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Music of Maurice Chedid

Music of Maurice Chedid

With choreography by Samara, Mosaic Dance Theater dances to the music of Maurice Chedid, in a concert of music and dance from the Near East.


July 12, 2017Music of Maurice Chedid

Posted by: Mosaic Dance Theater Company

We are thrilled that we are able to present our concert Mosaic Dance Theater & The Music of Maurice Chedid at no charge to the general public, and so are businesses in Bloomfield’s (NJ) downtown business district.  Morgiana Celeste Varricchio was spreading the good word at a recent Meet-and-Greet hosted by the Bloomfield Center Alliance (BCA).  Once again, Mosaic Dance Theater will be included in BCA’s fall “Dinner-and-a-Show” initiative.  Plans are in the incubation stage, but as soon as they are hatched, you will find out.  In the meanwhile, while our ticketing website does not open for reservations until October 1 here is the “official” flyer for the show with all the information.  Lots more details to come as we get closer to December.


June 18, 2017: Music of Maurice Chedid

Posted by: Mosaic Dance Theater Company

Banat el Emir Suite. Banat el Emir (The Emir’s Daughters) is an “Arabian nights” re-telling of the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses (but has two princesses only). The excerpt from this 90-minute work occurs near the end of the piece. All three characters are under enchantment by a vengeful sorceress– not only the two princesses, but also the servant girl who tries to rescue them. The choreography is based upon the action in the story as well as being guided by the beautiful, unusual waltz that this excerpt shows. Performers are Nina Brewton (left), Kendra Dushac McCarthy (right), Heather Panikkar (center).

June 18, 2017: Music of Maurice Chedid

Posted by: Mosaic Dance Theater Company

Addendum to Ma Bi excerpt:  The dancers left to right are: Kendra Dushac McCarthy, Heather Panikkar, Morgiana Celeste Varricchio, Nina Brewton, Samara in foreground.

June 18, 2017: Music of Maurice Chedid

Posted by: Mosaic Dance Theater Company

Nassim As Sahara.  This gorgeous rumba captures the mystique of an oriental-fantasy style of raks sharki.  The veil is an elegant extension of the dancers’ movements, and creates a rich landscape of imagery. The dancers are Kendra Dushac McCarthy (red) and Heather Panikkar (green).

June 18, 2017: Music of Maurice Chedid

Posted by: Mosaic Dance Theater Company

Mosaic Dance Theater Company brought a video camera into the studio to record a few clips of the dance pieces we have been rehearsing to date, all part of the December concert.  We have much to do, and this is a rehearsal, after all, but it’s always nice to get a preview every now and then of the exciting things we are looking forward to. There are three clips that we will post (this one, and two subsequent posts).

 Ma Bi excerpt.  This clip is in the middle section of the classical muwashashah, a few measures after the rhythm changes to 6/8. Just as the music follows classical structure, so too the dance has its own sensibilities to this musical genre.  The choreography uses classical movements of raks sharki (oriental dance), without heavy folklore.  This 6/8 section has intricate melodies and  the choreography follows this challenging music.

February 23, 2017: Music of Maurice Chedid

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Ahwaki.  While Ahwaki was originally slated to be part of the band’s music-only interlude, when Samara heard it she immediately decided it would be part of the dance section.  And, since there was no recording of it to use for rehearsal, it was added to our recording session.  This khaleegi piece, with its lively 2/4 rhythm, is a style of music and dance characteristic of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, and popular throughout the Middle East. 

February 23, 2017: Music of Maurice Chedid

Posted by: Mosaic Dance Theater Company

Ma Bi.  Maurice’s composition in the muwashshah style, features a poem in classical Arabic (quite different from the colloquial spoken language).  In this clip, you hear the end of the initial section of the piece in the 10/8 samai rhythm and the beginning of the middle 6/8 section.  (Following the 6/8 section, Ma Bi returns to and concludes with the 10/8 samai.) 

February 23, 2017: Music of Maurice Chedid

Posted by: Mosaic Dance Theater Company

Our recording session happened as planned on February 5, to create a dance rehearsal recording for Maurice’s new muwashshah composition.  Master recording engineer Richie Romaniello captured the dynamic sounds that afternoon, and, as the “mixmaster” that he is, produced a fabulous final version. 

Two addition posts will follow with clips from our new recording. 

February 4, 2017: Music of Maurice Chedid

Posted by: Mosaic Dance Theater Company

We are on our way! Last Saturday, January 28, 2017, we had a very exciting “unveiling” of Maurice’s new muwashah composition. Musicians and MDTC directors were on hand for a rehearsal of “Ma Bi,” the piece’s title.  Maurice and Ramy Nasser (keyboard) had worked out the arrangements at a previous rehearsal, so the addition of our two percussionists Rami El Aasser (tabla) and April Centrone (riq) was a seamless operation.  The “official” rehearsal recording will be done tomorrow, February 5. We’re happy to give you a short clip of the rehearsal.  Please note that Ramy N. did not have any amplification on the keyboard for this rehearsal. We’ll have many more details to share in the months ahead. 

