September 15, 2006

C.U. Swashbucklers Gather at 'Pirate Night'

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Ahoy, matey! Last night a crew of swashbuckling students dressed as pirates swaggered late night around campus. Their destination? Not to a ship set to sail the seven seas, but to the Johnson Museum of Art.
The occasion was “Pirate Night,” hosted by the Museum Club. Entering the museum, students were greeted by scantily clad belly dancers balancing swords atop their heads and jugglers tossing brightly colored objects into the air. Before them was a night of revelry, filled with a treasure hunt, customized eye patches, dancing, music, a little pirate humor and, of course, art.

Many student groups participated in the night’s activities, beginning with Cornell’s Teszia Belly Dancing Troupe. They shook and shimmied in a blur of fringe, bead, sequin and sword, with both choreographed and improvised moves. Emily Rejouis ’08, the troupe’s president, revealed the secret of their success. “We have 16 girls in the troupe, and we practice two to three times a week, mixing all types of dance from Egyptian to Cabaret to Turkish.”

The Cornell Juggling Club also entertained, as did Cornell comedy group Humor Us! Henry Wald ’09 tickled some beards with a little pirate humor.

“Monica Lewinsky,” he joked, “would make the best pirate. Give her one cannon, and she blows everyone away.”

The main focus of the event, “Dangerous Waters: Three Solo Shows,” enticed its viewers to go on “imaginary journeys to far off places” with nautical-inspired paintings, paper cut-outs and collages by artists Don Doe, Dylan Graham and Sally Smart.

Museum Club President Kristin Schiller ’07 said the club chose to sponsor “Pirate Night” to promote student awareness of the museum’s Dangerous Waters exhibit, as well as National Talk-Like-A-Pirate-Day next Tuesday.

“Many students don’t utilize the museum, which is such a great resource right on campus. It truly has something for everyone, not just art history majors,” she said. The club hosts evening performances about twice a semester, which focus on upcoming museum exhibits.

Several eye-patched explained why they decided to attend “Pirate Night.” John Schemitsch ’09 said “demand for eye-patches” brought him to the Johnson.
Ben Mauk ’07, said he attended because, “I think it’s a great way to bring together two great genre’s — pirates and art — it’s like…yaaaarrrrrt.”