Dedicated dancers of Orchesis earn applause from Alice Austin audience

Last weekend, students, faculty and community members packed the Alice Austin Theatre as Geneseo's student dance organization Orchesis put on their annual show, "Beyond the Studio Mirror."

The show featured over 20 dance routines performed by the group's 330 members, who have been rehearsing these dances since the beginning of February, according to senior and former Orchesis President Caitlyn Redmond.

All of the numbers were student-choreographed, featuring music from a variety of genres such as hip-hop, pop and swing.

"Beyond the Studio Mirror" began with the recent Britney Spears hit, "Circus." Choreographed by junior Vickie Chatley and sophomore Alyssa Colosi, the performance included over a dozen Orchesis members.

Though there were some minor problems with synchronicity, the performers made up for it; using their attitudes and enthusiasm to convey a sense of energy and sass, they fired up the audience members and left them anxiously awaiting the numbers to come.

The rest of the evening's lineup of music was marked by an effective alternation between fast-paced songs and more emotional pieces.

A rendition of Michael Buble's "Feelin' Good" allowed the show to slow down while still retaining energy and attitude. Skillfully choreographed by senior Andrea Colasanto, junior Rachel Laber and Redmond, the dancers' impressive moves successfully reflected the upbeat attitude of the music.

There was an interesting surprise during the middle of sophomore Breanne McCabe's number "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany. Midway into the dance, the song suddenly switched from the '80s pop hit to "Boyfriend/Girlfriend" by C-Side.

After switching up their style to fit this new tune, the song suddenly changed again - this time to a remix of the Pussycat Dolls' hit "When I Grow Up." The abrupt changes were humorous, though returning to the Tiffany hit to conclude might have provided some more closure to this segment of the show.

The number choreographed by junior Beth Anderson set to the hip-hop hit "G-Slide" by Lil' Mama was one of the most impressive performances of the evening. The dancers appeared onstage in cliché and often exaggerated school student outfits including the quintessential nerd and a girl scout.

They managed to create the atmosphere of a chaotic school yard onstage, yet Anderson's choreography provided a non-oppressive order to the madness that made for one of the most visually amusing numbers of the night.

Possibly the most notable number of the evening was the dance choreographed to Rihanna's "Disturbia" by the Geneseo Winterguard, who appeared onstage in shocking black costumes with severe makeup. Their intensity and attitudes as performers impressed the crowd and their abilities with flag twirling elicited rounds of applause from observers.

According to Redmond, the Orchesis executive board takes "… great pride in [the] ever-growing number of members and really [tries] to offer an atmosphere where dancers of any level can come together to learn new styles in a non-competitive atmosphere."

She added that they "are always amazed at the progress the dancers make, and look forward to watch[ing] Orchesis continue to grow."