Orchesis boasts student choreography, multiform dances

Orchesis held its Fall 2014 Showcase in Wadsworth Auditorium on Saturday Nov. 1 and Sunday Nov. 2. The show was a series of student-choreographed dances and included many different styles and experience levels. As Geneseo’s largest student-run organization, Orchesis has over 200 members and allows students of any dance background to sign up to be part of a routine, whether they have years of experience or none at all. The recital featured 13 different numbers by different groups of students based on their experience levels, covering everything from hip-hop to ballet.

The show opened with a dramatic, elegant piece choreographed to Sleeping At Last’s “Turning Page.” The dancers wore simple white dresses and moved gracefully with the lyrics. One particular moment that stood out was when one of the dancers executed precise, seemingly endless fouette turns, generating huge applause from the audience.

Another dance that seemed to be a crowd favorite was the only tap piece. The dancers were completely in sync with “Trashin’ the Camp” from Tarzan, emphasizing the rhythmic song with impressive footwork and high-energy movement. The audience tapped along as the dancers stomped to the beat, beaming the entire time.

In contrast with the levity of the tap number, the ballet performance of Birdy’s cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” was emotional and intense—portraying the feeling of longing the song evokes. The dancers swayed and glided across the stage in black circle skirts with white long-sleeved shirts. Broken up with acrobatic movements, this piece was especially interesting to view.

Some personal favorites and apparent crowd-pleasers were dances to Beyoncé’s “Partition” and another hip-hop dance featuring a medley of songs including the undeniably catchy “2 On” by Tinashe. For “Partition,” the dancers channeled their inner Queen B, exuding confidence and sass. The dancers were clearly enjoying themselves, putting attitude into each beat as they posed, stomped and strutted to the bass. “2 On” featured one of the largest groups and was composed of advanced-level dancers. Each dancer hit every beat with the same level of power and synchronization.

The finale was one of the best moments of the show––there was clearly a reason it was saved for last. It began with the Orchesis officers dressed as various Disney heroines and villains and featured a medley of Disney songs. The music then changed to the classic Backstreet Boys hit “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).” The dancers jumped around enthusiastically as every member of Orchesis stormed the stage and ran in from every side of the auditorium to engage the audience in every way possible.

On their own the dances were impressive, but the fact that students choreographed the pieces made the recital especially notable. Wadsworth Auditorium was filled with families and friends, there to support a part of Geneseo’s arts and performance community.