Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Deja Vu All Over Again!

The show, unfortunately, does not go on!

MDTC is just one of hundreds? thousands? of arts organizations worldwide that has had to cancel events during this scary time of COVID-19.  We take the responsibility of respecting our Mosaic team -- artists and crew alike -- and our audiences very seriously.  There was no other decision to make, and so our eagerly anticipated weekend of events, Linked by Tradition: Celebrating the Dance of India, Spain, and The Near East scheduled for March 20, 21 and 22 was necessarily cancelled. We hope to reschedule for the fall, and you'll be the first to know the new dates.

However, we at MDTC are a resilient bunch, and while we don't want to make light of this situation, we are not strangers to circumstances of this ilk. Here's a look back at these heartbreakers.

2003. Remember the big NYC blackout on August 14, 2003?  We do! Mosaic Dance Theater Company was a few months away from our first production, and appearing at the NY International Fringe Festival with Caravan to Cairo and Gypsy Tales. The Fringe schedules were all over the place to give artists equal opportunity at the prime times. We had a performance of each of our shows scheduled for two prime slots on..August 15!  Cancelled, but not rescheduled.  Fortunately, we had a few other performances left, so it wasn't a total wash out.

2006. Jumping ahead a few. years, MDTC was presenting The Fisherman and the Djinni and The King of The Ebony Isles in an off-off Broadway venue in NYC, with a 5-performance run over a two- week period. We were sharing the space, and the resident company had performances earlier in the day.  The venue had terrific "vibes" but a not-so-terrific technical aspect. Two shows per day were two much for the systems to handle, and consequently they overheated. One night we lost stage lights, and the next night we lost the sound.  But, we didn't lose heart.

2006 -- AGAIN!. A popular cafe in South Orange, NJ, called "The Dancing Goat"  was home to several gala benefit performances presented by MDTC. We invited two stand-up comics to be a part of the show as a change of pace (one of them had just been in the cast of the above-mentioned Fisherman production). As we were heading toward the Lincoln Tunnel with a van full of performers, guess what? The van breaks down! While AAA could tow us to NJ, there was no way we could make it in time.  Fortunately, we were able to reschedule in January 2007.

2010. Technically, we did not cancel performances, but we might just as well have! We were back in NYC, in early June. An unusual heat wave for this time of year, plus an HVAC system on the fritz, and the nightmare problem of "the part has to be ordered" saw dancers and audience alike soldiering on in the sweltering theater. The AC for our first performance was passable -- after that, we brought the realism of the Sahara to our production.

2012. The phone lines between Morgiana Celeste Varricchio (MDTC's Producing Artistic Director), Samara Adell (MDTC's Artistic Director for Dance) and Jehan Kamal (our co-producer for this event) were heating as we wondered "should we?" "shouldn't we?" We were listening to the pre-emptive closures, everyone awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Sandy,  When then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg closed the subways, we decided we should too.  Happily, we were able to reschedule in February 2013.  There was a snowstorm that day, but who cared!  

2015. A broken water pipe in February 2015 shut down University of Pittsburgh/Bradford, and most of the town of Bradford, PA. MDTC was scheduled to be the highlight of their International Heritage Festival. While there was no opportunity to reschedule in 2015, we were invited back in 2016, and a good time was had by all.

And that, as they say, is show biz!

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