Johara has been sharing the art of belly dance in the New England area since 1997. She is a leading performer, instructor, choreographer and director of Snake Dance Theater Company. Her repertoire includes Egyptian, Turkish, and American Cabaret belly dance, along with Middle Eastern Folk and tribal fusion. Having produced over fourteen shows since 2001, Johara is a pioneer in theatrical belly dance. As a soloist and member of MAVI (Turkish) dance company, she has performed in Turkey, Greece, Brazil, and across the United States. Some highlights include The Chicago Turkish Festival, the International Folk Festival Inegol Turkey, the Massachusetts Dance Festival, Jordan Hall and Institute of Contemporary Arts. She is known for her musicality, fiery drum solos, and sensual veil-work.
Johara has been featured in many newspapers and television programs, and has graced the covers of the Brookline and Watertown Tabs. She draws on her training in jazz music at Berklee College and extensive study in multiple dance forms and world percussion. She holds a master’s degree in ESL teaching and a yoga teaching certification. While Johara teaches all levels, many of her former students have gone on to become professional belly dancers, including one who is currently with Bellydance Evolution and Superstars. She continues to share her love of this beautiful and ancient dance form.
Some highlights of Johara’s solo career include venues such as the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, Fenway Park, the Massachusetts Dance Festival and Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Travelling as a member and featured solo dancer of the Turkish folk dance group, Mavi Dance , some of Johara’s performances have included an international dance festival in Inegol, Turkey, a gala at the Hyatt Regency in New York City, Turkish festivals in Chicago and New Jersey, productions at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, and at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium with renowned composer Mehmet Sanliko. Johara and Snake Dance Theater Company opened for Club Belly Dance at the Regent Theater in 2012.
Johara’s diverse background in dance includes 15 years of study in Middle Eastern dance (Egyptian and Turkish) along with 5 years of study in West African dance and several years of training in Afro- Caribbean and Latin dance styles.
Beyond folk dance, she has also acquired training in Modern, Jazz, Hip- Hop, and Ballroom dance, in order to broaden her scope as a dancer and instructor. Further augmenting her abilities as a dancer is Johara’s musical background, which includes training in Jazz vocals at Berklee College of Music and an Associate’s degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music from the University of Maine, Augusta. World percussion extensively influenced her studies as she recorded and performed congas and doumbek with bands such as Cosmos Factor, Ibrahima’s World Beat, and Casablanca band. Her diverse training in music and dance help her to create exciting shows that entertain as they educate the public on the truly beautiful art form that is Middle Eastern dance.
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.
More about Snake Dance Theater
Snake Dance Theater Company (SDT) entertains as it educates audiences in Boston and throughout New England with its unique blend of traditional Middle Eastern style and fusion Belly Dance. SDT earned the City Spotlight award in 2008 and has appeared in numerous television programs and newspapers in Boston and Cambridge. Memorable performances include shows at the Citi Performing Arts Center, Boston Center for the Arts, John Hancock Center, MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, Fenway Park, and for the opening of Bellydance Superstars “Club Belly Dance”. They continue to perform at festivals, World Community Dance Day, Green Festival Boston, and Figment Boston.
To interview Johara, contact:
Johara and Snake Dance Productions
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (617) 922-3676