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Search Results for: orchesis

Dec

10

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There are so many performances on campus in the lead-up to finals that it can be hard to keep track of them all. Bwog is here to give you hand; we sent Bwogger Aliya Schneider to photograph (and eventually review) Orchesis’ semesterly show, because chances are you have at least one friend in it who will want to talk to you about it.

I love Orchesis’ presence on campus. They make an obvious effort to include anyone who wants to be a part of their community. They accept everyone who auditions, so the show consists of dancers from a range of experiences, yet every dance was impressive and interesting. Due to the inclusive nature of the club, some of the dances were huge, so you may expect them to drag on and look like a jumbled mess. But they didn’t. It worked. It worked really well.

Orchesis’ semesterly shows are always spins off of the word “Orchesis”. In the past they’ve done “Work Work Work Work Workesis” and “1, 2, 3, Fourchesis.” This year, the theme was “Love is an Open Door-hesis”. Some may roll their eyes at how hard the group tries to make puns with the name, but I find it endearing. The theme is picked after the pieces for the show are chosen, so the pieces don’t necessarily match the theme. To tie in the theme, dancers volunteer to stage interludes throughout the show. So in between serious dances with professional-looking costumes, dancers came on stage wearing t shirts and even a onesie, dancing to Frozen songs. Some interludes were impressively choreographed, others a bit messy. They were all fun. Some of the dancers seemed to take the interludes seriously, while others took it more as a joke. The interludes clash with the professional nature of the rest of the show, but it still works. It’s a tradition, and keeps things light. The dancers clearly have fun with them, which makes them interesting to watch.

See photos and find out more about the show!

Apr

7

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Pretty

Last night in the Roone Auditorium, Orchesis performed Work Work Work Work Worchesis, a performance that lead to an “incredibly diverse and enjoyable night of art.” Bwogger Asya Sagnak reviews the performance, which will take place again tonight at 9 pm in the Roone Auditorium. 

When I first found out about Orchesis being the largest performing arts group at Columbia, I made two big assumptions about its semesterly performance. Firstly, I expected to see an overarching spirit of inclusivity and joy. Secondly, I expected to see the – though very understandable – chaos and disorganization that usually seems to accompany student led showcases with a huge number of performers.

I was right in one assumption only – the former. Featuring over 120 dancers from different backgrounds and levels of experience, a committed executive team, and a mission to cast everyone who auditions, Orchesis is a testament to the unity of dance. Titled Work Work Work Work Worchesispunny titles seem to be a tradition for the group – last night’s performance proved that inclusivity does not have to sacrifice quality, and can lead to an incredibly diverse and enjoyable night of art.

More on the performance after the jump

Dec

2

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The show was great, but the name….

Tonight marks the second and final show for dance group Orchesis’s semester performance, 1, 2, 3, Fourchesis. Bwog sent staff writer Connie Blumenthal to dress rehearsal to check out the dancers’ smooth moves in Roone Arledge Auditorium. The final performance will start at 10 PM, with tickets for $6 with CUID at TIC/online, with cash accepted at the door after 9:30.

Despite my best intentions to audition, I’ve always missed the semesterly auditions for Orchesis, so I’ve never had the chance to perform with the group. As such, I was excited to have the chance to sit in on dress rehearsal to see exactly what I missed. Orchesis has the reputation of being one of the largest dance groups on campus, but I was still surprised when I walked into Roone Arledge Auditorium by just how many dancers there were. I felt like I was back in my ballet days with dancers running around half dressed, figuring out last minute details, fixing costume glitches, and working on homework. The energy and excitement from the dancers was almost tangible, and I was equally excited as I took a seat to watch the final rehearsal.

Orchesis is one of many dance groups on campus, but it stands out as one of the largest groups that performs strictly student choreographed pieces. Additionally, everything from costumes to lighting are student designed, making it a truly massive undertaking. What makes Orchesis different from other dance groups like New York Live Arts, Columbia University Ballet Ensemble (CUBE), Columbia Ballet Collaborative (CBC), and Raw Elementz is the variety of dance styles that are showcased in Orchesis. Styles of dance included everything from lyrical to modern, contemporary ballet to hip hop, and jazz to tap, and some performances featured a elements of all the above. The show comprised thirteen pieces in total, mixed with short interludes, and opened with a jazzy number choreographed by Coya Pruden and set to Michael Bublé’s “Feeling Good.”  For me, this opener was the best possible way to lead into the show; the performance was upbeat and fun, definitely a piece that would endear the performers to the audience.

