L-E-V: Love Chapter 2 – Sadler’s Wells, London

Directors: Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar

Reviewer: Scott Matthewman

Sharon Eyal has become known for highly rhythmic dance work. Her last venture at Sadler’s Wells, where she is an associate artist, was the superb Used to Be Blondefor National Youth Dance Company, a show which used NYDC’s large number of dancers to great effect.

Her latest work, for the six-person L-E-V company she co-founded with fellow Israeli Gai Behar, does not have the benefit of large numbers of dancers, but the themes of repetition and anguish remain.

A sequel of sorts to her 2016 work OCD Love, with which it will be performed at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, Love Chapter 2is a more desolate take on love. If anything, it is the absence of love and the desperate hunt for it that is portrayed here.

Eyal’s long-time musical collaborator Ori Lichtik performs a live soundtrack of drum loops and droning music, accompanying the androgynous sextet of dancers. Each wears a similar grey leotard, emphasising the uniformity. Eyal’s dancers never touch – love in chapter 2 is purely a non-contact activity – but they do all seem highly aware of each other, acting and reacting to whenever one dancer breaks from the group formation.

But as the solid hour of dance continues, the act of repetition loses its ability to retain the attention. Eyal’s dancers exhibit admirable technical skill, but for a show designed to be an expression of love, that is one emotion that it struggles to evoke from its audience.

Reviewed on 13 July 2018 | Image: André le Corre

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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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