How do you visualise Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? How do you take the emotion of having OCD, being in love, and translate it into dance? Israeli dance company L-E-V have taken the words from a poem by Neil Hilborn, and transformed them into a prominent performance on stage as part of the Adelaide Festival.
Choreographed like clockwork to the ticking, hypnotising techno music composed by Israeli producer Ori Licktik, the dancers move to heavy beats and percussive rhythms. The music reflects the state imposed by Hilborn’s poem, and on the dimly lit stage it is easy to visualise the urge to “turn all the lights off.. And on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off.”
Six dancers create a strange and almost uncomfortable minimalistic universe in which every sensation is heightened and intensified, as if ruled by an overbearing illness. Their movements resemble animalistic twitches, their bodies thin and lean to perfection, moving like insects with limbs that seem to have the ability to bend beyond a human comfort.
Responding to the pulsating beat of the music, the choreography moves through repetitive rituals of synchronised choreography, without adhering to the storyline of a fleeting relationship. The six dancers show no symbolic connection, instead they display options of bopping individuals, nearing one another on stage yet never touching.
Whilst the love story is not portayed as such, the overbearing sense of OCD is intensified by the performance of one female dancer who appears to be influenced and imitated by the others, unable to escape their presence. The clasping of throats and bending of bodies is finally released as the curtain falls to her bending further and further backwards.
Choreographed by Sharon Eyal, former dancer and artistic director at the Batsheva Dance Company, and created with long-time collaborator and party producer Gai Behar, this dance piece combines two worlds. Eyal depicts a struggle to connect in a world of darkness, intensified by the background of a serious psychological illness, whilst Behar adds notes of the chronic flair of an Israeli party animal.
Reviewed by Valentina Corona