Wow, thanks Ms Zuza! Great new issue of this fabulous new magazine!
I highly recommend this magazine to all you dancers out there! Check it out…
and many thanks to Ms. Lancette for taking the time to write a lovey review of my book–Tribal Vision!
Spring 2011…….BOOK REVIEW: Tribal Vision: A Celebration of Life Through Tribal Belly Dance by Paulette Rees-Denis
I’ll admit that the first three or four times I picked this book up I did nothing but look at the photos. Even though I own The Tribal Bible–which is a pictorial buffet itself–the numerous gorgeous pictures in Tribal Vision were so fantastic that I had trouble reading the text. Every dancer I saw seemed clothed in layer upon layer of earthy, textured finery. While the Internet abounds with photographs of dancers, printed copies are rare. And color! They’re in color! Even the ones in black and white were so lush and inspiring that I picked my jaw up off the floor, grabbed for my sketch pad, and started drawing new costume and makeup ideas.
Once I was able to calm my visual center down enough to actually read the book, I was absolutely hooked. It was my first in-depth introduction to Paulette, as I come from a FatChance American Tribal Style (ATS) background. I knew nothing about her, and very little about Gypsy Caravan (her troupe) other than that it was another form of improvisational dance.
The book begins with Paulette’s background, and then spreads out into many other aspects of the dance, including the history of ATS, costumes, performing, music, and teaching. Rather than serving as a how-to book, this text is more a moving, growing memoir infused with useful information for anyone interested in group improvisational dance. Alongside Paulette’s words are snippets from her current and former students and troupemates. I found myself drawn into this sisterhood, feeling a connection to them even though our vocabularies are different, and wishing desperately that I could move to Portland to be a part of it all. The section on trance dancing was especially interesting. The link between movement and spirituality is undeniable, but I have always felt a personal resistance to it, not wanting to get too “hippie” with my dance. Paulette tempts me to give this a second thought, and to open myself to follow whatever path my dancing leads me to find.
I was also delighted to read about Paulette’s experiences as a teacher. This sort of firsthand account is, again, difficult to find. It was inspiring, to say the least, and made me appreciate the teachers I had worked with all the more.
Tribal Vision is a wonderful book. For improvisational dancers, it provides a history as well as inspiration for the future. For non-improv dancers, it’s an interesting glimpse into the sisterhood. And did I mention the photos?
You can purchase Tribal Vision via Amazon.com, or through Gypsy Caravan’s website at www.gypsycaravan.us