Anyone know more about this teacher?

Kharmine

New member
Le sigh. To date, we have not yet seen any hard evidence to dispute the fact that "belly dance" is an old slang version of the French danse du ventre that originated in the United States in the 19th century.

Jodette reportedly first heard 'belly dance" as a term when she was a teen-ager in the Middle East, during World War II from American service personnel. There is nothing on Jodette's web site to claim this, let alone explain it, nor is this comment repeated anywhere else that I can find.

I do believe one former student heard what she did from Jodette. However, I question that student's interpretation of what Jodette meant by that.

As we have seen on this thread and on her own web site, Jodette was, and still is, prone to exaggeration and rather mangled English (whether or not she really is guilty of shoddy business practices is, I suppose, still a question). It's hard to know if Jodette meant anything by this comment other than as a personal observation of when she first heard the term 'belly dance."

How this one comment, interpreted in a unique way by one person, is supposed to be clinching evidence that "belly dance" didn't exist as a term in the U.S. before then is a huge stretch and, as yet, not backed up -- even though I have suggested several ways by which that could be researched.
 
Last edited:

sedoniaraqs

New member
What I'm curious about are the photos in the gallery and elsewhere on Jodette's website. Who is this woman??http://www.jodettes.com/photogallery/

One photo near the bottom is Sausan, but the others are....who??? The implication is that they are Jodette, but some of the photos look very recent, and she is supposed to now be 80 yrs old???!!! If so I want to know her secret, or are these photos of one of her students?

Sedonia
 

Aziyade

Well-known member
Sedonia,
From the skinny belts, the mesh pants and the white faux-tulle skirt, I'd say the costume are from the 80s -- maybe closer to early 80s. Would you agree?

They're studio shots, and a lot of portraits get blurred or shot with a filter to soften fine lines and wrinkles. It could easily be her. I've met a surprising number of over 60-year old dancers who I would have NEVER guessed were that age. Maybe bellydance is good for the skin?

:)
 

Kharmine

New member
Given the example of veterans like Fifi (who owes much to excellent plastic surgery), I'd say you can't judge a dancer's age by her photos!
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Jodette Silhi

My message will not go through without me writing something HERE, so please read the last paragraph for response.


From the skinny belts, the mesh pants and the white faux-tulle skirt, I'd say the costume are from the 80s -- maybe closer to early 80s. Would you agree?

They're studio shots, and a lot of portraits get blurred or shot with a filter to soften fine lines and wrinkles. It could easily be her. I've met a surprising number of over 60-year old dancers who I would have NEVER guessed were that age. Maybe bellydance is good for the skin?





Dear Sedonia and Aziyade,
They are photos of Jodette. Some are as early as the late 60s or early 70s, because I saw them when I was first learning to dance. I honestly have no explanation for why she does things the way she does. I can only speak for her teaching, which was of great value to me. I would venture to guess that NONE of those photos is recent... is she even teaching still or does she have people teach for her? I am not sure.
I DID rather laugh at her ad, "Bellydancers available for respectable parties"....I wondered if she had some problems with not so respectable ones!!
Regards,
A'isha
 
Last edited:

Aziyade

Well-known member
Something happened in the formatting. Let me try and fix this:

I LOVED Alexandra when I had seen her some 10 years ago doing American Oriental, so I did not go in with any prejudice. I took her workshop and found that she did not give one moment of individual attention, hardly LOOKED at the students and in general just sort of showed us what we were supposed to do; no attention, no feedback, no corrrction, no acknowledgement. I was very disappointed.
I can't speak to her teaching, but I'll keep your experience in mind if she comes back this way. I saw her do Persian most recently, but it's her older footage I'm referring to also.

A'isha writes- I think passing it off as authentic belly dance is bad. Nobody hates the dance. We just want truth in advertising.
Oh, I know :) But you know I will still call it bellydance. But we've been down that road before and we have to agree to disagree on that terminology.

