(jewel in Arabic, salute in Sanskrit)
Josephine’s performing group, Johara Dance, is a company whose shows blend Arabic Belly Dance with a rich mix of African Dance, Flamenco, Tango, Bollywood, Gypsy, Burlesque and much more.
Johara's new show, 'Hoochie Coochie Girls - Strangers, Tribes and Vagabonds' throws the spotlight on the lives of those who do not conform and are so often under-represented, ignored or shunned. Johara Dance Company celebrates this diversity in the company itself.
Johara is a professional dance company made up of 15 women who do not fit the model of the stereotypical dancer. The age range of the dancers spans four decades and they come from different ethnic groups and from varying dance backgrounds. They are 'real' women with real bodies, who bring to the dance a wealth of life experience. Some members have overcome debilitating illnesses including arthritis, asthma and cancer. Audiences who came to Johara's previous show, 'Elemental', often commented how inspiring it was to see women with whom they could identify.
All company members have an in-depth training in Middle Eastern dance styles and they also bring to the company individual knowledge of Spanish, African, Indian, Latin and Gypsy dance. Johara's repertoire ranges from the highly dramatic to witty and light-hearted.
Hoochie Coochie Girls
Strangers, Tribes and Vagabonds
Hoochie Coochie: The name given to bellydance and similar dances during and after the Chicago World's fair in 1893. Performed by women of Middle Eastern or Eastern European Gypsy heritage but also taken up by travelling performers of all types.
A vibrant and colourful feast for the senses, this show celebrates the lives of outcasts and those who live on the fringes of society. Dramatic and moving, witty and fun, it is a sensational mix of Arabic Belly Dance, Burlesque, Contemporary Dance, Bollywood and Hip-hop, to an abundance of fantastic rhythms and dynamic musical styles.
The show opens with a street scene in the port of Alexandria, where chancers and ordinary people get through life by selling anything they can, including themselves. Travelling westwards we find gypsies and other misfits creating an east meets west culture while living in the ghetto.
Our journey takes us to the world of films and the stage where, for most of its history, performers have been kept away from polite society. Finally we visit our outcasts in a twilight world of masked balls where they can finally feel at home, even when the mask slips.
In 2011 Johara Dance took Hoochie Coochie Girls to theatres in the South of England and to France.
For more information go to www.joharadance.co.uk
Click here for a review of the London show by Sarah Maybank.
Click here for a review by Lynette Harris of Gilded Serpent.
Click here for an interview with Josephine Wise.
Click here for wonderful photos of Hoochie Coochie Girls in Arras, France.
Click here to see the girls in action!
Workshops with the Johara Dance Performers
The following Johara Dance members are available to teach workshops:
To book Johara Dance for festivals and performances please contact:
Margaret : 01276 507 251
Catherine: 07840 963 036
To email click here