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Beyond the Image: Dancing Orientalist Art to Life
First Congregational Church
Montclair, NJ
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Napoleon's Egyptian campaign in the final years of the 18th century drew the eyes of the world not only to his army's unsuccessful military exploits, but also to the successful discovery and cataloguing of the incredible artifacts uncovered by his other army -- archeologists, scholars, and engineers. Soon tourists flocked to North Africa, and with them, the artists -- hungry for new subjects and locales. The life and culture of this part of the world became popular themes among academic painters of first half of the 19th century. Likewise, the myths and legends of the classical world have served as a bottomless well of inspiration for artists of all genres and all times.
"Beyond the Image" explores examples of both Orientalist paintings and the themes found in classical Greece. We will re-imagine the moment in time captured on a particular canvas, or by the written word, and bring it to life through dance and spoken word. Our concert will feature new works with choreography by Samara Adell and Jehan Kamal. The program, will be presented in 2 performances, free of charge to the general public, at the First Congregational Church in Montclair, NJ. The production will include a pre-show lecture on Orientalist art given by Dr. Frederique Joseph-Lowery, and a post-show Q&A with the cast.

The concert will show our interpretations of life in the harem, a village marketplace in North Africa as inspired by these paintings. In addition, the concert includes an adaptation of "The Paradise of Children" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. This dance/story theater presentation of the story of Pandora's box is adapted and directed by Morgiana Celeste Varricchio.
Performing in the concert are Samara Adell, Morgiana Celeste Varricchio, Nina Brewton, Kaitlin Hines-Vargas, Danielle Hartman, Nabila Nazem, Lauren Laschuk, Andrea D'Arco, Rafael Domenech, with Special Guest Artist Jehan Kamal.

This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Essex County division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.


Mosaic Dance Theater Company (MDTC) is dedicated to the dance and folkloric traditions of the Mediterranean -- the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Spain -- creating dance, theater, and educational programs which celebrate the rich diversity of cultures of this region. The dances and music, the stories and myths, and the history and legends of this fascinating area form the wellspring of inspiration for MDTC's creative vision.
Founded in 2003 by Producing Artistic Director Morgiana Celeste Varricchio, MDTC evolved out of dance and theater productions originally developed by Ms. Varricchio which began touring in 1992 and are now a part of MDTC's repertory. Samara Adell, MDTC's Choreographer and Artistic Director for Dance, began her collaboration with Ms. Varricchio in 2000, and since the Company's inception, it has premiered its original dance works to critical acclaim. Touring nationally to performing arts venues, universities, schools and community organizations, MDTC is known for its artistry and authenticity, not only in creating the original works that comprise its repertory, but also in faithfully researching their origins to ensure cultural integrity.  The Company has been presented under the auspices of Lincoln Centers Meet The Artist Program, Young Audiences of New Jersey/Eastern Pennsylvania, Arts Horizons, and is on the roster of Arts-in-Education artists for Hartford Performs and Morris Arts.  MDTC is the recipient of the 2013 Sunshine Award for its contribution to the performing arts, recognized by NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) and the United Nations.
In a world engulfed by popular culture, MDTC embraces the historical treasures of the past, the ways of tradition, and the sensibilities of the present in its goal to celebrate the remarkable varieties and similarities of the Mediterranean cultures.  MDTC is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization based in Essex County, N.J.
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First Congregational Church (View)
40 S. Fullerton Ave.
Montclair, NJ 07042
United States


Arts > Dance

Minimum Age: 5
Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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