Johara has trained some of Boston’s top belly dancers, many of whom have achieved distinction as Middle Eastern dance performers and instructors. Two of her students passed auditions to join the internationally acclaimed Bellydance Superstars, produced by Miles Copeland, and one of her former students, Lauren Michelle Boldt, is currently on tour with Club Belly Dance. Many of her students have won dance competitions, performed in her professional theater productions and have gone on to pursue dance professionally. In addition to her extensive experience in the realm of dance, Johara also possesses a Master’s degree in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), as well as certification as a yoga instructor in Hatha and Vinyasa forms. These additional qualifications underscore her ability as an instructor, and characterize her as unique within the dance community in this regard. Currently, Johara teaches dance, yoga, and English as a Second Language in the greater Boston area.
Johara has organized many well-recognized dance events in Boston. She established the Boston Annual Belly Dance Awards in 2004, and produced numerous dance events including her Serpentine Nights series, a gala show with dancer/choreographer Amir Thaleb from Argentina, and a workshop with famed dancer Clara Ramona of Spain. Her 2006 Awards featured Amar Gamal from Bellydance Superstars as well as a workshop and show with Virginia Mendez of Miami. In addition, her events always feature local talent from the Boston area, which she believes is integral to the development of the Middle Eastern dance community in the New England area.
As the director of Snake Dance Theater Company, Johara has been producing full scale theater productions since 2001. Her choreographies range from traditional Middle Eastern (Egyptian/Turkish oriental, Saudi, Turkish Gypsy/Rom) to unique fusions with Latin, modern, hip-hop, American, and Hollywood fantasy styles of dance. Johara’s shows include professional lighting and sound engineers, theatrical props, and often set design and multi-media displays. In her debut show, Celestial Bodies: 2001 Bellydance Odyssey, she channeled her theme of the five senses into original poetry, choreography and costumes artfully represented in the production. Her 2003 show, East Meets West: America Arabian- Style, expressed an intricate and complex theme of the historical and ongoing intercultural exchanges of dance and popular culture between the US and Egypt, and included such sub themes as the orientalist perceptions of the dance. In 2005, Johara created one of her most extravagant productions, A Gypsy in Cairo, in which she added a complex story line, narration, acting, elaborate set design, and a 36- member cast – one of her largest casts ever. It was a full year in the making, and brought down the house at the sold-out Regent Theater in Arlington, Massachusetts. In 2009, Johara returned to the Regent Theater with Harvest Moon in which she added original film backdrop by Garabed Setrakian for her gothic story- dance trilogy, Vampire Bride. Johara has continued to push the boundaries of her genre with such dances as Un-caged, a dance fantasy with giant Isis wings performed to Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, and Maypole, incorporating the pagan ritual dance of weaving ribbons around a maypole. She continues her exploration of middle eastern folk dance with her Egyptian Saidi stick and Gawazee dance and Saudi Khaleeji.
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