How did the rest of the show go?…

Apr

8

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Props to this graphic designer!

Props to this graphic designer!

Spotif-what? Spotif-y? Spotif-Orchesis? You heard right: campus dance group Orchesis did a play-on-words with their name and Spotify, and it sort of worked as a title. What DID work was the amazing talent and creativity in last night’s performance. Bwogger Jennifer Nugent dishes.

Anyone at last night’s Orchesis dance performance is probably now low-key obsessed with the theme of the show. When I saw the title “SpotifOrchesis” I assumed that this was simply a reference to all the types of music in the show and I was pretty unimpressed. Then the show started and I realized the brilliance of whoever came up with this concept. Let me set the scene:

I arrived at Roone Arledge and chose a seating area that was immediately swarmed with parents and families. Music was on, the excitement was palpable, and grandmothers were already shedding tears. The theme came into play as soon as the show started, with an introductory voice-over explaining what Orchesis is. The sound effects and elevator music were nearly identical to real Spotify ads, and the show parodied several varieties of Spotify interruptions over the course of the show.

Could the show beat a Weekly Discovery playlist?

Dec

3

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Forget about getting lit, Orchesis gets lift

Forget about getting lit, Orchesis gets lift

This Friday marks the date of the dance group Orchesis’ big semester performance, entitled Roar Lion Rorchesis. Last night, Bwog writer and (more recently) dance enthusiast Betsy Ladyzhets was lucky enough to sit in on the group’s dress rehearsal. The performance will run twice tomorrow in the Roone Auditorium, at 7:30pm and 10pm. Tickets are $7 with CUID, $12 without.

When I walked into Roone Auditorium on Wednesday night, I realized for the first time just how big the Orchesis group is. The auditorium seemed to be full of dancers getting into costume, figuring out last-minute details, and practicing their choreography. Everything you imagine a dance show could possibly need was present in large quantities: dancers, coordinators, shoes, music, and–perhaps most importantly–pizza. (The group’s stack of pizza boxes, stashed in one corner, was several feet tall.)

As I moved to the front of the auditorium, I felt as though I’d stepped off Columbia’s campus and into a new world–a world where dance was the only acceptable form of expression. The rehearsal performances, which started soon after I arrived, only exacerbated that feeling.

One of the major advantages of a large performance group like Orchesis is that their performance could showcase a variety of dance styles, each number choreographed by a different member. The dances ranged from more classical ballet forms to jazz and tap to modern interpretive dance. A couple of the most distinguishable forms were “Sing Sing Sing,” a large-group jazz number choreographed by Cara Lachtrupp, BC ‘16 performed to the Benny Goodman piece of the same title, and “You’re So Cute,” a modern number choreographed by Bridget Jamison, BC ‘16 with choreography that reflected the call-and-response nature of its accompaniment, “Suit” by Boom! Bap! Pow! The costumes of the different performers changed to fit the styles and tones of the songs, as well; simple dress codes such as gold tank tops and leggings or denim shirts and red bandannas contributed to making the dances more memorable.

But the dancing doesn’t stop there

Nov

14

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To bring out the Baby/Johnny in you

Last night, Orchesis premiered its fall showcase, “Maniac on the FloOrchesis.”  Dancing Dynamo Lili Brown brings you the play-by-play.

Orchesis, Columbia’s largest student dance group, is back with another fall showcase that began last night at 8:30 pm and ends tonight with a 9 pm show in Roone. This year’s showcase brought over 100 Columbia student-dancers to the stage, moving swiftly and gracefully between numbers organized by 17 peer-choreographers. With 19 pieces total (and a lot of numbers we just threw at you, there’s a test!) and a wide range of styles, Bwog made some tough decisions and narrowed it down to give you the insider scoop on a handful of last night’s most memorable performances.

After last night, it’s safe to say that everyone in Orchesis has a best friend and that they dutifully showed up (or each dancer paid someone to scream their name whenever they appeared on stage, even if in only in silhouette during transitions). However, it takes a tap dance for everyone to put aside their biased, generic “YEAH ___!” or “SHE’S MY BEST FRIEND!” chants and unite in genuine support. John Fisher’s “Happy Feet” (no, don’t think dancing minions) to another uppity hit called “Happy” matched tight tap dancing to the clapping scheme in the song. Title to dance and song were appropriate – anyone discreetly texting or searching through the program to find when their friend went on next was forced to emerge from their distraction and put all eyes on stage with a corresponding smile on their faces. This fun-for-all piece had synchronized scissor jumps galore, a brave soul who did three back hand springs, a more brave soul who did an aerial, and a supported back flip. The abundance of movement onstage got the whole crowd moving too with a resounding applause at the end.

