Not since Dawn of the Dead did as stricken a posse of emaciated weirdos tromp before your eyes — all the more disturbing to experience, in real time, at REDCAT performance space. The stalwart black-box theater is rendered even more dark by Avi Yona Bueno’s gorgeously murky lighting design for “House,” choreographer Sharon Eyal’s futuristic ballet for Israeli dance troupe, L-E-V. We highly recommend “House,” which gets two further performances this weekend.
The work’s simple name is misleading; it’s a little house of horrors. It’s the freaky configuring of Eyal, a 23-year veteran of Batsheva Dance Company, along with her collaborator, Gai Bahar, a producer of disco-raves. What a treat to see this Batsheva alum’s work just weeks after viewing the Mother Ship itself at Royce Hall in Ohad Naharin‘s magisterial “Sadeh21″ [review here]. Naharin’s deep-digging Gaga technique gets even further excavation from Eyal’s bone-skinny, highly precise dancers.
This wicked, unforgiving and groundbreaking work, set to sound artist Ori Lichtik’s techno music score mixed on site, receives pinpoint, cult-like interpretation by L-E-V’s dancers. Not only does Eyal stretch her dancers’ physicality to a new level, but she matches our weird universe (the one that lurks outside the theater) beat by beat. “House” is very now, which means it’s very scary; it’s just as harrowing as a click onto NPR news at five pm. And it offers as little comfort. I love watching dance move into that realm, being real, less escapist, reflecting through artful body language the destruction and decay of our society.
When the bearded man saunters on stage clad in designer Odelia Arnold’s leather body stocking and high spike heels, you know you’re not in Kansas anymore. You’re in Los Angeles being confronted by our troubled civilization — the woes of which words have failed to assuage– through the power of dance.
photo: thank you New York Times, Gadi Dagon for L-E-V
L-E-V House | REDCAT | thru Sunday Nov 23