Bold Tendencies, London
July 26, 2019
There is a fine line between having a distinctive voice, which all artists aspire to, and just doing the same thing and repeating yourself. Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar run this gauntlet. Their company, L-E-V, has an undeniably original look and while there is predictability in the form there is no denying that Parts of Love is right on cue. They have the right moves, the right look and the right sounds and this time they are doing it in probably the trendiest spot in London: Bold Tendencies, Peckham SE15.
Entering through a council car park, you ascend Simon Whybray’s art installation, hi boo i love you, the pinkest of pink staircases, to emerge on the roof. At the far end the youngest and coolest of the chattering classes assemble at Frank’s Café, at the other end a low ceiling concrete envelope contains a dance space circled by chairs. Look no further for avant-garde chic.
Specially composed for Bold Tendencies, Parts of Love brings together elements from OCD Love (2016) and Love Chapter 2 (2018), as well as new material. The work is episodic, the scenes capped by no-fuss blackouts, the music by Ori Lichtik at the mixer, is pulsing hi-tech and the costume skinny leotards in grey or black. It’s bleak and very up-to-date.
Eyal captures the eternal human dilemma, the desire to be original while needing to belong to the group. Rebecca Hytting’s opening solo, very long and absolutely riveting, had intense detail in hyper-flexed arms and clawed hands contrasting with absolute muscle control as her slow-writhing body carves out extraordinary shapes. She has the defiant confident charisma of a cat-walk model, alienating and compelling.
Keren Lurie Pardes is delivered by two men, carried like a spear, her pointed feet forcing Hytting to the floor. The two women size up, their encounter becoming a ritual of mirrored moves, attracted but rarely touching, their emotions under wraps and tinged with anxiety.
Mariko Kakizaki confronts Gon Biran and ratchets the energy output off the scale in ferocious kick and slashing arms movement. Biran left alone moves into his own world voguing in a self-contained moment of sheer narcissism. The group eventually become an ensemble pulsing to the same beat, hypnotic and soulless, sexually charged but sterile punctuated by individual dancers providing breakout moments. Lichtik’s music pounds out the beat and the dancers are trapped in the eternal cycle.
The roughly one-hour performance stays well outside the comfort zone. While art once sought to achieve the pinnacle of human endeavour, this dystopian world is very much all there is on offer for the human race, but it makes utterly compulsive viewing.
Parts of Love was part of L-E-V’s month-long residency as part of the Bold Tendencies summer programme. The company will perform Used to be Blonde on August 2 & 3, with an open rehearsal on August 1. For details, visit boldtendencies.com.