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Mystery Dancer #1:


Gilded Serpent is looking for clues to the story behind this lovely dancer!
If you have any information, please contact us!
Thank you!

Posted -

*Update July 2017- from Joe Osman, son of Iklas!

Morocco gives us our first clues:
"WOW! That is Iklas, an Assyrian (update) woman who was a well-known & well-liked dancer in the Detroit clubs in the 1960s. Dunno what happened to her. She is the one who did the pitcher dance I just described on the med-dance list!"

Aziza!"I saw Iklas dance in Chicago in the 60s! Jamila used to talk about her with admiration, and I seem to remember her putting her in the same category as Fatma Akef. I enjoyed her dancing when I saw her."

Dahlena "I know Iklas from Chicago and her husband Osoma (update) was an Egyptian drummer. I will call you with more details."

Helena Vlahos I met Iklas Osman when I was sixteen, in 1964. She and her husband worked at the Shakours (Shaqours) Oasis on Hollywood Blvd. In Los Angeles, CA. where I also danced. I do not remember them so clearly after so many years. I do remember that Iklas, in one part of her show danced on three water glasses while balancing a jug on her head. One foot rested on two of the water glasses and the other foot (the ball of foot) on the third glass. The water glasses were rim down. I was amazed. She had the glasses rolled up in a small Middle Eastern carpet. When it was time for her glass and jug balancing act she or someone else (?) would unroll the carpet. She placed the glasses how she wanted (on the carpet) and did her amazing act.

Iklas and her husband Osama(update) were putting a show together for Vegas. They had five musicians including Osama, and seven dancers including Iklas. I was one of the dancers, so I learned quite a lot from Iklas. Besides teaching us all the choreographies, she hired a couple of dancers to show us dance moves. I remember an African American dancer/instructor showing us some very amazing African moves. She did a snake movement on the floor and looked just like a snake slithering across the floor. Wow!

The musicians were Sol Sanasarian on dumbek, Osama on dumbek and def, Maroun Sabah on oud, Afram Tawil on violin and I think the kanoon (qanoon) player’s name was Allen. (Photo enclosed and musicians I named are from left to right).

I do not remember the dancers’ names in the group because they were not belly dancers. I think some of them had jazz training. I do not know what happened to them because we did not get a chance to work together. We never made it to Vegas with Iklas. What a shame after all the work and money she put into it.

I have a music album that Iklas and Osama (update) made with both of their photos on the cover. The first song is Salem Aley and has Iklas’ name in parenthesis so I guess she was the singer.

My scanner broke so I photographed the photos and the album cover. I am afraid they did not come out very well. I will find someone else to scan and E-mail them to me so I can send them to you again.

Maybe the photos and album will help someone remember more about Iklas and Osama. Hopefully someone who knows what happened to them.

click here for enlargement

click here for enlargement

Click on photos for a bit larger look!
Musicians are from left to right;
Sol Sanasarian on dumbek, Osama (update)Osman on def/dumbek, Maroun Saba on oud, Afram Tawil on violin and Allen Ishmael on qanoun. 
Eleni is far left in red and Helena Vlahos is next to her in red at center. Iklas front left & front right is a mystery dancer in pink (NOT Nakish & per Nakish) Dancers in white are a mystery at the moment. Thanks Amel, Helena & Anniitra MaKafia UtchatiNu Ravenmoon (and Nakish) for all the clarifications!
photos courtesy of Helen Vlahos.Thank you Helen!

This is the text found at the bottom of the original photo

This photo was also found in our files with the name "Iklasosman." Is this the same lady? "Yes!" says Morocco.

July 2017 Updates from Iklas's son Joe Osman

(Including the lovely photos below! Click on photos for enlargement.)

I am Iklas' son. I live in Chicago.
Some corrections:
1. She is Syrian not Assyrian.
2. My dad's name is Mohammed Osman not Osama.
3. My mother is living in Damascus.
4. Her real name is Sara. Iklas was her stage name.
5. Dad is deceased.
Any other questions please feel free to contact me.
Joe Osman

More Answers-

The 2 black and white photos were taken in Chicago around the late 60's early 70's. My mother danced all over the world: Morocco, Spain, France, Turkey, Venezuela, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador and in the United States from New York to California. I think her career spanned from the 1950's to approximately 1970 or so. Hope this information is useful.


Iklas from Joe Osman Another view of Iklas! Photo sent by Joe Osman in July 2017



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