Emily Blake, November 26th 2017
In Patrick Langston’s criticism class.
Silence speaks louder than words, and in that silence is all the meaning in the world. LEV’s OCD Love is a powerful commentary on what it like to be plagued by OCD, shedding light on the realities of those who are faced with this disorder every day. LEV is an Israeli dance company founded by choreographer Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar. They are joined by techno musician Ori Lichtik, working together to create this hypnotic masterpiece.
\OCD Love is loosely based on the text by Neil Hilborn, shedding light on the relationship between a man and woman, a relationship in which we see and feel the transition of acceptance to annoyance. This dance performance piece explores how we connect to each other and to ourselves.
LEV’s six dancers (Gon Biran; Darren Devaney; Mariko Kakizaki; Keren Loria Pardes; Shamel Pitts and Daniel Norgen-Jenen) perform as one, hypnotically synchronized. While it does appear that the main focus is on one female dancer, the ensemble moves and breathes as one, with repeating moves and patterns. These patterns of movement, and patterns in the music pairing, reflect the repetitive actions that those with OCD have to go through each day. Something as simple as turning the light switch off, on, off, on, off, on is something that they feel is necessary to do.
At times the female dancer is alone, and from the audience you can feel her sheer power and strength, her body moving in ways that seem unthinkable. She is mesmerizing to watch, fully enveloped in the music and in her own space. This comfortable alone does not last long, as the other dancers enter, breaking her solitude and controlling her movements. The choreography is masterfully done, using the dancers’ bodies as ‘set pieces’ and using their limbs to control the movement of others. No matter how many times she can escape their clutches, they are always waiting in the wings. Much like how we cannot escape our anxieties or the knot in your chest of panic- it is always there, waiting silently. We are able to focus on the movement of the dancers as there is no set pieces or costumes to take away from the raw emotions this piece delivers. It is simple, uniform and dark, pulling the audience in with the constant buzz of the music.
OCD Love is a masterful experience and while it only lasts 55 minutes, it creates its own time line, the music never ceasing for a moment. The choreography paired with the techno beats act as a steady pulse, anchoring the dancer’s movement to the rhythm. Eyal states “[this piece] is something that I need to take out of myself, like a dark stone I have in my chest”. While this may be a dark and compulsive performance, her piece creates a platform to discuss and feel what it is like to live the live of someone with OCD. It provides a source to discuss this disorder and remind us that silence can speak louder than words if we are just willing to listen.
Discover the Choreographer: https://vimeo.com/sharoneyallev
Find Neil’s Poem here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnKZ4pdSU-s
Discover Ori here: https://orilichtik.bandcamp.com/