L-E-V: Chapter 3: The Brutal Journey of the Heart – Sadler’s Wells, London

Reviewer: Richard Maguire

Choreographers: Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar

Sharon Eyal’s Killer Pig of 2009 is one of the defining dances of the century, and her rhythmic, pulsing choreography pushed the dancers to their limits. Her newest piece, the final part of the Love Cycle trilogy, is another feat of endurance for the dancers, but this examination of the experience of love lacks emotional intensity.

Seven – not the nine promised in the programming – dancers from Eyal and Gai Behar’s company L-E-V spend the first 15 minutes or so on their toes, twitching rhythmically on the plain stage. Movement is centred on the feet and the shoulders. Six dancers perform the same steps while one dancer moves in a slightly different way. Quickly this seventh dancer merges into the others, while another dancer will take on the role of the individual who dances to their own beat. Whenever it’s Guido Dutilh’s turn to be the seventh dancer, it’s hard to take your eyes off him as he gazes deep into the audience.

These variations last 55 minutes, but near the end dancers begin to touch each other, holding hands in circle or even smooching in a slow dance where the hips and the buttocks take on the pulsations. Eyal suggests that The Brutal Journey of the Heart represents the ups and downs of love, but sometimes this love is a little cold.

The dancers wear skin-toned body suits designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri from Christian Dior, and while the flowers that stretch over their bodies make it look as if the dancers are heavily tattooed and naked, the costumes add little to the story. More successful is the music, a mixture of global sounds with a melancholic undertow.

The show starts with Ori Lichtik’s music sounding as if it is from the Deep South and at first the dancers appear to act like coy Southern belles at their first balls. The music switches to what sounds like a remix of 50s classic Westward Ho The Wagons, and in quiet moments it seems as if the dancers are counting time aloud. The show ends with a mournful version of Mysterious Girl, Peter Andre’s hit song of 1995, and here the slow reggae beats match perfectly the movements of the dancers, stuck in their search for love. But for a show about love, Eyal’s dance lacks passion.

Reviewed on 27 May 2022

The Reviews Hub Score

A little cold

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The Reviews Hub - London

The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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