More groovin’ after the jump!

Apr

20

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Say that ten times fast.

Say that ten times fast.

Bwog loves to dance but unfortunately was not gifted with the moves. Luckily Orchesis held a performance last night: the tongue-twisting SupercalifragilisticexpialidOrchesis. Daily Editor Tatini Mal-Sarkar went to watch and ended up consumed with dance envy.

Last night, I entered Roone to the dulcet tunes of Mary Poppins. The last dance performance I went to was my mom’s best friend’s eleven-year-old daughter’s Jazzercise showcase, and despite the inclusivity of Orchesis, I highly doubted that that translated to quite the same quality.

And thank God for that. SupercalifragilisticexpialidOrchesis was great. Though it wasn’t always the most technical show I’ve ever seen (those eleven-year-olds, man), it more than made up in spirit. The huge cast and the prominence of Beyoncé in the lineup made the show an extremely enjoyable experience, even for a dance weenie like myself.

The show began with Victoria Robson’s “Saltimbanco.” The piece, choreographed to a number from Cirque du Soleil, was vibrant and lively, had some great lifts, and, despite the large cast size, still appeared crisp and well-coordinated. A similar level of skill was demonstrated by the second performance, titled “Spectacle” and choreographed by Ivy Vega. Both pieces somehow encapsulated an overall feeling of strength and power, heightened in the second by the costuming. The turtleneck crop tops (like Beyoncé, a common theme throughout the night) highlighted the unbelievable physical strength of the dancers, while also emphasizing their flexibility and grace. The next piece, however, was a bit of a disappointment. “Mother Yashoda” (by Natasha Antony) had so much potential – a Bollywood piece in the midst of Mary Poppins heaven? Sign me up! But the moves felt stiff and uncomfortable, and Bollywood, though extravagant, is not intended to seem limiting in its antics.

Hold me closer tiny dancer(s)

Nov

24

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luv u, MJ

luv u, MJ

Some of your classmates are insanely talented at channeling their inner Michael Jacksons. The multidimensionally modern Madysen Luebke checked out this fall’s Orchesis production.

Man in the Mirrorchesis was not this Bwogger’s first time seeing this dance group’s show.  Their performances have always been entertaining for dancers and non-dancers alike.  However, this semester did not stick out as much as past semesters have, and it was not the fault of the dancers or the choreographers. An Orchesis performance isn’t CoLab; it’s not experimental, but the dances are supposed to be fun, thoughtful, and entertaining.  That being said, there needs to be something about an Orchesis show that makes people want to come back every semester.  There should be new ideas, innovative choreography, and there should be pressure on the choreographers to get out of the rut from which Orchesis is struggling to be free.

It is clear that whoever curates the show is attempting to showcase innovative ideas this semester.  There were definitely some pieces that worked really well.  Victoria Robson’s South African dance piece was the epitome of fresh choreography.  Not only was the style unlike anything else, obviously, but also Robson placed the dancers on stage in a very organic manner to the style of dance.  There were moments when the dancers were in three lines, and there were moments when they formed a dance circle around a duet.  Nothing about this piece felt like it was done before, and the entire concept of it felt very organic.

Another success for the evening was Catherine Haber’s piece.  Haber seems to have a natural ability to create a cohesive vision to the dance.  Her costumes, spacing, and lighting all highlighted the story and the ability of her dancers very well.  She also clearly knew her music very well, as her choreography did not just rely on surface melody; the dance was as complex and layered as the music.

(more…)

Apr

14

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Dancing in the street on a stage

Madysen Luebke, a wizard who “just hasn’t gotten her Hogwarts letter yet,” sat down and had the retinal signals of the Spring Orchesis performance relayed to her brain.

Although the lack of Harry Potter was greatly disappointing (given the title), the Spring Orchesis performance still delivered a good dose of the headmaster’s charisma the audience came to expect.  Amidst the numerous “look pretty and twirl” pieces that come standard in a dance show, there were some gems that brought fresh breath and innovation to the stage.

