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New York Performing Artist Company presents:

 Jenna, Andrea and Morgiana Celeste


Featuring nine Middle Eastern dancers, plus an on-stage band of three master Arabic percussionists, Mosaic boasts as its star performer and choreographer the renowned Samara. Based in New York City, Samara is one of today's finest, and most sought-after, international performers of Middle Eastern dance.   A protégé of the late master Ibrahim Farrah, she was a featured performer with his Near East Dance Group and performed internationally, as well as at this country’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and the Spoleto Festival.  As the world grows smaller, our knowledge of international cultures grows larger. With its vivid choreography, sumptuous costumes, and remarkable performers Mosaic offers a unique window on the world of international dance, and is a perfect addition to a season of diverse, audience-pleasing presentations.
To see more photographs from Mosaic, click here.


more information about Samara Samara began dancing professionally in her teens, and has become one of the most celebrated and sought after Arabic dancers of today. A protégé of the late master Ibrahim Farrah, she performed with his internationally acclaimed Near East Dance Group at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, New York’s Town Hall, and the Spoleto Festival. In addition, she has performed with some of the most famous singing stars of the Middle East. Samara was a 1998 inductee into the American Academy of Middle Eastern Dance Hall of Fame. She is engaged regularly as a soloist in Middle Eastern nightclubs and special events in New York City and throughout the US, and is a popular seminar leader, conducting dance workshops across the US and abroad. As special guest artist, she has performed in Mexico, the Caribbean, Paris, London, China, West Africa, Jordan, Greece, Turkey, Russia, and throughout the Middle East. Recent choreographic credits include the New York world premier of Banet el Emir or The Dancing Princes, in which she also performed, and Caravan to Cairo, critically acclaimed in its presentation at the NY International Fringe Festival, which tours to schools as part of arts-in education programming.

Morgiana Celeste

more information about Morgiana CelesteMorgiana Celeste, in her dual identity as Middle eastern dancer and classically trained actress, has performed internationally, in New York, and at regional and stock theaters throughout the US, in roles of all types of theater ranging from classical drama to musical comedy. She has worked as production assistant for several Broadway productions and as artistic consultant for film star Anthony Quinn. As a storyteller, she tours her one-person show of classical mythology, Ovid's Metmorphoses, and has taken it to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. Her acclaimed story theater presentation of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves has been presented by Lincoln Center Institute in New York City, other major art institutes in the US, and is currently presented by Arts Horizon for school tours throughout the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area. A long time student of Samara's, Morgiana dances at clubs and special events in the NY/NJ/PA area. Her dance background also includes training in Polynesian, tap and jazz. Additionally she has studied mime and the Laban movement style. She has trained extensively in the Shotokan style of karate with Master Sensei Masataka Mori. 


more information about AndreaAndrea's unique interpretation of Middle Eastern dance, grounded strongly in the Arabic, Turkish and North African traditions, and has been seen stateside at cabarets, clubs and cultural events in New York City, Boston, Providence, and Buffalo, and internationally in Germany, Sweden and Puerto Rico. Andrea’s choreography, into which she infuses her studies of butoh, flamenco, ballet, yoga and Odissi classical Indian dance, has most recently been presented at New York's Town Hall, New York's Gene Frankel Theatre, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, buffalo's Flickinger Theater, and Buffalo's Pfeiffer Theatre. She has taught weekly dance classes since 1993, and has performed Middle Eastern dance as a soloist and company member with Elena Lentini's Caravanserai, Anahid Sofian & Dancers, Jehan Kamal’s Ballet Exotiqa, SaZ Dance Theatre, Judy Myers' Davka!, Ghassan Fadlallah, the Yousry Sharif Dance Ensemble, and Gamila el Masri's Benat Nessma. Andrea has been making dance related films and videos since 1987. Her films have been screened in New York at Anthology Films Archives, Millennium, P.S. 122, and Film Video Arts, and in France at the Grand Prix International Video Danse. Andrea holds a BA in Studio Art and Art History from Georgetown University and an MA in Painting from New York University.


more information about Rayhana Rayhana began studying Middle Eastern dance at the age of 19 at Serena Studios, and with others such as Ibrahim Farrah, Elena Lentini, Shoshana, and Samara.  Rayhana has been a member of Serena's Dance Theater Company, Shoshana's Dance Theater Company, Morocco & the Casbah Experience, United World Artists, Egyptian American folkloric Group, along with Troupe Fantazaya, the Benat Nessma Dance Company, and Jehan's Goddessdance. Rayhana has danced at such prestigious establishments as Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park, Brooklyn College, Queens Theater in the Park, Hawaiian Jazz Blowout, United Nations Theater, Caesar's in Atlantic City, Ibis Supper Club. Internationally, Rayhana performs for the month of October at LeCarboneria in Sevilla, Spain. She has also entertained celebrities such as the late Gregory Hines here in New York as well as Fox 5 celebrities at Warner Brothers Studios in California. She was also the opening act for Alabina in New York, Rapper JC Jockey and Barbara Eden at the Waldorf Astoria. 


