Sharon Eyal / Gai Behar Live in London: RAK MG LGD

Creator Sharon Eyal, co-creator Gai Behar, music Ori Lichtik, Koreless
Bold Tendencies

I ended the Young Turks review last week with a quote from Sharon Eyal: “for me a movement is never the same. The beauty is that even when it looks the same or you think it’s the same it never is. It’s always something else.”

Well, her new, car park site-specific, creation after a month-long residency at Bold Tendencies looks very like, very like, last week’s, just the costumes are different: skintight black shiny Lycra bodysuits. And it’s colder tonight: a wet wind blows through the gaps in the concrete. And we have seats.

Again there are two twenty-five minute pieces, the second to Koreless’s mix I recollect from the Young Turks programme, but it’s worth a second look if only for the phenomenal intensity and extreme hieroglyphics of the body contortions, the swaybacked moves, of her international cast of androgynous dancers: Gon Biran, Rebecca Hytting (these two also credited with costume design with Odelia Arnold), Léo Lerus (also rehearsal manager), Keren Lurie Pardes, Mariko Kakizaki, Darren Devaney, Alice Godfrey and Daniel Norgen-Jensen.

Variations on a theme… a loop that goes on… vocabulary stuck in a groovy groove… OCD Love one might call all her creations. What the title means I don’t know, but RAK in Russian means crab as well as cancer… Not only do the remarkable eight dancers move like crabs and sit like praying mantis, preen in tropical bird mating dance, but they enter leaping like gazelles. Animal imagery abounds, arms and hands like paws or hooves, stance primitive.

The first piece reminds me a little of Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fashion Freaks as they tiptoe on imaginary high heels and make heart shapes with their hands. Ori Lichtik club mix of songs and apocalyptic sounds send rumbles across the car park space. Is this why they are holding their hands to their throats? Is it an exorcism? What is it that they are pulling from their mouths? Imaginary ectoplasm or bitter bile?

Again they move as one organism, a sect perhaps (why do I think of The Crucible?), before splintering away, but always returning to the mass at the end. Who are they? What are they? Why are they shouting? Ohad Naharin’s gaga movement theory invites an exploration of the senses, of body memory—a therapy of sorts one might say. It looks exhausting as well as cathartic. How do they come down after such a mental and physical workout?

A cacophony, an assault, of sound, Eyal is once again conducting proceedings with her presence, eyes burning bright, smile on her lips, rocking violently on the spot to the heavy irresistible beat, back and forth, rhythmic, relentless, obsessive. And the dancers deliver. I might add, that co-creator Gai Behar used to be “a party producer… part of the Tel Aviv nightlife scene as well as a curator of multidisciplinary art events”.

When the African music samples kick in and Lerus does his shimmering, sinuous solo, graceful, bewitching and lithe to his finger tips, he triggers off sexy club scene duets, hands crawling over partners’ bodies, cartoonish hands on black costumes, liquid moves, orgasmic hips, thrusting, rotating. The lights go out, but they continue dancing in the dark, St Vitus’s dance.

Ten-minute break and back they come to repeat their kinetic sculptural moves to Koreless’s thrumming reverberating composition, more futuristic than Lichtik’s DJ set mix, and for me more of a piece. Erotic, exotic, beautiful beings from another planet, grinning ghouls they circle the stage in haughty parade.

Reviewer: Vera Liber