On January 18th, Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov-Ohr Eliyahu held an innovative program for the girls to showcase to their families a variety of dance creations celebrating the Jewish experience through leaps and twirls. The school has always had an enriched arts department and focuses on giving students an array of experiences and leadership opportunities.
The show opened with Chopin’s Piano Etude No.21 and the After School Ballet team danced with ribbons and chasses. First graders welcomed the Shabbos Kallah with a dance set to the L’cha Dodi waltz. This was followed by 7th graders presenting Min Hametzar from Tehillim in Hallel. Their performance was an elegant rendition of our life journey through narrow places, challenges and struggles, as inspired by tango, the cha-cha, and the waltz.
Yiddish poetry composed by the famous Rabbi Yomtov Ehrlich, the composer of the well-known Yaakov, evoked the next dance which was a mystical presentation of Shabbos as it descends on all creatures and fields and mountains, which the 5th graders danced, alongside the image of a family preparing to light candles.
Other dances included a Sukkot dance with magical lulavim, a Simchas Torah dance with the world of Torah depicted, a tableau of the light and festive side of Purim including entertaining tricks, singing, kazoos, and a bump car dance. The Chanukah dance was presented by the Bas Mitzvah girls performing Israeli dance step combinations and the 8th Grade Girls told the story, “From slavery to freedom” in a dance that segued to celebration.
It is said that the land of Israel without Torah, is like a body without a soul, and the grand finale, choreographed and organized by 7th grade students, considered these words through an ancient Israeli dance called Dundai. A fitting finale for a program with dances that showed substance, grace, teamwork and beauty.
The choreographers and teachers gave the girls a wonderful experience, as well as helping to fit shoes, create costumes, secure bobby pins and sort kvetches, all while maintaining class schedules. Special thanks to Marty Fox who has directed the Music and Dance department for 20 years, to Mrs. Saks for creating costumes with the help of many students, to Rabbi Golbart for technical set up, to Morah Gigi for sewing the lulav costumes and to Mrs. Bukshpun-Zilberstein for fixing all the white kallah dresses.