10 Aug 2023

I want to see the magic

Into the Hairy

Not dicey, but fascinating: Into the Hairy. The choreographer Sharon Eyal cooperates with LAS (Light Art Space), Christian Dior Couture and Kraftwerk Berlin.

The choreographies of Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar are often called “total works of art”: the dancers move in tight synchronicity, wearing skin-tight, attractive costumes, executing flowing arm movements. Men and women are hard to distinguish; again and again, individual dancers break away from the group, only to rejoin the collective and form intriguing tableaux vivants. Their moves oscillate between dancefloor and ballet. Bettina Hering, director of drama, is convinced that the latest production of the L-E-V Dane Company, Into the Hairy, (17-20 August, Perner-Insel) will fascinate its viewers. The insistent beats by Koreless accompany dance at the highest level. “I don’t want to see the choreography, I want to see the magic,” is the motto of the Jerusalem-born choreographer. Her career began in Tel Aviv: from 1990 to 2008, Eyal was a member of the Batsheva Dance Company, whose associate artistic director she was from 2003 to 2004 and where she then became resident choreographer from 2005 to 2012. In 2009, Eyal began to create pieces for other dance companies all over the world. Examples include the Nederlands Dans Theater, the Royal Swedish ballet, the Gothenburg Opera’s dance company, for Carte Blanche Dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago or the Mainz State Theatre.

Flying start. In 2013, Eyal and her long-time collaborator Gai Behar founded the dance ensemble L-E-V. Gai Behar was an important part of Tel Aviv’s nightlife scene as a party organizer from 1999 to 2005 as well as a curator of multi-genre art events. The different approaches of Eyal and Behar reaped fruitful results in their first joint piece Bertolina (2005). The flying start the ensemble L-E-V got off to, therefore, was not surprising: since its founding, the dance company has performed more than 200 times at the most exclusive venues and the most renowned dance festivals in the world. It has presented co-productions with the Ruhr-Triennale, the Montpellier Dance Festival, Sadlers Wells in London and Julidans in Amsterdam, among others.
Apart from their work with L-E-V, Eyal and Behar have also received commissions to create works for other companies. They cooperate with great names outside the traditional dance world, for example on fashion shows by Christian Dior. This, in turn, gives them new artistic inspiration. The Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri ensures that the dancers’ costumes are a perfect match for the overall visuals. Incidentally, the Italian fashion designer was the first female creative director at the traditional French fashion house – turning “the feminine label into a feminist label” (thus the fashion magazine W).
One new aspect is their cooperation with the young Welsh musician Lewis Roberts, who produces electronic music under the stage name Koreless. Yet there is no element of detached sterility in his music – on the contrary, its emotionality fits the passionate movements of the dancers. Nor is the lighting left to coincidence: Alon Cohen, the ensemble’s light designer, looks back on a career as a lighting programmer that spans many years.

Daniela Tomasovsky
Translation: Alexa Nieschlag

First published on 20.05. 2023 in Die Presse Kultur Spezial: Salzburger Festspiele 2023