Memorial to John Compton
Photos from the Community, GS Archives, and Your Comments
February 29, 1948 – October 14, 2012
posted October 15, 2012
Sent this morning to GS from Rebaba: I have some very sad news to share with you and your readers…John Compton passed away last night after a long and painful struggle with a multitude of AIDS related infections. While typing this it still seems surreal that I will no longer here his voice and see his shining face and beautiful smile. But, I take solace in the fact that he’s peaceful and free of his ravaged and weakened body that was no longer cooperating with his will…I miss him more than words can say and I know this will also be a tremendous loss to the BD community as well. He’s survived by his sister and two brothers and their families. Both his sister Liz and longtime friend, real estate partner and caregiver Margo were at his bedside when he passed at about 10:00 p.m. last night.
Readers, please send your photos for posting here to firstname.lastname@example.org, with "John" in the subject line. Thank you!
Video Clip of John interviewed for Hoochy Mammas
I am very sad with this news, john was infected after those people who rest their joy, incredibly talented and most beautiful of his talent was as enjoyed the dancing and the energy delivered to the public, always remember. -Paula
I have the treasured memory of studying with John Compton in Spring of 2009 = drove 3 hours one-way 2 states away to get the chance to bask in his "John-ness" LOL:) & I AM SO GLAD I DID!!! …Even just to speak with him (He’s such a CHARACTER–had me in stitches!:)) was a wonderful experience! …I drank in all his stories of Hahbi’Ru & Jamila Salimpour, delighting in surprisedly seeing his costume displayed on the wall of a bar in SanFrancisco, etc…
***REST IN PEACE, JOHN COMPTON!!!***
Hugs-&-Shimmies, Zafirah (Lesly Tejero-Baker)
I have a few photos from a weekend workshop I took with John Compton in Syracuse, NY in April 2006.
?, Rebaba, Sage, Paula and John
I was employed in Sunnyvale as an Engineer. I escaped for a couple of hours each Friday to do the noon "John Show". Also playing with me were Dave Adams (also an Oud player) on Guitar, and Tom Malley on Dumbek and Def. I’m sorry to say that I have no photos from those gigs, even though thousands were taken by all those over-excited women, but I can submit a previously unpublished shot which I captured at a Renn Fair about twelve years ago.
Attached is one of my photos from Las Vegas BellyDance Intensive and Festival (2010). -Dano Blanchard
10-15-12 , Rebaba: "The first one I’ll re-scan and send separately as you can see the scanner cut it off for some unknown reason. The first six (counting the cover shot I will send in the next email) are panels from a promo kit created by a Hollywood agent who was determined to make John a STAR (except according to John he just wanted to dance and didn’t care about the modeling or acting at that time [early 80s]). The most famous picture with the tray on his head is with the beautiful dancer/choreographer Sharlyn. The last two photos with me were taken in 2000, one is from Rakkasah and the other is us goofing around after a photo shot. I love this picture as it shows his real constantly playful nature! Love, Rita"
"In a word, John had Charisma. His quick wit and sense of humor made him popular; his kindness made him loved. Above all, he had courage. We have lost a wonderfully unique individual…and there will never be another like him." Anne Shears, St. Louis, Missouri
The older woman with the white hair is Anna. She came to every dance show in Vancouver B.C. and had been in a concentration camp in WWII. She could party. She was such a fixture and a great audience and she loved John. She would get up and dance after she had a few and she was just such a happy spirit. She came down for this show with Rahma Haddad and Selma Ferchichi and this guy, who knew John but I don’t remember his name. -Shelley
This is a photo of John and me taken a few years ago at a workshop in Salina, Kansas.
My mother, Shadia Dahlal, made fun of how starstruck I was the first time I met John. I remember her telling him about it, and he just laughed. Some of my best memories are of sitting with my mother and John listening to them exchanging dance stories from the old days. From the first time I met John, he was a friend. He shared jokes and funny stories with me like we had known one another for years. As a dancer, he inspired me like few other dancers have, and as a teacher, his patience and fun attitude made me feel like I could accomplish anything. Occasionally, he would surprise me with a message letting me know he was sitting in an airport and just thought of me, or when I got married and moved to Colorado, "Waaahhh! You left me for someone else!" 🙂 It meant everything in the world to know that someone I looked up to so much was thinking of me. I will miss him very much. – Marisa Elena Dahlal
I am sending along these pictures, John and I were partners for ten years.
John Compton was a close friend and and such an influence on me, I’d known him since I was a baby dancer. His talent, his stage presence, and generosity made him a huge figure in our community, and I felt blessed to know him. Off-stage, we got a long like gangbusters- anyone that was around him for a while knew that he was totally fun, spontaneous and crazy…in a GREAT way. After my career took off, we wound up working together (and often rooming together) at many festivals. We always seemed to meet up at airports in far-flung cities, on our way to dance events…so we’d have a cocktail together while waiting for our plane, it kind of became a "tradition". I’m not sure what airport this picture was taken at, and I’m thinking he probably just had a random stranger snap it, a few weeks before we were scheduled to work together in 2009…but this wound up being his Facebook profile picture for a while. I thought it was cute at the time and it still is, but now it’s also indicative of what a warm and funny person he was. –Princess Farhana
Ready for more?
12-12-99 AT LONG LAST-HERE IT IS! North Beach Memories!
Please join us as we travel back in time to the North Beach district of San Francisco between the years 1957 through 1985. We’ll read about a vibrant period of Middle Eastern Dance and Music Performance as presented in our interviews with musicians, dancers, and club owners who created this exciting history.
3-22-00 Wave #2 of North Beach Memories! They need re editing!
1-4-00 Latifa-The Rest of the San Francisco Dance Scene-(Powell St Station)
2-25-00 Bert Balladine– at long last Bert begins his story
2-25-00 George Elias– a tribute written by his daughter, Nadia Elias.
3-22-00 John Compton– Finnochios, Bal Anat, to Hahbi’ru
3-22-00 Abdullah Kdouh– well known musician interviewed by mail
12-16-08 Whose Dance is This, Anyway? Where Do Men Fit into the Belly Dance World?
As soon as he was born, dancers of all stripes immediately started in with "Oh, a new little drummer for the troupe!". Excuse me? Why is there an instant assumption from birth that all little boys will be drummers and all little girls will be dancers just like mommy.
—Added Feature! See our Gallery of Men in Middle Eastern Dance
Birth of Bal Anat and Other Adventures
belly dance will continue to evolve into things new and strange, limited only by dancers’ imaginations.
9-14-06 Territorialism Undermines Event Sponsor’s Efforts, Interview with Dee Dee Asad
Open discussions of such issues will help dancers, musicians and those people who surround and support them, to recognize similar patterns in their own local environments.
3-3-08 Academics and Belly Dance, Two Books Review
Belly Dance: Orientalism, Transnationalism & Harem Fantasy edited by Anthony Shay and Barbara Sellers-Young & Choreographic Politics: State Folk Dance Companies, Representation, and Power by Anthony Shay
3-15-05 Rakkasah From a Vendor’s
Ah, Rakkasah! For many years the highlight of my vending year! A wonderful idea that has gradually faded over time….
11-9-06 The Ethnic Dance Festival 2006 – Weekend One "Time" June 10, 2006
Palace of Fine Arts, San Fransico, CA
3-15-09 Tribute to Bert: Photos from the GS files
Bert’s memorial page, please add your comments, thank you.
12-13-00 DeAnn Adams of Light Rain dies after long illness.
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