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.
Photographing the dress rehearsal for this show was a blast. The dancers seemed in tune with why they were dancing each piece and what it meant to them (even if it was not clear exactly what that was). Everyone seemed to know the choreography spot on (which is more than I had to show during my one semester in Orchesis). All of the dancers were really working hard and giving it their all. Particular dancers stood out who were hardcore feeling themselves during the hip-hop dances. Others who lifted their legs reminded me how inflexible I am, and the dancers who fell onto each other (as choreographed) showed a nice intimacy and support among the dancers. The dancers worked hard, kept up the energy, held great focus, and brought the variety of songs to life. Some were slow, some were upbeat, some were edgy mash-ups. The show flew by for me. I often find my mind wandering during bits of dance performances, but I was engaged the whole time.
I was so impressed by the students who shaped these pieces. The choreography styles were, at least to my understanding, original, and highlighted each student choreographer’s creative skills and ability to connect with the dancers. The costumes and lighting were well thought-out and enhanced the performance elegantly. The color schemes made the dances more visually understanding and the lighting shifts made the audience feel in tune to the pieces.
At the end of the show, the dancers all came onstage for the finale bursting with excitement. I loved seeing the chemistry between dancers; seeing such a supportive and enthusiastic atmosphere on campus is comforting. The dancers looked empowered, and I was dancing in my seat.
So many students want to try new hobbies in college, yet many clubs on campus are exclusive and watch students wallow in their self pity. Many students who have dealt with rejection from clubs wonder why the application or audition said no experience was necessary, yet only people who already started their own company or were born with one leg over their head singing perfect pitch out of the womb seem to get accepted. More clubs should follow in Orchesis’ footsteps. They’re inclusive, a reasonable time commitment (about one hour a week per dance piece), and fun. They keep the door-chesis open, and I’d be down to walk in and see their show again.
Photos taken by Aliya Schneider