New Israeli Dance Company Makes U.S. Debut at Jacob’s Pillow

Sharon Eyal

Sharon Eyal

(BECKET, Mass.) – L-E-V, the contemporary dance company founded by Israel-based co-creators and artistic directors Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, will make its U.S. debut in the Ted Shawn Theatre at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival from Wednesday, July 24, to Sunday, July 28, 2013. The company performs the U.S. premiere of HOUSE, a hypnotic evening-length work originally commissioned by the Batsheva Dance Company. With a score by the popular composer Ori Lichtik and lighting by acclaimed designer Bambi, the exquisite dancers of L-E-V, including Sharon Eyal herself, perform this compelling and mesmerizing work.

An adventurous, collaborative ensemble, L-E-V creates cross-disciplinary works that fuse intense, provocative movement with music, fashion, art, technology, and lighting, bringing exceptional artistry to the stage. In HOUSE, the dancers wear nude body-stockings that show the fierce technicality, astonishing flexibility, and subtle articulation that is required of them.

Sharon Eyal and Hen Yanni

Sharon Eyal and Hen Yanni

As a choreographer, Eyal is known for her unique movement language that often incorporates stark imagery and raw physicality. Behar, on the other hand, is a well-known underground art and rave events producer. Known for their previous collaborations with Ohad Naharin’s Batsheva Dance Company, Carte Blanche, NDT2, and GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Eyal and Behar began exploring new artistic possibilities within the context of L-E-V, their newly formed company, in 2013.

The dancers of L-E-V come from a variety of backgrounds including Batsheva Dance Company and Carte Blanche, bringing finesse and a range of strengths to the stage. A celebrated performer, Eyal danced with the Batsheva Dance Company from 1990 until 2008, served as Associate Artistic Director in 2003 – 2004, and House Choreographer between 2005 – 2012. She has received numerous honors, including the Ministry of Culture Award for young dance creators, and in 2008 she was named a Chosen Artist of the Israel Cultural Excellence Foundation. Outside of Batsheva, Eyal and Behar have created acclaimed works for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Germany’s Tanzcompagnie Oldenburg, GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, and Carte Blanche of Norway.

“L-E-V is thoroughly original and unusual: there is nothing like this company anywhere in the world. L-E-V means ‘heart’ in Hebrew. It’s a fitting name for this troupe. The energy, power, and daring of the dancers; the theatrical atmosphere that is created by the lighting, sound, and costuming all work together to make a total experience. HOUSE is like encountering a new tribe in an exotic land. It’s impossible to be neutral about it.” – Ella Baff, Executive and Artistic Director of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

The rich history of Israeli dance at the Pillow dates back to 1951 with Hadassah, and since then has included work by Pearl Lang (1970 and 1974), Batsheva de Rothschild with Martha Graham (1956), and the U.S. debut of Inbal Pinto (2001). Sharon Eyal’s signature work, Love, had its U.S. premiere with the Batsheva Dance Company during the 2004 Festival season. The Norwegian company Carte Blanche made its U.S. debut at the 2011 Festival performing Sharon Eyal’s Killer Pig (2009).

Sharon Eyal and dancer Douglas Letheren will serve on faculty during the Contemporary Program of The School at Jacob’s Pillow, July 15–20, 2013. They will be teaching Ohad Naharin’s movement approach, Gaga, and choreographing on the students.





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