A'isha writes- Jillina's performances are not delightful to me. She claimed for too long to be doing something she is not. That is Egyptian belly dance.
Okay, I didn't know her from anybody when she came to Atlanta, so I guess I didn't have any preconceived notions about what she claimed to be teaching. Is your previous knowledge of what she claimed coloring your opinion of her dancing? Just curious.

I also do not prefer dancers who are not emotionally attached to what they are doing and she definately has been too attached to physical technique to tune into the reality of the dance as an expression of emotion.
I don't know if we're seeing the same performances! Part of what really drew me was her energy and how much she seemed to be completely enjoying herself, and that made ME enjoy myself, etc.

I'm NOT talking about the Superstars performances, because that's a different side of her. I don't think those performances or choreographies are nearly as complex as what she's actually capable of doing, but they don't belong to her, and I can see that I wouldn't want my soul sold on a work-for-hire basis.

I do not need or want clones, though Jillina might since she is fond of making a line dance out of a dance that is supposed to be a solo dance.
wait, are you talking about Sahala or the Superstars?

I honestly can't fault her for doing Sahala group choreos. I LOVE the energy of dancing together with other women. It's an American thing, maybe, but I do enjoy it. And at least with the IAMED shows, it made a nice break between the solo performers. We could argue that Nagwa Fouad did with the dance things it was never supposed to be either -- but she knew what made good theatre.

There are very few people who will ever make a Lebanese, or Egytian or Turkish dancer. One has to look WAY beneath the element of mere movement for that, and it has to be INSIDE the dancer on some level. This why I will never make a good American Oriental or Lebanese dancer. It is not IN me. I feel it differently than I am supposed to. Jillina misled people by intimating she was doing authentic ethnic belly dance. She never has.
I see what you're saying. And I know -- was it at the Giza awards, she was voted best Egyptian style dancer? I would not have agreed with that, either.

For a while I was trying to make a distinction between people who actually dance in the Egyptian style, and people who use Egyptian technique, as taught by either Raqia or Shareen. I mean, I use what I learned from Shareen, because it makes sense and it feels good. But it's not Egyptian style if I'm dancing to old Turkish music!

A'isha writes- You know, that "heavily influenced by western this or that" is getting to be very tiersome. Regardless of what other influences are there, the fact always, ALWAYS remains that what these dancers and singers and musicians produced was filtered through an Egyptian or Lebanese or Turkish or Algerian or Tunisian or whatever, mind, heart, soul and cultural affiliation, and took on that essence.
Fair 'nuff. But I guess what I was getting at is that Wahab missed the point of the hoedown music. But he appropriated it for his own ends, and turned it into something lovely. I sort of wanted to make the parallel between that and American Orientale.

A'isha writes- American Oriental has its own essence, its own beauty and its own validity. However, belly dance is not an American dance. The problem with those classes many years ago and many classes still, is that students are being led to believe that what they are learning is authentic ethnic bellydance when it is not.
And here's where I hit a brick wall in my understanding. The idea that there is one authentic ethnic bellydance. I just can't wrap my mind around that. Maybe it's just how we define it. I'm convinced the "authenticity" lies in the approach to the dance, and it's authentic Turkish if it takes a certain approach, authentic Lebanese if it takes another ... etc.

Defining that "approach" is where I'm having the difficulty.

BUT, I'm also being less restrictive in my definition of bellydance, which I'm basically considering SITA+ hipwork, like we've talked about before.

AND part of me wonders how long it takes to develop a sense of what is authentic ethnic bellydance. How many teachers have it? How many teachers will develop it? How long does it take for students to figure it out?

lots o questions, all the time....
 

belly_dancer

New member
Something happened in the formatting. Let me try and fix this:





And here's where I hit a brick wall in my understanding. The idea that there is one authentic ethnic bellydance. I just can't wrap my mind around that. Maybe it's just how we define it. I'm convinced the "authenticity" lies in the approach to the dance, and it's authentic Turkish if it takes a certain approach, authentic Lebanese if it takes another ... etc.

