Combining a classic passion for dance with a comprehensive range of music, Orchesis presented its Dance Cornucopia Fall Showcase Sunday Nov. 3 in Wadsworth Auditorium. As the largest student-run organization on campus with over 300 members, Orchesis allows students of both genders and all skill levels to sign up for dances in preparation for its shows. Those interested can be cast in any dance that appeals to them as long as they attend practices, which are usually once or twice a week for two hours each week. All the dances are student-choreographed and taught.
The first five acts of the afternoon fused remixes of contemporary singles with diverse dance moves, ranging from hip-hop to ballet. The sixth performance, titled “Reel,” choreographed by junior Meghan Hayes and senior Kellie Moran, mixed things up with Irish step alongside traditional Irish music. During the set, dancers sparkled across the stage in shiny blue skirts and embraced timeless movements with their focused smiles.
One of the most creative performances of the afternoon, danced to “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot, followed immediately afterward. In reviving the 2000s chart-topper, dancers flowed on stage with sunflowers in their hair. They wore shirts with words on them such as “dare,” “hope” and “love,” arousing these inspirational sentiments even more with their grace and teamwork on stage. For most of the piece, one dancer bore no term on her black shirt. At the end, however, senior Cassandra Saroli’s choreographic inventiveness shone through, as the sole dancer without a word removed her top shirt to reveal the word “live.”
Right after a brief intermission, “Royals” by Lorde suffused the auditorium with its dark ambient sound. Senior Bianca Pedulla’s dance to the modern hit mixed finesse with sass. Throughout the song, the dancers skillfully executed high kicks, and then switched to faster movements, snaps and shoulder shrugs.
In a 60-year rewind, “Give Me Your Telephone Number,” choreographed by senior Emily Gall, combined cutesy gestures with giddy, upbeat dance moves. The ladies wore white and red dresses, skirts, shoes and ribbons to convey a ‘50s feel.
Later on in the performance, a group did a funky rendition of Beyoncé’s classic song “Crazy in Love.” The dancers wore pink feathers in their hair and were one of the only groups to showcase their tap-dancing skills. Junior Elizabeth LiPuma and sophomore Victoria LiPuma’s choreography brilliantly employed this style to have dancers accentuate the brass band remix of the popular tune with the tapping of their shoes.
The final act, preceded by more contemporary hits such as Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” and Coldplay’s “Fix You,” concluded the show with a seasonal flair. “Halloween Hoopla,” choreographed and performed by the Orchesis officers, revealed dancers hopping on stage with costumes, face paint and capes. Along with an enjoyable mashup of songs including “I Put A Spell On You” from Disney’s Hocus Pocus and “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, the dancers mixed energetic silliness with skill. After all members of Orchesis came on stage to celebrate the show’s finale, one officer even brilliantly executed Jackson’s famous moonwalk dance.
Through various acts, Dance Cornucopia exhibited more than dancing talent; it showed that student choreographers can create art and work with other student dancers to make it beautiful and available to all.