Bold Tendencies, London
August 17, 2019
Love it or hate it, there is no denying the joined-at-the-hip compatibility between L-E-V company and their new theatre space. They were made for each other. The Peckham municipal carpark, architecturally so brutal it could have spawned the style descriptor, displays on its concrete surfaces a mix of neoteric conceptual art while the dancers display a mix of disdain, distress and self-absorption, clothed in urban grunge.
The setting is part-demolished warehouse but brightened by a light design, (Alon Cohen) with hints of Bollywood in the strings of golden lights framing the performing area and given a power charge in the sound score from Ori Lichtik, Koreless.
Eyal’s new work opens strongly as couples, padding round the stage with mincing gait, relate to one another in kitsch romantic mood, superficial but stylish, their extreme gestures contrasted against the black unitards. The beat shifted to a warmer base and the movement quality, hips grinding sensually in deep seconds, was riveting if over long. Every one of the dancers is fiercely focused and this intensity never waivers.
RAK MD LGD (the title comes from the initial letters of each dancer’s name), was developed over the company’s month-long residency at Bold Tendencies, but still has the hallmarks of work in progress. There were moments of the taut focus that Eyal exhibits in her better pieces, but too often these continued into long, repetitive passages before simply unravelling.
The work played just under an hour with a short interval after the first half hour. Into the second half and it was not obvious why there had been a break as the piece continued much as before. However, there was more opportunity for dancers to leave the corporate body and find some personal space. Gon Biran revealed a tortured soul in angst-ridden moves, while Alice Godfrey presents a human face amidst the somewhat soulless modernity.
There is always a good buzz at this exciting venue, but a little more substance would have been welcome.