“Folklore and Fantasy” Performance Brings Near East Dance, Music and Myth to Life at Luna Stage on September 9

JSDD’s Wellness, Arts, Enrichment (WAE) Center launches the 7th season of its Global Beat Series with “Folklore and Fantasy,” a performance of dance, music and myth from the Near East by Mosaic Dance Theater Company (MDTC). The production is scheduled for 3 PM on Sunday, September 9, at Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ 07052.

In addition to favorites from MDTC’s diverse repertory, the Company will premier The Paradise of Children by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a dance/theater presentation of the story of Pandora’s Box, adapted and directed by Morgiana Celeste Varricchio and choreographed by Samara Adell. Also premiering is an awalim-style dance from Mohammed Ali Street in Cairo, with on-stage musical accompaniment by popular Arabic musicians from the NY/NJ metropolitan area.

The WAE Center and MDTC, along with Luna Stage, have joined forces in a special collaboration representing the diversity that each of the organizations incorporates into its mission. Mosaic directors Morgiana Celeste Varricchio and Samara Adell are currently teaching workshops in Middle Eastern dance to students of the WAE Center, who will perform a short choreography during the concert.

“Folklore and Fantasy” will be presented free of charge to the general public. Seating is limited, so reservations are required. Contact 973-272-7152, janand@ jsddmetrowest.org for reservations or special needs requests (two-week advance notice for ASL requests). For additional information, visit www.MosaicDanceTheaterCo.org or www.WAECenter.org.

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.

About JSDD’s WAE Center

Located in West Orange, NJ, The WAE Center is an expressive arts learning center for people with disabilities. Operating as a program of Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled of Metrowest, Inc. (JSDD}, the WAE Center offers artistic, wellness and enrichment opportunities to people of varying abilities in an atmosphere that supports and inspires creativity and fosters unconditional acceptance and respect between participants and facilitators. A dynamic staff of facilitators includes visual artists, photographers, writers, yoga and meditation practitioners, dieticians, musicians and actors who bring their passions to the process of learning. Humanistic principles are used to guide members in building a greater capacity for a full and rich life, regardless of starting point.


About Mosaic Dance Theater Company

Mosaic Dance Theater Company (MDTC}, a non-profit, public benefit corporation based in Glen Ridge, NJ, is a professional touring company dedicated to the dance and folklore of the Mediterranean region, with a particular focus on dance from the Near East. The Company was founded in 2003 by Morgiana Celeste Varricchio, MDTC’s Producing Artistic Director.

Celebrating the cultural and folkloric traditions of the Mediterranean region, the company evolved out of the dance and theater productions originally developed by Ms. Varricchio for New York Performing Artist Company, which began touring in 1992. These productions have been presented in schools, universities, and at such venues as Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Museum, Paper Mill Playhouse, the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, the Nashville Institute for the Arts, and the NY International Fringe Festival, and are now a part of MDTC’s repertory. Samara, MDTC’s Choreographer and Artistic Director for Dance, began her collaboration with Ms. Varricchio in 2000, and since MDTC’s inception, the company has premiered many original dance works to high praise, and tours them nationally to performing arts venues, universities and schools. MDTC is currently on the artist roster for Lincoln Center’s Meet the Artist series and for Young Audiences of NJ and Eastern PA.


About Luna Stage

Luna Stage is a professional theatre company, founded in 1992 by Jane Mandel, Artistic Director. After 18 years in Montclair, NJ. Luna Stage moved to 555 Valley Road, West Orange in the fall of 2010 and will soon begin its third season there as a proud member of The Valley Arts District.

Besides a deep commitment to producing thought-provoking new and classic plays, part of Luna’ s mission is to collaborate with artists of multiple disciplines and partner with the community “to illuminate the diverse perspectives of our society.”

Luna Stage has always believed strongly in the power of the arts to bring vitality and enrichment to communities and is very proud and excited to be part of this special collaboration with JSDD’s WAE Center and The Mosaic Dance Theater Company.


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JSDD is dedicated to supporting a full quality of life in both the residential component and a holistic learning program known as the WAE Center for individuals with developmental disabilities.

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