Photography by Catherine Khorrami & Giacomo Oliviero
Written by Jonathan Marshall
In our last piece about Artin Avaznia, we introduced an artist that was making their debut into film with his tribute project, The Velvet Rope: A Dance Short Film.
Inspired by one of his most esteemed idols and teachers, Janet Jackson, Artin wanted to recreate the feelings he remembered experiencing when he first heard the original album in his youth.
Now he follows in her footsteps once more, with his performance at Ottawa’s popular Westfest.
Artin was the first solo dance artist to appear on the Westfest stage since its inception 15 years prior. In his multi-set performance, he acknowledges the great dancers that led him to where he is today, but more importantly he struts into his own story with sensual and provocative displays of choreography he spent months devising.
“Ever since last summer, I’ve been experimenting with new ideas and visions for my performance,” says Artin. “My goal is how you receive my piece; it’s one thing to be entertaining, it’s another to be understood.”
His routine was exacting, and perfect in its execution. The crowd that swelled from a dozen to over 200 once he took the stage sang as his feet sailed and shook every time his cane landed with crack. They couldn’t help but feel that hand on his thigh, or how the bass rhythm replaced their own heartbeat. Artin’s aim was to entrance, and his body was working magic.
While Artin is no stranger to live performances, this was by far the largest audience he had ever had the chance to enthrall.
“My career is just taking off,” he muses. “It’s important to me that every step of the way I am proving myself to be better than I was before, and to offer powerful emotions to my fans.”
Certainly, he gave everything that day. The future is ripe for Artin, and if he continues to progress as he has been -a soul brimming with passion- then Ottawa will soon see this talented choreographer reaching heights that heroes are made on.
In this story that will be continued, Artin Avaznia leaves us with moments to be remembered...