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Who's Who in MDTC's Alhayat Raksa (Life Is a Dance)

In November 2023, MDTC "officially" marks the 20th anniversary of our first production (11-7, 8, & 9-2003). We celebrate that milestone with the premiere of a major new work: Alhayat Raksa (Life Is a Dance). It tells the story of an Arab woman, who, at the end of her life, seeks to resolve her conflicting emotions and resentments of having had to follow the traditional path for a woman of marriage and a family, instead of pursuing a career as a dancer.


The work, adapted from an original story idea by Trisha Cangiano, features a commissioned score of original Arabic music composed by Maurice Chedid. (Learn more about the music here.)


And now, meet the cast.







Samara Adell, MDTC's Artistic Director for Dance is the Choreographer. She plays the lead character of The Woman.






Morgiana Celeste Varricchio, MDTC's Producing Artistic Director and Founder is the production's Director. She plays the part of one of the Angels.







Nina Brewton has been with MDTC since the first production in 2003, She plays one of the Friends.








Kendra Dushac McCarthy has been dancing with MDTC since 2010. She plays the part of the Daughter.










Heather Panikkar began performing with MDTC in 2015. She plays the part of one of the Angels.










Kaitlin Hines-Vargas first started dancing with MDTC in 2018. She plays the part of one of the Friends.









Tashira Wadiya, makes her first appearance with MDTC as Special Guest Artist. She plays the part of the Mother.





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