The Third Arm
Walk into the darkened room
there is a presence
unseen fleeting
3rd arm reaching
silent secret
like a man, blind, through the room
feeling corners, and wall and doors
sharp edges
underneath the surface, pulsing gentle rhythm,
beating wings upon the window
asking, pleading
to be let in, and be nurtured,
roles reversed and places traded,
fluid yielding window open,
heart and mind

Jodi Gilbert, a Californian based in Amsterdam, is known as a dancer, singer, actress, and teacher of performance skills in the USA and Europe. She began dance training at the age of four and studied classical ballet. modern, and folk dance in California and in New York City. She received a BA in Renaisssance Theater from UC Berkeley in 1973, and was in the graduate program for dance and choreography at UCLA from 1976-77. In New York City she studied at the Alvin Ailey School, primarily with Joyce Trisler and Milton Meyers, and ballet with Lawrence Rhodes and Ernest Pagnano. She studied and performed Commedia dell’Arte with Carlo Mazzone-Clementi, formerly of the Piccolo Theater of Milan, and voice in NYC with John Devers, Jeannette Lovetri, and in Holland with Ronald Klekamp. She has received several grants to study theatrical forms and music (Wayang Kulit and Gender) in Bali and was sent to Mongolia by the Dutch government to work and perform with Mongolian musicians and singers. 

Photo: Martina Novak

As a performer singer/actor/dancer she works or has worked with, among others, Meredith Monk (Quarry, Carnegie Hall 20 year retrospective, Indra’s Net ) , Elizabeth Swados (Nightclub Cantata), Dell’Arte Players Company (The Bacchae), Orkater (Ballast), Het Nationale Toneel (Bourgeois Gentilhomme), Feri de Geus (You’ve got a Watch, I’ve got the Time), and with Jenn Ben Yakov (solo show, Living in a Dream, GolemsOne Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor) As a vocalist in Europe she worked  with Paul Termos 10-tet, Roscoe Mitchell, Misha Mengelberg and ICP Orchestra (opera Behang), Michael Moore, Available Jelly, Maude Sauer, Han Buhrs and the Schismatics. She sings with Fearless Rose, a female  acapella global music ensemble  under the auspices of Musicians without Borders, and ALL ELLINGTON, under the direction of Eric Boeren. Her own formations have been The Voice Is The Matter (with Michael Moore) , Rasp/Hasp (with Wilbert de Joode, Anne LaBerge, Paul Lovens, Richard Barrett) SPOON 3  (with Albert van Veenendaal,  Meinrad Kneer) SPOON 3+(Albert van Veenendaal, Meinrad Kneer,  Robert van Heumen) , and Rara Avis Trio  with Tineke de Jong and Albert van Veenendaal. The newly formed, improvising vocal choir August 38, under the auspices of Laura Polence, was formed in 2020. Jodi appeared in the opera, The Bird of the Inner Eye, libretto by Joan Schirle, and music by Gina Leishman, in August 2021.

She has performed in such international music festivals as a Rive de Gier Jazz (F), MIMIFestival (F), JazzhausfestivalKöln(D), Moore and More Festival Bremen (D), Groningen Jazzmarathon, Jazzfietstour, Bimhuis Greatest Hits festivals, Ulrichsberg Kaleidophon (A), NYC Jazz Festival (Knitting Factory), du Maurier Jazz Festival (Toronto and Vancouver, Canada), Time Flies Festival, Vancouver, and Holland Festival. She participated in the project “Freedom to Move” under the auspices of November Music 2022 and appeared in Meredith Monk’s Holland Festival of Indra’s Net 2023.

As a theater/music/movement teacher she has been on the faculty of the Amsterdamse Hoge School v.d. Kunst (Academy of Theater and Dance) (departments of Modern Theater Dance (MTD), National Ballet Academy(HBO and Vooropleiding and the newly- formed Expanded Contemporary Dance (ECD) and Crea. (1990-2018) She has taught at the Palo Alto Children’s Theater, Dell’Arte School of Physical Theater (US) in their USA and Bali programs. In Denmark she has taught at the Ärhus Theater Akademi (DK), Tidens Theater (DK), and as an artist-in-residence at Indiana University (US). She was a regular workshop leader in Buitenkunst 1990-2007, NL. She has worked as a vocal/drama consultant for Scapino Ballet (Itzik Galilli, Ed Wubbe), Krisztina de Châtel, Studium Chorale, the Music Conservatory in Amsterdam, Maastricht Conservatory, and MEMO Cultuur voor Kleintjes.

She teaches privately sponsored workshops in voice, dance, theater, improvisation, and Balkan song throughout Europe and the USA. She completed Level I, II, III of Somatic Voicework™ the Lovetri Method in 2021. and has an ongoing private and group voice practice.

Wrinkle in Time