear nod to the poise of classical ballet.

These influences make for striking movement in itself. But the work's central idea is overwhelmed by the kinetic onslaught.

Towards the end, the ensemble forms an assembly line to deliver a punch to one of the dancers, sending him into a deep backbend. This is perhaps love by proxy, love misunderstood.

OCD Love ends as it begins as a dancer is bent over backwards, arms extended. She has seemingly been through a lot, but is left empty and devoid of emotion. Likewise, so have we.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2018, with the headline 'Dense, vacant work on love'. Print Edition | Subscribe