Hello arts, ink readers! Writing to you from across the Atlantic where I am enrolled in a University of Michigan study abroad program in southern Spain. I’m thrilled to share some of the cool experiences I have had in the borderless world of creativity. No matter where in the world you are or what language you speak, there is art. Art is language that we can all understand.
One event that I had to pleasure of seeing was the choreography of Love Chapter 2 by L-E-V Company at the Teatro Alhambra in Granada where hundreds of people gather on Calle Molinos to watch international phenomenons. L-E-V Company is an Israeli dance and spectacle ensemble created by dancer Sharon Eyal and designer of multimedia events Gai Behar.
So, the lights dim, the curtain opens, silence falls over the audience, and a steady, isolated beat commences. Six dancers appear, both men and women dressed in fitted leotards colored by a muted greenish-gray tone, and they use this steady beat as a pulse to their every movement. Their solid figures remind me of dynamic sculptures because of their evidently large mass and capacity to stay perfectly balanced no matter how their bodies moved. Their godlilke muscles are traced by the subtle overhead lights. There is a only small, selective emphasis by light techniques since the dance itself is quite elaborate and any extra effects would distract from the pure intensity of the dancers.
The single rhythm as well as the movements slowly evolve to demonstrate the feelings of love. The music has an important role in the message of Love Chapter 2. It begins simply yet mysteriously with only a drum, like when you first encounter someone or something intriguing. From that point, new sounds are layered one-by-one until the music becomes an organized web of sounds. The increasing complexity of the music mimics the increasing complexity of the dance to represent when love changes into something more intricate and more exciting as you come to know someone. Then, we see passion. This style of dance is unlike anything I have seen before. The dancers move in ways that challenge what I had imagined possible while they somehow maintain elegance in a wholistic manner, every feeling is written clearly across the dancer’s faces and throughout their entire disposition. Though they all perform the same routine, each dancer expresses his or her own slightly unique interpretation. That’s to say while there is synchrony, it is not the robotic synchrony that seems mechanical, but rather shows character and humanness…an attribute to the nature of love itself. During the show of consistently awe-striking dance, one of the six dancers would break apart from the group’s synchrony and perform his or her own unique movements. That is how the director emphasizes new, strange feelings and also the beauty of love and how each person feels love in their own way.
Above all, my favorite part is the moment that the director / choreographer comes to the stage and I see a person behind the magician of the theater.
For more information on L-E-V, check out their website: https://www.sharoneyaldance.com/en/home