(photo credit: Gadi Dagon)
When the latest season of The Voice aired, many people met Sahar Azimi for the first time. An aspiring singer, Azimi auditioned and was accepted as a contestant under the guidance of Aviv Geffen. While Azimi was a new addition to the music community, he is a seasoned veteran of the dance world, a fact that eluded most viewers of the primetime reality competition.
Having finished his time on the small screen, at least for now, Azimi put his efforts towards an evening that would showcase both his passions. The combination of a live music and live dance event premiered last night at the new Machsan 2 in Jaffa and will continue throughout the weekend. The space is the current home of the Israeli Choreographers’ Association and has recently undergone major renovations.
Azimi is one of the first artists to per form in the sparklingly new theater, a fact that is in no way an accident.
Over a cup of coffee and a sandwich at Nehama Vahetzi in Tel Aviv, Azimi expresses his excitement about this endeavor.
“I have been around for so many years as a dancer and choreographer. It’s about time that the choreographers got their own space. It’s beautiful, and I’m thrilled to per form there,” he says.
The evening will be particularly challenging for Azimi, as he will don both hats in a two-hour per formance. The dance segment of the evening marks Azimi’s return to a production that brought him much attention, Come, Feel.
The work was originally seen in 2007 with a cast of four dancers, Azimi included.
“It began as a duet that I per formed with Tsuf Itschaky in the Curtain Up Festival in 2006. In 2007, I created the female answer to that first section. The piece, for me, represents a very true search and investigation into emotions and needs,” he explains.
Azimi says that after the experience and exposure of live television, he felt the need to return to a simpler time in his creative life.
“A lot of my personal issues sur faced throughout the course of The Voice. I felt that I wanted to do something that was totally unconnected to those issues, so I had to go back to a time when they didn’t exist. And I also really wanted to feel something. Come, Feel is all about feeling,” he says.
The male component of the piece has remained unchanged from that first performance in 2006; however, Azimi has replaced both female dancers. Anat Gregorio and Orian Yochanan have taken over for the original cast, a shift that has brought new energy to the work. Musician Didi Erez will accompany the dancers on stage throughout the performance.
The second part of the evening, Sahar Azimi Hosts, represents his more recent past.
With singers he met on The Voice, Azimi put together a lineup of original songs. Singers Amir Darzi and Dafna Shilon will join Azimi on stage, accompanied by Erez.
“As it turns out, Didi Erez and I have been working together for the past 13 years, but this is the first time we will sing together. We will per form three of Didi’s songs,” says Azimi.
In his eyes, the foray into the world of television was a worthwhile one.
“Look, it was very stressful being in that position,” he smiles. “I’m not used to auditioning. But I met some amazing artists through the show, artists that I will continue to work with for sure. And, at the end of the day, I’m first and foremost a person. In The Voice, I got to leave my image behind in order to tr y something new,” he says.Come, Feel and Sahar Azimi Hosts will run at Machsan 2 in Jaffa on March 8 at 9 p.m. and March 9 at 8:30 p.m. For tickets, call (03) 902-1563.