Adriana has been involved in the Middle Eastern dance world for over 20 years as both teacher and performer, studying under Mish Mish B'int Amira and Samara. Adriana was a featured member of L'Orient Danse Troupe and has performed in a variety of venues with the troupe and on her own including carnivals, festivals, theatres, restaurants and television in the United States and the Caribbean. Adriana is also a student and performer of Hawaiian dance. She holds a Bachelors Degree from Hunter College and a Masters from Columbia University.   


Nina has an extensive background in dance, studying tap, Korean folkdance and Tae Kwan Do from childhood. She was awarded a two-year full time dance scholarship from Clark Center for Performing Arts where she trained intensively in Ballet, Jazz, Modern and Dunham (African) dance. She also studied acting and performed in Equity musical stage productions such as the King and I and appeared in several videos. Additionally, she has studied Polynesian dance for many years, touring professionally with three companies to Atlantic City casinos, museums and colleges as well as at corporate functions for PepsiCo, Colgate Palmolive, Bristol Meyers and People Magazine. Nina continues her studies in Hawaiian dance and recently participated in master classes in Hawaii. Nina studies Middle Eastern dance with Samara, and has performed at special events, in theatrical productions and Middle Eastern restaurants in the New York area. 


Angel began his dance training in tap dance, and has also training professionally in many styles of Latin dance, and ultimately specializing in sala. A native of Puerto Rico who now resides in New York, Angel has traveled extensively throughout the US and Europe to perform and conduct workshops in salsa. Additionally, his background includes a musical career as lead singer, songwriter and bass player. After falling in love with the passion of Middle Eastern and North African music Angel has expanded his focus to include studying the various traditional dances of those cultures. He also performs at area Middle Eastern special events and restaurants. 

Amir Naoum Chehade

Amir Naoum Chehade has grown up with a doumbek in his hands. Coming from a musical family influenced his decision to become a professional drummer. He attended the Studio al-Fin (The Art Studio), a famous music conservatory in Beirut, Lebanon. Since coming to the United States more than twenty-five years ago, Amir has performed for Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Jewish, Armenian and of course, American audiences. He has performed throughout the United States and Canada. Amir has performed extensively in New York City, including all the major middle Eastern nightclubs, the United Nations, Carnegie Hall, town Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Merkin Concert hall. Amir's drumming has also been featured on radio, TV, films and numerous recordings. amir is a master teacher who has been teaching percussion for twenty-five years in studios in New York and New Jersey. Many of his students have gone on to become professional drummers. He is proficient not only with the doumbek, but also with the tambourine, muzhar and bendir. Amir is a highly acclaimed artist who puts his heart and soul into his music. 

Maurice Chedid

Maurice Chedid, a native of Beirut,Lebanon, studied at the Lebanese Conservatory of Middle eastern Music, where he received a Diploma in the traditional Mouashahat, Oud Playing and Folk Singing. As a member of the Lebanese Folkloric Tiuristic Group, he toured internationally for four years as lead singer and oud player with the ensemble, and was a popular entertainer in nightclubs throughout Lebanon, where he also composed and recorded over twenty songs and dance compositions. Emigrating to the United States in the 1980's, he is a favorite and frequent performer at Middle Eastern nightclubs and at Arabic Haflas up and down the eastern seaboard. He has also performed at such important venues as Lincoln Center, Paper Mill Playhouse, Clark Art Institute, Nashville Institute for the Arts, Philadelphia Arts Institute, Northeastern University. For New York Performing Artist Company, he is a company member of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and was composer and musical director of the original score foe its story-theater production of Banat el Emir or The Dancing Princesses, which had its world premiere at the Greenwich Street Theatre in New York City. 

Ira Weitz

Ira Weitz plays the Egyptian Bass Drum known as the dahola. He can be heard playing for Middle Eastern dancers weekly at several nightspots in New York City, including L'Orange Bleue and Cafe Figaro. Ira came to Middle eastern rhythms from the Jamaican world of Reggae Music. With award-winning Jamaican musician Willie Lindo, Ira has created a CD of educational children's reggae music, Push for Your Goal, broadcast on children's radio shows and numerous reggae-style radio and TV commercials. Ira's non-musical background includes positions as writers at Marvel Comics and Cracked Magazine, as well as Guidance Counselor and teacher for the New York City public schools. He is currently creating a CD and book for children concerning  animal rescue. 

New York Performing Artist Company
 Glen Ridge, New Jersey

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