The show opened with a minimalist contemporary piece by Kyley Knoerzer, “Iris.”  This piece was very delicate, and did not properly prepare the audience for the upcoming flashback to the ’60s brought on by Efe Kakpovbia’s “Dazed and Confused.”  An early frontrunner was found when the dancers in Emma Chaves’s piece, “Green,” came onstage, giving the audience a good laugh as the piece began with dancers bouncing in sync.  From there on out, Chaves created a piece that incorporated both ballet without feeling too conservative, and contemporary in style, without falling into old habits.  It was clear that Chaves knew how to work with her dancers to create clean and precise movement that flowed naturally.

(more…)

Nov

30

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“Word Up,” choreographed by Kate Offerdahl

Orchesis: A Dance Group presents their Fall Showcase, Gimme Gimme MOrchesis, in Roone Arledge Auditorium tonight at 10:30, and tomorrow again at 8:30 P.M. Bwog sent its resident Roone Rebel Rouser Renée Kraiem to the dress rehearsal and here’s what she reported back.

If Gimme Gimme MOrchesis sets out to, in fact, give us more, it begins with a tall order: an opening offering featuring Orchesis’s eBoard that itself opens with, “It’s Britney, bitch.”  With a coed cast draped in black, shimmering slip dresses and boxers, the piece, one of the group’s most successful interludes in recent memory, sets the tone for the season: maybe not more, but definitely different.

Not totally getting it yet? The first full-length piece, one of the concert’s best, ought to sort it out for you. Choreographed by Kate Offerdahl to Willis’s rendition of  “Word Up,” the piece, in which dancers strut on stage in all black leotards and blazers, is what Orchesis gives you more of this season: a sultry, tempting good time. Featured dancer Valentina Strokopytova delivers, and the dancers work around the stage well.

(more…)

Mar

29

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aspiring tom cruises

The Orchesis Spring 2012 performance premieres tonight at 9 pm in Roone Arledge and will also be performed on Saturday at 9:30 pm.  Tickets can be found at the TIC–$7 for CUID, $12 otherwise.  Time traveler Renée Kraiem was at the dress rehearsal.

This semester’s Orchesis showcase is definitely linked thematically, but not through its titular concept; rather, the show consistently solicits its audience to pay attention to time, whether it’s to recognize a blast from the past or a sashay into the future—and, it’s good that it does, because otherwise the time would pass by all too quickly.

The show’s opener, choreographed by Gigi Clark to Sinatra’s “The Best is Yet to Come,” is delightful in its own right; slow and sultry, it shocks its audience back a few decades. They’ll have to get used to it quickly, too, because what comes next is definitely one of the best. Kyley Knoerzer’s piece, choreographed to Greg Laswell’s “This Woman’s Work,” is a standout piece. Her dancers entrance on stage recalls, perhaps, an eighties moment as they strut on in oversized button-downs and tight black shorts, but the choreography is delightfully contemporary. Knoerzer manipulates angles like a pro, and her dancers’ impressive aerial movement complements the grounded, challenging shapes that she creates on a grand scale across the stage.

More dances and photos after the jump.

Feb

24

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Skin-tight Lycra in its natural habitat

While you may recognize her name from the captions of innumerable Bwog illustrations, Louise McCune expresses her artistic appreciation of a more sensual form in her review of Orchesis’ new show.

If you could only get your hands on the program, piece titles like “Bird Girl,” “Feral,” and “Late Anthropocene” should give you a clue to the subject of the MaMa Project’s Unearthed, showing tonight and tomorrow at 8 PM in Lerner’s Black Box theater. As presented by Marie Janicek (BC ’12), both choreographer and lead dancer in Orchesis’ latest production, the show is about reclaiming a “survival instinct” that civilization has denied. Ultimately, she says, to uncover our animal consciousness is empowering– it allows us to tap a latent ability to be “fully present” and embodied. It’s a heady undertaking, but rest assured the event is not as taxing as it may sound. Go!

The theme is an appropriate one to showcase the physical and theatrical talent of this dance troupe. The challenge to “reconnect with [their] inherent animalism” is well articulated by a choreography that ranges from the purposeful march of automatons to fits of halting convulsions that are tiring even to watch. Bwog wondered why dancers were dressed in a bold palette of Lycra that seemed anything but earthly until it realized that the unitards were probably protective: there’s a lot of sliding, falling and jumping going on and we can’t imagine that the floor of the Black Box is a friend to kneecaps. The range of character in the ensemble’s movements is reason enough to attend Unearthed. To watch the cast shift in and out of their feral instinct, especially in ensemble numbers toward the beginning of the show like “The Air,” was worth the price of the ticket ($5 at the TIC!).

