Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Who Was Enheduanna?

Four thousand years ago, where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers flowed, civilization was evolving, with the concept of the city -- Ur, to be specific. Temples were established to the many deities in the Sumerian pantheon. One woman, in particular, dared do what none had done before her -- she signed her name to the poems she wrote!  That woman was Enheduanna, a priestess/poet to the goddess Inanna, and her story is told in the eponymous work created by Samara, MDTC's Artistic Director for Dance (who choreographed) and singer/songwriter Gary Kupper (who directed).  Enheduanna (excerpted from Fo(u)r Women -- learn more), premiered in New Jersey in 2015, and makes its New York premiere on November 17, 2018.

To provide a little pre-show "extra credit", Dr. Phyllis "Phaedra" Saretta, Egyptologist and specialist in the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East, graciously shares some of her knowledge on this fascinating woman of the past.



Sunday, September 23, 2018

Now Hear This!

Using a language of movement, a dancer can speak volumes without uttering a single word. MDTC's cast members are masters of this non-verbal vocabulary.  We were lucky enough to catch them on a break, and found them far from silent.  Hear what this group of exceptional artists has to say about our upcoming 15th Anniversary production (and catch a few sneak previews in rehearsal!).

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Snapshots of Summer

Though the Company was in rehearsal during the summer, preparing for the fall, all work and no play -- you know the rest. Our hard-working dancers managed to take a little time off to enjoy the best the season has to offer, and share some moments of summer fun.
Samara in Spoleto
Artistic Director for Dance/Choreographer Samara: "Spoleto has a very artistic atmosphere. The home of the famous Spoleto festival. It is a mixture of ancient Roman Ruins and winding medieval stone streets and buildings. I loved Assisi, a very spiritual atmosphere. It reminded me of the feeling of the wailing wall in Israel. The painted panels on the walls are astounding. Many Many stories based on the life and times of Saint Francis." 
On feeding cats in Trevi:  "These cats really know how to work the neighborhood. Of course I wanted to take all of them home...If I only could!" 
Back home in NY:  "Spending time with my two nephews from France. They come every August
and every year we get to know each other a little better! I have watched more action movies this week then I ever have! Here we are spending a lovely time at Centerport Beach in Northern Long Island. "

Kendra in Cooperstown

 Dancer Kendra Dushac McCarthy visited the baseball capital of the world and Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. She watched her hubby, Matt pitch and coach his team in their 25th annual Harlem Shaskys vs. the Albany Shaskys baseball game at the Historic Doubleday Field.  Also pictured is the lovable, furry four-footed mascot Shasky Russell.  

Carlos in Castile

Mosaic guest artist Carlos Fittante: "This summer, after a long absence, I returned to Madrid, Spain. There I visited my extended family and enjoyed being in a Spanish speaking country, great food, Spanish dance lessons, viewing art, and a visit to the Escorial, a World Heritage Site (the palace, monastery, and royal mausoleum built between 1562-1584 by Spanish King Felipe II.)"  Upon returning to NYC, Carlos performed his choreography "Icarus," Saturday, August 18 at Dance at Socrates, Socrates Sculpture Park, NYC. ("Icarus" photo by Stephen Speliotis.)

Danielle in DC

Danielle Hartman, first-time guest dancer with Mosaic: "In July, I spent an exciting dance-filled weekend in Washington, DC. I was invited to dance at a sacred music concert, where I performed Sufi whirling for nearly an hour over the course of the event. Dancing to live
music always gives me the energy to keep going!
The next day there was more dancing at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, where my sister and I attended several Armenian folkdance workshops and enjoyed a beautiful day on the National Mall.  This official Smithsonian video shows a bit of what it was like:"

Bob on Board

 MDTC Tech Director Bob Greenwald: "While visiting family in upstate Maine this summer, my sisters arranged for us all to have combined lessons in yoga and standup paddleboard. Maybe this was my chance for a shortcut to the grace, flexibility and flair that the Mosaic dancers all seem to naturally have. Fortunately the pictures all show me during the times I was on top of the water and not under it."

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Mosaic Dances: Celebrating 15 Years of Mediterranean Magic

Mosaic Dances: 

Celebrating 15 Years of Mediterranean Magic

It doesn’t seem so long ago, that hot summer of 2003, when rehearsals were underway at Fazil’s for Mosaic: A Celebration of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Dance. Those three performances held in early November in Montclair, NJ as part of the 12 Miles West Theater Company’s Guest Artist Series were the genesis of what was to become Mosaic Dance Theater Company. The fifteen years since have been an exciting journey of artistic growth and discovery.  It’s time to celebrate, and we enthusiastically invite you to join us.

We have three performances to share with you some favorite pieces from MDTC’s repertory. We open on November 17 with one performance at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center (MMAC) in New York City, then we cross the Hudson for two performances on December 1 at the Doris M. Byrne Performing Arts Center at Mount St. Dominic Academy in Caldwell, NJ. We have a dynamite cast who can’t wait to delight you. Mosaic Company dancers Samara, Morgiana Celeste Varricchio, Nina Brewton, Kendra Dushac McCarthy. We welcome back guest artists Heather Panikkar, Carlos Fittante, and Allan McCormick, and welcome as new guest performers Danielle Hartman and Kaitlin Hines.

As opening night approaches, you’ll receive complete information on each of our engagements, as well as more in-depth information about the different works planned for the production.  But, for now, to whet your anticipation, here are three (the BIG three!) of the pieces in the program:

·      “Raks al-Sai’idi,” a joyous folkloric dance of Upper Egypt, and one of MDTC's signature dance works, featuring sagat (finger cymbals), assaya (cane), and balas (water jug);

“Enheduanna” an excerpt from “Fo(u)r Women,” a theatrical multi-media work celebrating the life of this first non-anonymous author of the ancient Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer;

  “La Lettera d’Isabella,” an original scenario for the commedia dell’arte, portrayed through movement and dance to an underscore of traditional Italian folk music.

Oh! What a time we’ll have.