Defining that "approach" is where I'm having the difficulty.

BUT, I'm also being less restrictive in my definition of bellydance, which I'm basically considering SITA+ hipwork, like we've talked about before.

AND part of me wonders how long it takes to develop a sense of what is authentic ethnic bellydance. How many teachers have it? How many teachers will develop it? How long does it take for students to figure it out?

lots o questions, all the time....
AND... WHO is judging who "has it"????
 

belly_dancer

New member
A'isha writes- I was in a show and took a workshop from Alexandra King about 3 years ago. Her Turkish and her Egyptian dances looked just alike in much of the movement content and all of the essence, and I DO have video. I LOVED Alexandra when I had seen her some 10 years ago doing American Oriental, so I did not go in with any prejudice. I took her workshop and found that she did not give one moment of individual attention, hardly LOOKED at the students and in general just sort of showed us what we were supposed to do; no attention, no feedback, no corrrction, no acknowledgement. I was very disappointed.

I am sorry for your experience A'isha... I have taken MANY workshops from AK, & each time found her fabulous, informative, instructive, with much feed back/plus correction, etc etc.... & would definitely recommend her as an instructor!!!
what video do you have??? would love to see it... as well as video of you!:) !
 

Aisha Azar

New member
belly dance, etc.

Dear Aziyade,
I have never claimed that ONE style is authentic belly dance. I claim 3: Turkish, Lebanese and Egptian, one in which I have expertise. I have heard some people say that this is about ME thinking only dances I can do are authentic...not true. I can't dance Lebanese belly dance at all and have less than good Turkish technique at this time, though I hope to improve.
That Jillina clamed to be an Egyptian belly dancer and still might, does to some degree color my feelings, but I also do not really appreciate the harshness, I guess you could say, of her dancing. It is WAY over the top.
I am afraid I do not know what Sahala is, but I have seen vdieo of her both solo pre-BDSS and have seen her in person. One of my freinds ( Hallah Moustafa) was one of her instructors, so I have reason to slant the other way, but I just don't see her as a good belly dancer. A good dancer perhaps...
Belly dance is meant to be a solo dance. If one wants to do group dances, there are a whole bunch of folkloric styles to choose from!! Right there many American dancers don't get the feeling and meaning of the authentic dance.
Nagwa Fouad has do-woppers who come and and prance cutely around for a minute, and then if she is belly dancing, they go away and she dances solo. As For Abdulwahab, I doubt that he was trying to create hoedown music!!

Some people develop a sense of authentic belly dance very soon, before they can actually perform it. Others never do. And for Belly_Dancer, this has nothing at all to do with WHO is judging, but the nature of the dance itself. This is pretty easily proven by dancers being able to look at a clip and say that the dancer is dancing Egyptian, or Turkish or Lebanese, and that it looks somehow different from what the western dancers are doing. These styles are very clearly imprinted on the dancers of origin. On the other hand, Armeican Oriental has many different looks and essences, depending on who is doing it. The same can be said of all the other hundreds of dance styles that are adding "belly dance" to their names.


Dear Belly_Dancer,
That's nice for you as far a Alexandra King goes. Personally, I will never take another class with her. The video is from a show she did here and is not for sale. If you are ever in Spokane, stop by!! I do not have any professional performance videos out, but do have a short one on my DVD. They are too darn expensive to make!!
Regards,
A'isha



A'isha writes- I was in a show and took a workshop from Alexandra King about 3 years ago. Her Turkish and her Egyptian dances looked just alike in much of the movement content and all of the essence, and I DO have video. I LOVED Alexandra when I had seen her some 10 years ago doing American Oriental, so I did not go in with any prejudice. I took her workshop and found that she did not give one moment of individual attention, hardly LOOKED at the students and in general just sort of showed us what we were supposed to do; no attention, no feedback, no corrrction, no acknowledgement. I was very disappointed.

