On the street in front of Her Majesty’s on Saturday night, peaceful protesters distributed leaflets opposing Israel’s oppression of Palestinian people. In response, a woman loudly attempted to have security remove the protesters.
Thankfully, we live in a country where individuals are allowed to present their views (to be critical of a government’s policies is not to be anti a race of people), and the security guard and Adelaide Festival attendant did what they could to calm things down.
In this context, I sat ready to watch Killer Pig, one of two Adelaide Festival works presented by Israel’s L-E-V, the dance company created by dancer and choreographer Sharon Eyal (previously with Batsheva Dance Company) and Tel Aviv rave party producer Gai Behar.
Five dancers in flesh-coloured underwear began in a group and proceeded to explore the space on a hazy, smoke-filled stage. The soundscape by techno pioneer Ori Lichtik steadily progressed with pulsating percussion overlaid with electronic effects: a kind of techno fused with jungle rhythms.
The accompanying movement was often tribal, with feet stomping on the ground, chests thumping and arms flailing. The dancers were perfectly synchronised, athletic and flexible.
Individuals had their moments in the spotlight as they explored their bodies and the space around them; occasionally they would re-form and then branch out again.
They were on stage – moving and gyrating energetically, demonstrating impressive skills – for the entire 45 minutes.
The audience response was enthusiastic, but I was surprised the performance finished when it did. Killer Pig features variety and physical virtuosity, yet it feels like it lacks development; I wasn’t looking for a clear narrative, but at least something in a search for meaning.
That said, the combination of real-life theatrics outside and creative dance on stage led to a lively and stimulating evening.
The arts often play a significant role in questioning the wisdom of government policy or in showing the impact of policy decisions on marginalised people. Audiences are free to see companies such as L-E-V, but equally, protesters should be allowed their peaceful say: through dialogue, or the medium of the arts, perhaps we can move forward.
L-E-D presented Killer Pig at Her Majesty’s Theatre on the weekend as part of the Adelaide Festival.