About

Devi Mamak & Caravan Dance Company

Caravan Dance Company, formerly ‘Ghawazi Caravan’, is an innovative Modern Fusion Bellydance company founded in 2000 by one of Australia’s premier Modern Fusion Bellydance dancers and choreographers, Devi Mamak.

Caravan Dance Company bring unique flair, glamour and colour to any event: weddings, hen’s nights, corporate events and parties. Our dancers are experienced in events from full dance shows with live musicians to a sweet duet or a lively festival set. We also regularly perform at a variety of local and regional festivals and community events.

Devi and the award winning Caravan Dance Company are highly sought after for workshops and performances in their area: the Blue Mountains west of Sydney Australia, plus the greater Sydney region and they commonly travel further afield, nationally and internationally… pandemic aside!

What We Do

With a strong basis in Middle Eastern Dance, Modern Fusion Bellydance (often refered to as Tribal Bellydance) has stylistic influences from East India, North Africa, Flamenco and contemporary dance. It is a fusion of multicultural dances, greatly inspired by the traditional and folkloric styles of the East, presented in an excitingly theatrical manner with music, elaborate costume and artistic skill.

This style is a contemporary dance based on ancient traditions (some say the oldest dance!). Modern Fusion enjoys and plays with the gap between the music and movement of the Middle East and that of the western world.

American Tribal Style as created by the legendary FCBD® was created and developed – and exploded in popularity – due to the requirements of dancers to joyfully work together, dancing with cues, making up dance in the moment but presenting as one… the communication and connection between dancers being one of the most enjoyable aspects to watch and participate in!

Caravan Dance Company pay homage to the cultures they learn from and are inspired by, considerately incorporating them into their contemporary Australian experience.

Photo: Alma Sarhan

Our Dancers

Devi Mamak

Devi Mamak

Artistic director, founder, principal teacher, troupe member

Devi Mamak is founded and directs the award winning Ghawazi Caravan, based in the Blue Mountains in NSW since 2000 and is widely considered one of Australia’s premier American Tribal Style (ATS)® dancers, teachers and choreographers having trained many of the top dancers in the genre and has also studied a variety of Middle Eastern dance styles herself for well over a decade as well as Flamenco, Classical Indian & Ballet.

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April Erzetich

April Erzetich

Teacher and troupe member

April has been dancing since she was three when she started Jazz ballet. Jazz, classical, modern dance, splashes of hip hop, Workshops in African, Egyptian Baladi for many years, Turkish, Flamenco. I have also spent the last couple of years studying for several months at a time in India learning Odissi classical temple dance and Khalbelia gypsy dance for the local gypsy girls.

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Catherine O’Brien

Teacher and Troupe member

A lifelong dancer, Cath began at age 6 studying classical ballet, jazz and tap until her late teens when she turned to ballroom and Latin American. Cath is not ashamed to admit that she was the proverbial “disco dolly” in the late ’70’s/early ’80’s!

An original member of Ghawazi Caravan, she started ATS® in 2000. ‘I was completely taken with the beautiful structure, poise and elegance of the ATS® based Tribal Style of bellydance that Devi was teaching and I have remained her devoted student ever since.’

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Diane Vogt by Karen Kennedy

Diane Vogt

Teacher and Troupe member

Diane started American Tribal Style® belly dance classes with Devi Mamak in early 2004, and was one of the original dancers in Devi’s student troupe, Ghaziya. She has also completed Carolena Nericcio’s general skills certification in 2008, Devi’s Intensive teachers training in 2013, attended numerous workshops and goes to a local Ballet class weekly with Fiona James. Incorporating yoga and daily training into keeping in dance shape, Diane is keen to pass on her love of ATS®.

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Laura by Karen Kennedy

Laura Kelly

Troupe member

Laura was an original member of Devi’s girl’s troupe ‘Ghawazi Girls’ in 2005!

She had seen her first bellydancer at age 6 and soon after, started taking classes.

 

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Cristie Fuller

Cristie Fuller

Teacher and troupe member

Cristie Fuller has been a passionate American Tribal Style® dancer since 2002 under the tuition of Devi Mamak and is a member the professional troupe, Ghawazi Caravan. Cristie teaches ATS and Fusion at Amera’s Palace Marrickville on Monday nights and directs the troupe, ‘Oreades Tribal Bellydance’, a sister-student troupe of Ghawazi Caravan.

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Laura by Karen Kennedy

Sara Arrell

Troupe member

Sara has been dancing most of her life but only discovered belly dance as an adult, it was the tribal kind!

Drawn to the empowered and alternative style of tribal bellydance, she dove in with full enthusiasm and has been studying and performing for the last 10 years. She loves this dance form that celebrates all different sizes and shapes of women’s bodies and is so multifaceted. Not only learning new ways to move and hone technique, but also exercising her mind and creativity in a supportive and inspiring community.

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Rachelle Bryden

Rachelle Bryden

Troupe member

Rachelle is an original Ghawazi Caravan troupe member, performing and teaching around Australia and internationally. She began bellydancing in ’96 and has immersed herself in Tribal since 2000. ‘I love the strength and confidence that ATS® gives you. Having such a strong posture at all times gives me great confidence when performing. I especially love the fact that ATS® draws inspiration from flamenco. I feel proud and powerful.’

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Laura by Karen Kennedy

Natalie Harvey

Troupe member

Natalie has been studying Tribal bellydance since 2005, when she started with Madonna from DrumDance Bellydance in Toowoomba.
Since then she has taken her bellydance journey down the coast to NSW, dancing with Dee from Tribal Blossoms in Brisbane, Antonia and Zoe in Newcastle, Cristie and Oreades in Marrickville and finally with Devi and Ghawazi Caravan in the Blue Mountains.
American Tribal Style  has always been one of Natalie’s dance passions and in 2009 she completed her General Skills and Teacher Training with Carolina Nericcio and Megha Gavin…

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Caravan Dance Company’s focus has been FCBD®’s extrordinary impovisational style. Our dancers have also studied a variety of styles from various traditional Middle Eastern styles as well as Classical Indian and Rajhistani Folk, Classical Ballet, Tribal Fusion and other contemporary dance styles.

Collectively, all of the Caravan Dance Company dancers have a vast knowledge in dance and movement, which they bring into the troupe to enhance and enrich this diverse style.

Many members have been dancing for well over a decade with most having travelled to the U.S.A to learn from the masters of Tribal and Oriental belly dance including the creator of ATS®, Carolena Nericcio, artistic director of Fat Chance Belly Dance®.

Devi Mamak, artistic director of Caravan Dance Company, has completed Carolena Nericcio’s intensive Teacher Training course, which has lead to Ghawazi Caravan being a sister school to FCBD®. Devi has worked hard on creating new steps that fit in well with the FCBD® format. Many of these steps have been added to the FCBD® format.