I am sorry for your experience A'isha... I have taken MANY workshops from AK, & each time found her fabulous, informative, instructive, with much feed back/plus correction, etc etc.... & would definitely recommend her as an instructor!!!
what video do you have??? would love to see it... as well as video of you!:) !
 

belly_dancer

New member
ok A'isha... how did i miss the fact that you had a dvd out?!?!?!?!?! is it for sale?? would ass-u-me it is instructional.... what level.... ??/ where do I find more about it???
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Dance, etc.

ok A'isha... how did i miss the fact that you had a dvd out?!?!?!?!?! is it for sale?? would ass-u-me it is instructional.... what level.... ??/ where do I find more about it???


Dear Belly_Dancer,
I have an Egyptian Fundamentals DVD out. It has a short dance and then I give instruction on the 10 basic movements of Egyptian belly dance.
You can find out more about it and me at www,raqsazar.com. I will be happy to ask any questions you might have about the DVD, but I think there is also a review of it by Adry Svraka somewhere on this site...??? You can also ask Leyla Lanty or Shakira of Ohio about it.
Regards,
A'isha
 

Aziyade

Well-known member
A'isha, the Sahala dancers are Jillina's troupe outside of the "Superstars" tour, and they have performed with her on several of the IAMED shows. I got used to just calling them "Sahala" -- sorry for the confusion :)
 

Aisha Azar

New member
Dance, etc.

A'isha, the Sahala dancers are Jillina's troupe outside of the "Superstars" tour, and they have performed with her on several of the IAMED shows. I got used to just calling them "Sahala" -- sorry for the confusion :)


Dear Aziyade,
Thanks for clarifying about Sahala. For some reason, I had tied her to Desert Roses as her other group...???
You now, we were discussing something on another thread and for some reason, I can't find the darn thing, so I hope I have not left some important issue up in the air or something! (Ah, the joys of early onset Alzhiemer's)
Regards,
A'isha
 

Yasmina

New member
"maya"

Dear Charity,
She does not know what it means in Arabic, but in Russian it means "dream or illusion", she thinks.
Hey guys, great thread!! As for the word "maya", just wanted to let you know that this association with dream or illusion comes from Hindu philosophy, it means illusion in Sanskrit. Maya is the phenomenal world of separate objects and people, which creates for some the illusion that it is the only reality. In Russian "maya" is the pronomen possessivum feminin, like "my car" is "maya mashina". Also there's a river called "Maya" in Siberian Russia.
 
Last edited:

Aisha Azar

New member
Maya

Hey guys, great thread!! As for the word "maya", just wanted to let you know that this association with dream or illusion comes from Hindu philosophy, it means illusion in Sanskrit. Maya is the phenomenal world of separate objects and people, which creates for some the illusion that it is the only reality. In Russian "maya" is the pronomen possessivum feminin, like "my car" is "maya mashina".


Dear Yasmina,
Thanks for letting me know. I will tell my freind.
Regards,
A'isha
 

Aziyade

Well-known member
I know -- I leave threads lying around all over the place. I'm sorry :)
I get all talky, and then I get ADD.


Was it the recommended DVDs thread?


You now, we were discussing something on another thread and for some reason, I can't find the darn thing, so I hope I have not left some important issue up in the air or something! (Ah, the joys of early onset Alzhiemer's)
Regards,
A'isha
 

ankestamen

New member
Hi A'isha, I just wanted to state that my mom danced with Jodette at the Worlds fair. Her name was Nefertiti. Jodette was her first teacher and she went on to take from many others. I continue teaching in the exact same way I was taught, except for the fact I choreographed every one of the beginning moves, and a second dance to intermediate moves. It is funny, that now days, people don't dance fast like they used to. But when I watch dancers from Lebanon I find my style is still more in that area. I wanted to learn Cane dance, so I bought Jodette's Baladi tape VHF. It really was good, and I found that I picked it up so quickly because her style is still my style of dance. Just a little history for you, memories.
 
Top