Odyssey dance show ‘completely different’ from past performances


Photo credit: Dominque Cadenas

Freshman Bess Frierson shines a flashlight onto freshman Joanne Zhang as she does the splits. The dance, which was a tribute to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” used spoken word with background music rather than a song.

The lights dim. On a screen, Greek goddesses like Aphrodite and Nike flash in the background as Archer dancers take to the stage.

From Feb. 21-23, students, parents and faculty gathered together at American Jewish University to watch this year’s dance show, titled “Odyssey.”

“Odyssey” focused on Greek goddesses, with each dance representing a different goddess.

The Archer dance company is comprised of students from every grade level. The show features both professional and student choreographers.

Senior Executive Board Captain Ruby Ehrlich, who has participated in dance since sixth grade, said that her final show was emotional.

“It was definitely a bittersweet moment [after] spending so many years in Archer’s dance program,” Ehrlich said. “It has truly shaped my experience at Archer.”

Ehrlich connected with the show this year because she felt that it highlighted and upheld Archer’s values.

“Because of the importance of dance for me at Archer and how impactful it has been in my overall experience, having a theme that is so heavily rooted in Archer’s values sort of heightened that experience,” Ehrlich said. ” [It] allowed for me to connect with the show on a way deeper level than I have on previous years.”

Dancer Angelica Gonzalez ’20 has been in the dance show for three years. Gonzalez said that she bonded with several middle school students this year and really enjoyed her experience.

“When they told us the theme, we were super excited because ‘Odyssey’ was something completely different than what we had done in the past,” Gonzalez said. “We all put a lot of work into it and I am [happy] with the final product.”

Photo credit: Dominque Cadenas Every year, the dance show concludes with a senior dance. This year, the dance represented the goddess Artemis, who is also a part of Archer’s logo.

To conclude the show, seniors choreographed a dance inspired by the goddess Artemis.

“We chose Artemis because as Archer’s goddess we wanted to embody her strength and magnitude through dance. There were several moments in the dance where we, as the dancers, get to connect with one another, and I think it’s through that connection and the choreography that we felt empowered,” senior dancer Ella Tollman said. “For many of us, this was our last time on a stage, and it was an incredible opportunity to lay our hearts out and give it everything we had. What a better way than to close this chapter of our lives than with Artemis herself?”