By Kathy Rowland
(400 words, 3 minute read)
In 2013, a Youtube video by slam poet Neil Hilborn went viral. In the clip, Hilborn delivers an impassioned performance of OCD, a poem that celebrates, then eulogies, a love affair that falls victim to one lover’s obsessive compulsive disorder. It is now at over 13 million views.
The poem is the inspiration behind Israeli dance group L-E-V Dance Comapny‘s OCD Love, which will make its Southeast Asian debut at the Singapore International Festival of the Arts 2018 on 5 & 6 May 2016. Hilborn’s poem captures the elation of a love so intense it is positively curative, if fleetingly so:
The first time I saw her …
Everything in my head went quiet.
All the tics, all the constantly refreshing images just disappeared.
When you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you don’t really get quiet moments.
Choreographer Sharon Eyal could not stop reading the poem, “This text is strong for me because I feel it reflects me so much … for me it was already choreography, or a mould you can put your inspiration in, yourself in.”
OCD Love is a visual and aural stunner that captures the staccato rhythms and repetitions of both the poem it is inspired by, and as a natural extension, the perpetual motion, mental, physical, of the disorder. The work features multimedia design by Gai Behar, who with Eyal, co-founded L-E-V Dance Company. The thumping techno beats in OCD Love is the work of another frequent collaborator, DJ Ori Lichtik.
At 55 minutes, OCD Love lays before the audience an intense sojourn into the cutting edge of contemporary performance. David Mead, in his review of the production in Taipei in November 2017, offered a tantalisingly concise summary of the work, “Choreography, dancers, music, performance: electric all.”
The company, named from the Hebrew word for ‘heart’, has toured extensively and gained critical acclaim for its performances internationally. OCD Love is the first work by L-E-V Dance Company in Singapore, and is presented as part of the Singapore International Festival of the Arts 2018. It will be staged at the SOTA Drama Theatre on 5 & 6 May 2018. For more information, visit SIFA 2018.
This post is sponsored by Arts House Limited.
About the author(s)
Kathy Rowland is the Managing Editor of ArtsEquator.com, a registered charity that she co-founded with Jenny Daneels in 2016. The site is dedicated to supporting and promoting arts criticism with a regional perspective in Southeast Asia. Kathy has worked in the arts for over 25 years, working in the areas of critical writing and arts advocacy, with a special interest in media platforms for the arts. She is the Project Lead for ArtsEquator’s Southeast Asian Arts and Culture Censorship Documentation Project, launched in 2021. She has written extensively on censorship of arts and culture in Malaysia. She was a member of the International Programme Advisory Committee of the 8th World Summit on Arts and Culture, 2019.