Read the rest of Louise’s review after the jump

Nov

18

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MetamORCHESIS, the Orchesis 2011 fall showcase, premiers tonight at 9 pm and then plays again Sunday at 2 pm in Roone. Bwog’s favorite dance enthusiast, Renée Kraiem, snuck into Orchesis’ dress rehearsal Wednesday evening.

In the first piece of MetamORCHESIS, choreographed by the show’s producer Victoria Pollack, BC ’12, a small group of graceful dancers strut to Mika’s “Grace Kelly” in matching white sundresses. As they pirouette in striking lines across the stage, their dresses float upward revealing a bright pastel lining underneath their skirts. This delightful sight surprises the audience and adds dimension to the piece, but more than that it serves as a metaphor for what’s in store in MetaORCHESIS: an aesthetic delight, sprinkled with a collection of colored surprises.

The show is as substantive as it is creative. Orchesis is notorious for its no-cut policy, and it should be applauded for the grace with which its pieces fill the stage. Performers are all visible though space on stage is sparing, and the movement is dynamic enough that the effect does not become overwhelming. The satiated stage is filled with choreography that is technical but not indulgent, so that the program flows with ease.

There are certainly standouts among the stream of contemporary offerings. The first piece is by Jaclyn Hoffman, CC’14, choreographed to Blue October’s “18th Floor Balcony.” Her considerable crop of dancers glide across the stage draped in a neutral color palette spotted with shades of purple. The movement was impressively uncomplicated, and her dancers moved consistently in sync even in moments that appeared improvised. (more…)

Nov

14

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Bwog’s Staff Dance Enthusiast Megan McGregor reports…

Yesterday, the line for the TIC to see Orchesis’ fall 2010 showcase was so long that it went outside of Lerner and even caused many to miss the first half of the show. If you decide to go to the second and final showing of “down by the shORCHESIS” this evening, as I highly recommend that you do, you should definitely get your tickets far before show time (read: not ten minutes before).

A variety of contemporary, tap, jazz, and ballet pieces comprise Orchesis’ fall 2010 showcase. One of the most striking pieces of the show concludes the first half—a piece entitled “A Broken Hallelujah,” choreographed by Molly McMenamin. Elegant and graceful dancers perform McMenamin’s fluid and beautiful choreography with a supreme quality of movement. The piece’s contemporary feel with apparent classical influence allows for moments when it seems as though the dancers are suspended in air. Danced to Rufus Wainwright’s “Hallelujah,” McMenamin’s piece, the conclusion of the first half of the showcase, leaves the audience wanting more. (more…)

Sep

4

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All your Broadway dreams await…

It may only be the first week of classes, but no day is to early for every single performing arts group at Columbia to begin soliciting new members. Whether you play classical flute, sing a cappella, or love hip-hop dance, Columbia has a group for you — and it’s probably holding auditions this week in Hamilton Hall. Check the list below for a list of every group we could find holding auditions, and check their websites or Facebook events for more information. If we missed your group, let us know in the comments or via tips@bwog.com and we’ll add it!

Update, 9/4, 4 pm: You will be able to find the precise room numbers for many of these auditions in Hamilton Hall, as well as other performing arts info, in CUPAL’s fall auditions Facebook event!

  • A Cappella: Auditions for all of Columbia’s a cappella groups will take place today, tomorrow, and Thursday (9/4 to 9/6) from 8 to 11 pm in Hamilton Hall.
  • Bach Society: Fall auditions on Saturday 9/8 and Sunday 9/9 in Dodge 404. Learn more about the Bach Society here and sign up for an audition slot here.
  • Barnard College Department of Theatre: Info meeting tonight (Tuesday 9/4) at 5:30 pm, followed by auditions tonight (6 to 8 pm, 8 to 10 pm) and tomorrow night (6 to 8 pm). All of this is happening in the Minor Latham Playhouse in Milbank.
  • Black Theatre Ensemble: Auditions for the fall production (“Bootycandy”) on Thursday 9/13, Friday 9/14, and Saturday 9/15 from 5 to 10 pm in Lerner 312. No prior experience necessary!
  • Columbia Musical Theater Society: Auditions and interviews for CMTS’ fall season (“The Addams Family” and “Spring Awakening”) on Tuesday 9/4, Wednesday 9/5, and Thursday 9/6 from 8 to 11 pm in Hamilton Hall. More info on both shows and what to prepare is in the Facebook event!

Even more auditions after the jump

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