The Gypsy Caravan is an eclectic troupe of tribal bellydancers and musicians. They are urban berbers, a contemporary family, performing a fusion style of tribal bellydance that reflects the ancient longing to celebrate community spirit.
The musicians play a combination of traditional and modern instruments. Percussive acoustic instruments-- the dumbek, davul, tar, and djembe--match the dancers’ vigorous hip movements. Melodies played on wind instruments--zurna, mizmar, arghul, and ney-- inspire the dancers’ sinuous stylings. Fusing other instruments, such as the violin and bouzouki, into the music contributes to an exhilarating and mesmerizing sound.
Intoxicating and powerful, dancers use improvisational instincts with the spontaneity of the moment sometimes using props -- fans, veils, swords, baskets, zils, tambourines--to demonstrate their skill and enrich the performance.
With the resurging interest in this dance style, the Gypsy Caravan have toured throughout the Pacific Northwest, around North America, Europe, and Australia from their home base in Portland, Oregon. Gypsy Caravan, and Jeff's side band, Mizna, have released nine CDs, the latest being Remarkably Remixed, along with an award-winning documentary film, Tribal Travels, and eight Tribal bellydance instructional DVDs. The director, Paulette Rees-Denis, has had her first book, Tribal Vision, published in June 2008, by Cultivator Press.