In 2015 a friend gave Israeli choreographer Sharon Eyal a copy of a poem called OCD by American slam poet Neil Hilborn, which has been watched on YouTube over 13 million times. Running just under three minutes, it tells of an unusual love affair. Initially, a young woman is charmed by the tics and eccentricities caused by the man’s obsessive-compulsive disorder but eventually it becomes too much for her and she leaves him. Brilliantly written by Hilborn, the poem is personal, funny and crushingly sad.

Sharon Eyal. Photograph © Gigi Giannella

Eyal was immediately fascinated by it and created an intense dance piece for her company L-E-V Dance Company called OCD Love, which premiered in 2016, and which came to the Adelaide Festival in 2017. In 2018, she followed it with Love Chapter 2, about the devastating aftermath of an affair. L-E-V will perform both works at the Sydney Opera House in a program called Love Cycle, running January 29 – February 3.

Reviewing Love Chapter 2 at Sadler’s Wells, London in 2018 for The Guardian, Luke Jennings described Eyal as “one of the most startlingly inventive choreographers working today”. Born in Jerusalem, Eyal danced...