With over 300 members once again grooving onstage, Geneseo’s Orchesis celebrated student talent at its Spring 2014 Showcase in Wadsworth Auditorium from April 4-6. “Dirty Beats Worldwide” began the night, with its title truly encapsulating the work. Dancers performed to Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” and The Pussycat Dolls’ “Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)” among others. They formed human geometric patterns which often merged into one another all over the stage, creating a dynamic piece with staggering fluidity.
A more thoughtful mood overtook the auditorium as dancers conveyed the message of Fun.’s “Be Calm,” choreographed by junior Breanne Blazevic and senior Emily Wagner. Donning shirts of sky-blue tie-dye, the women (and one man) leapt, dropped and reached in quick succession. Gracing the piece was a domino effect in which a single sensuous head roll catalyzed sequential rolling down the line. Centrifugal movement was paramount, as if reaching outwards represented the solitary journey everyone endures towards tranquility.
Dancers later effectuated inward movement during senior Jennifer Levy’s interpretation of the haunting “Say Something.” Tremendous feeling in their faces told of heart-wrenching pain which was further conveyed by capitulations to the floor. Recurrent pulling inwards appeared to show the dancers collecting pieces of their broken hearts in order to finally bring the title to fruition.
Drawing on similar themes, Banks’ “Waiting Game” – choreographed by senior Abigail Kindler – introduced an impassioned twist on ballet technique and contemporary style. “I don’t want to say your love is a waiting game,” echoed as dancers practiced classic technique. At one point, the performers’ upper bodies seemed to imitate inhaling as they lied on their backs moving off the floor. Towards the end, they formed a rotating circle, revolving to the “game.”
Perhaps the most innovative dance, “Scary Monsters Make My Heart Go On” started as a burlesque rendition of Céline Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” abruptly transitioning to Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.” Performers sporting sailor garb danced in the dark and presented a light show with their glow gloves. The lights then came back on, and the dancers retreated to their original roles. This hilarious switching continued throughout the number, entrancing the audience with satire and glowing things.
A guest performance by Geneseo Bhangra heightened energy levels even more. Vividly colored saris, dhotis and customary headwear mesmerized while their smiles buoyed the air. The outcome was a work of traditional Indian dance with an upbeat pop twist, aided by lively bouncing at the knees.
Following intermission, another guest performance by Geneseo Knightline entertained with a Pitch Perfect-style number. The ladies grooved and intermittently acted out the movie, eventually forming their signature kicking circle.
In terms of tap dancing, Orchesis stomped onto stage with “Diamonds,” choreographed by sophomores Katarina Bojanowski and Elizabeth Cacciola. In sparkly black outfits, the girls tapped and slid to “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” with a brass band backing. Simply fabulous.
The aptly-titled “#tbt #backatit,” performed and choreographed by the Orchesis Officers, functioned as a ‘90s/early 2000s tribute. Together they celebrated The Spice Girls, pigtails, Britney, Aaron Carter, Eminem and other childhood essentials. In a tribute to Kenny Ortega-style, “We’re All in This Together” offered a smooth transition and concluded the afternoon with a heartfelt tribute to the class of 2014.
A club completely run by students, Geneseo Orchesis never fails to showcase inventive dance with ceaseless fervor. If a show integrating modern, cultural, ballet and High School Musical disciplines doesn’t satisfy every palate, I don’t know what could.