January 28, 2017: Music of Maurice Chedid

Posted by: Mosaic Dance Theater Company

Last-minute notice!  Percussionist April Centrone invites you to a great concert this Saturday night at Mana Contemporary Arts Museum, 888 Newark Ave in Jersey City.  An incredible Syrian singer, Lubana Al Quntar, is coming up from DC for this special performance, all female trio Arabic ensemble.  She was a famous Arabic / opera singer back when she lived in Syria, before she was forced to flee.  The concert is donation-based, so paying entrance is optional.  All donations go toward heating a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon.  April will be playing oud and percussion, Eylem Basaldi on violin. 

Here is the info!  https://www.facebook.com/events/1855815604637633/

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Oud virtuoso/singer Maurice Chedid and the directors of Mosaic Dance Theater Company (MDTC), Samara Adell and Morgiana Celeste Varricchio, have a long history of collaboration together as individuals, and also under the auspices of the Company.

Samara and Maurice began their association as featured artists in the thriving Arabic nightclub scene of the 1980s-90s. Their personal collaboration as dancer and musician has continued, and in 2008, Samara produced a CD, Ya Samara, of new music composed by Maurice, which she commissioned specially for this album.

Morgiana Celeste began her collaborations with Maurice with her solo performance of Ali Baba and The Forty Thieves, which toured for Lincoln Center during 1996-97, and subsequently toured to schools in the New York metropolitan area for 10 years. In 2000, Morgiana and Maurice collaborated as storyteller and composer respectively, to create Banat el Emir or The Dancing Princesses. Samara was part of the creative team as choreographer, and all three performed in the off-off Broadway production which featured an on-stage 4-piece Arabic band, playing the score.

We celebrate these fruitful artistic associations by featuring the music of Maurice Chedid in our major New Jersey concert of Middle Eastern dance and music for Fall of 2017. The concert, with choreography by Samara (MDTC’s Artistic Director of Dance), will be performed at Westminster Arts Center at Bloomfield College (dates TBA), with 5 dancers, Maurice, and 3 additional Arabic musicians. A NYC engagement is planned for March 2018 (dates TBA).

The concert highlight will be the double premiere MDTC’s new dance work set to Maurice’s new composition in the classical muwashshah genre accompanied by a live musical performance. In addition, the on-stage music ensemble will provide the other dance pieces with enhanced accompaniment to pre-recorded CD tracks, and the musicians will be featured in live musical interludes of Maurice’s songs and instrumental pieces. The CD tracks for the dance pieces will be excerpts from the Banat El Emir score and from the Ya Samara CD, offering the audience a diverse program of Middle Eastern dance styles through Maurice’s compositions: Lebanese dabke, Egyptian sai’idi, baladi, raks sharqi, as well as the classical muwashshah. Maurice will accompany Samara in a live taksim (improvisation) for oud and dancer. He will also provide live accompaniment for Morgiana as she tells the folktale of Mohammed the Muallim. ensemble.

Samara’s dance works have been described as “virtuosic” by renowned dance critic Robert Johnson. Having worked as a star performer with top Arabic musicians in 5-star venues in the Middle East, she is versed not only in the varied folkloric dance styles and character details of the region, but also in the nuances and emotion, which bring the soul of the people to the dance.

The energy created by live music accompanying Middle Eastern dance is palpable, and everyone benefits – dancers, musicians, and not least, the audience. A theatrical concert of Middle Eastern music and dance allows the public to relish what they are already familiar with or to discover these two exciting artistic disciplines.

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2 responses to “Music of Maurice Chedid”

  1. Mosaic Dance Theater is honored to be included in such illustrious company. We are all thrilled to have the support of New Music USA to be able to begin work on this important project for us. Now the fun (and the hard work!) begins.

  2. Mitchell Sohacht says:

    Hello All,

    Does anyone know when tickets become available for: MUSIC OF MAURICE CHEDID ?

    Thank you very much.

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Project Details

Start and End Date

12/02/2017 - 03/31/2018


Bloomfield, New Jersey

Updates (10 RECENT)

Last Updated July 12, 2017

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Mosaic Dance Theater Company

Glen Ridge, New Jersey

About Mosaic Mosaic Dance Theater Company (MDTC), based in Essex County, NJ, is dedicated to performing the dances and folklore of the Mediterranean region — North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Spain. The dances and music, the stories and myths, and the history and legends of this fascinating area of the world...


Maurice Chedid

Role: Composer/lyricist/singer/musical director

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