Dancers preview upcoming Night of Dance, ‘highlight unsung heroes’

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Dancers preview upcoming Night of Dance, ‘highlight unsung heroes’

The sophomore dancers perform fellow sophomore Sydney Banks' choreography. The dance was based off of Medusa, a mythical monster.

The sophomore dancers perform fellow sophomore Sydney Banks' choreography. The dance was based off of Medusa, a mythical monster. "Medusa's snakes literally kill with looks, so I based this dance off that," Banks said.

Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

The sophomore dancers perform fellow sophomore Sydney Banks' choreography. The dance was based off of Medusa, a mythical monster. "Medusa's snakes literally kill with looks, so I based this dance off that," Banks said.

Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

The sophomore dancers perform fellow sophomore Sydney Banks' choreography. The dance was based off of Medusa, a mythical monster. "Medusa's snakes literally kill with looks, so I based this dance off that," Banks said.

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Dancers clad in black clothing leaped and spun across the Dining Hall on Feb. 6 during community connections, previewing the upcoming annual dance show, which is titled “The Odyssey.”

This year’s Night of Dance received its name from the poem “The Odyssey,” written by Greek poet Homer. All of the choreography this year is based on Greek goddesses or Greek archetypes.

“We based it on the Greek goddesses because we wanted to highlight all of the stories that aren’t as popular in Greek mythology,” dance co-captain Siena Mills said. “Usually, [the stories] of women goddesses [are] not told, so we wanted to highlight our unsung heroes.”

The preview began with the ninth grade performing a dance based on Hestia, the goddess of the hearth and domesticity, followed by the middle school dance troupe performing choreography based on the movements of the female mythological creature, the Siren.

“I thought it was amazing; they all did such a good job and it was just so creative,” audience member Mikayla Weinhouse ’22 said. “I think it’s a really cool theme and it allows so many options to make new and interesting dances.”

All grades joined together in a dance inspired by Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Tenth-grade dancers then ended the preview with an up-tempo hip-hop dance based off Medusa. The only tenth-grade student choreographer in this year’s Night of Dance, Sydney Banks, created the dance.

“This being my first major choreography job, it was interesting to take a deep-dive into the choreography process, and I really tried to play with the theme of this Night of Dance and different formations,” she said. “Rather than making intricate choreography, I tried to just make it look aesthetically cool.”

Tove Jegeus, one of the sophomore dancers in Banks’ “Medusa” dance, said the annual Night of Dance helps her find an outlet for “creative expression.”

“I don’t really get to express myself as much as I want to when I’m at school, ” Jegeus said. “So when I’m in the dance show, it’s not only that I get to express myself — I also get to have so much fun with other people. It’s just a great time to bond.”

Mills, who collaborates alongside fellow senior co-dance captain Ruby Erlich, felt that this last year of Archer dance company is her “proudest.”

“I’m most proud of probably the progress that we’ve made this year. I feel we really pushed the boundaries,” said Mills. “The dancers have really enjoyed it and been proud to be a part of the show.”

The Night of Dance will be held in this upcoming month on Feb. 23 and Feb. 24 at the American Jewish University auditorium. Tickets for “The Odyssey” can be purchased here.

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