Retracing his steps

Dancer/choreographer Sahar Azimi has turned into a mature dancemaker who projects his own unique, personal voice with growing assurance.

By ORI J. LENKINSKI
October 13, 2014 21:04
3 minute read.
Poly Mono Poly

Sahar Azimi and Oryan Yohanan perform in ‘Poly Mono Poly.’. (photo credit: GADI DAGON)

 
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Each work of art can be seen as a timeline of its own creation. All of the factors from the location to the time frame, to the people involved in the making of art inevitably become part of the finished product, even the seemingly hazardous and random events like natural disasters or wars.

Had Sahar Azimi premiered Poly Mono Poly on the intended date in July, the work would have looked entirely different.

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“I was forced to cancel the premiere because there is no protected area in Warehouse 2. The fact that I couldn’t premier the work then gave me the chance to go back into the studio and check things again,” explained Azimi in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post. “At the time, we didn’t know when we would be able to host the premier. It took months to reschedule, which allowed for a lot of development. I’m not sure I would have been able to stand behind the piece that was going to premier in July.”

This weekend, Azimi will present three nights of performance at the Warehouse 2 in Jaffa. The program includes three performances of Poly Mono Poly as well as guest performances by Didi Erez, Amir Darzi and duo Russo and Weinberg.

Many major changes and bumps in the road littered the path to the premier of Poly Mono Poly.

Several months ago, Azimi’s vision for the work included six dancers, among them Oryan Yohanan, yet after a number of rehearsals Azimi opted to pursue a duet. “Oryan represents my relationship with dance,” confided Azimi. “In meeting her, I realized that there are a lot of people like me.”

The trait that they share and the subject matter for Poly Mono Poly, is the ability to multi-task or to be “multi-talented.” As Azimi revealed on primetime television two years ago, his talents are not limited to dance and choreography. Alongside his various pursuits within the dance sector, Azimi is also cultivating a career as a singer. “You know, as a choreographer or dancer, you aren’t just that, you are also a public relations expert, a marketer, a producer and a designer. Every area of my life influences every other. The ability to use other talents is the biggest advantage you can have in our field.

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“I am very much in favor of multidisciplinary work,” continued Azimi. His previous works such as Cell in a Human Scale have incorporated many elements such as video, costume and lighting into the overall aesthetic. “For example, my colleague Shlomi Biton composes the music for his choreographies and I think it really sharpens his artistic voice.”

In this work, Azimi will bring his various skills as well as those of his collaborators to the stage by way of movement, music, text, props and video.

The show runs just under an hour, during which time both Azimi and Yohanan remain on stage.

In Poly Mono Poly, dolls designed by Yohanan, and text taken from a poem by Yonah Wolf, will bolster the two performers’ movement. Didi Erez, who has worked closely with Azimi for over a decade, has crafted the score.

A prominent member of the dance community, Azimi has worn many hats from dancer to choreographer to mentor to board member. A former member of Batsheva Dance Company and Inbal Theater, Azimi has spent many years cultivating his choreographic aesthetic. Having recently turned 40, Azimi is taking a moment to take stock of his achievements and aspirations. “It’s a big challenge for me to continue to create and it isn’t an obvious choice. The financial hardship forces me to questions each year anew if I want to continue,” he said. “40 has brought some fundamental thoughts about life to me. It’s a very significant age.”

Poly Mono Poly will be performed at the Warehouse 2 on October 16, 17 and 18. For more information, visit www.choreographers.org.il.

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