Love Chapter Two ★★★★

An uncompromising exercise in isolation – 55 exhilarating minutes of it

Israeli choreographer Sharon Eyal is justly renowned for her spare, precise choreography, as well as the dedication she inspires in the young dancers with whom she works. Here she collaborates again with fellow Israeli Gai Behar under the name L-E-V (Hebrew for heart) on the sequel to OCD Love – last seen two years ago at Sadler’s Wells. Both feature the original techno music of a third collaborator, composer and musician Ori Lichtik and just six young dancers. The six women and men are from Israel (one born there, one in the USA), Sweden, Japan, Canada and Denmark. Their training ranges from gymnastics to ballet and three have worked with Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company. Danish Daniel Norgern-Jensen is a principal dancer with Royal Swedish Ballet.

I detail these individuals precisely because their individuality is subsumed here in an exercise in bleak isolation in the aftermath of love. Clad identically in grey leotards and black ankle socks stretched up the calf, although they move sometimes as one, sometimes in complementary pairs, the choreography demonstrates alienation, isolation, the pain of heart and mind working to mend after fracture. Their movements range from sinuous and sexy, to determined strides sometimes reminiscent of the parade ground.

L-E-V Love Chapter 2. Photo André Le Corre 010.jpg

Lichtik’s music is characteristically driving techno, challenging and almost hypnotic, though it is relieved by some sunnier, lyrical vocals in Spanish that might have been a real contender for Eurovision in years gone by, before the looping fireworks of Israel’s 2018 winner (and I do mean that as a compliment).

The mostly young audience from a fantastic rainbow mix of backgrounds seemed to love every minute of it and gave the six young dancers a well-deserved standing ovation. I’m confident they will find their audience and a similar reception will greet them in Edinburgh

By Judi Herman

Photos by André Le Corre

L-E-V: Love Chapter 2 runs Friday 10 & Sunday 12 August. 8pm. £14-£32. King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, EH3 9LQ.

L-E-V: OCD Love runs Thursday 9 & Saturday 11 August. 8pm. £14-£32. King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, EH3 9LQ.