Devi Mamak is one of the most highly qualified American Tribal Style belly dance teachers in Australia, having nurtured many of the top ATS performers in the country. She has co-taught Carolena Nericcio's General Skills certificate, and several of her own steps have even become part of the ATS syllabus.
Her troupe, Ghawazi Caravan, is renowned for its crisp ensemble work and atmospheric choreography. Ghawazi Caravan was the first sister-studio of FatChance Bellydance in the Southern Hemisphere. While ATS is naturally their focus, they may also draw on Oriental, Flamenco and Contemporary dance as influences.
This promo clip gives some idea of the almost primal feel created by the troupe's mesmerising performances.
As a former flamenco dancer, I particularly appreciate Devi's approach to Fusion, giving equal respect to all the styles she fuses.
In this video, Devi dances a Fusion duet with Jrisi.
Interview with Blue Mountains belly dancer Devi Mamak
How did you get started with belly dancing?
I was unwell so started to see a naturopath. I wanted to try a dance class...didn't care what style. She was also a bellydance teacher so I did that!
What is your favourite belly dancing style and/or prop?
ATS and any style that goes well with any given piece of music. The music for me is the most important and then whatever that piece of music says to do
Who or what has had the greatest influence on your belly dance style?
Carolena Nericcio of Fat Chance Belly Dance, who created Tribal Style. Each move is so detailed and nuanced and a great challenge to learn. Also Jrisi Jusakos. I learn a lot from our collaborations - it pushes me out of my comfort zones.
What advice would you offer an aspiring belly dancer?
Work hard, dance like yourself , be open to other people ideas and only work with people that you like and can work with...have fun.