This Thursday, Orchesis will premiere its spring show, “An Evening of Dance,” at 8 p.m. at Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall. Orchesis is the performing ensemble of the College’s dance program and produces two shows every year. The fall show is choreographed by professors in the dance department, while the spring show is entirely choreographed and performed by students.
p. “Orchesis is special because [choreographing] is an opportunity you might only see in a major program,” Dance Professor Joan Gavaler said. “Most dance programs around the country would not produce at this level for people who aren’t minoring. It’s a very unusual opportunity relative to what’s usually possible.”
p. The Orchesis spring show will also feature student-created lighting design, planned by theater students of Professor Steve Holliday. The lighting for the 10 pieces in the spring show was designed by senior Elizabeth Blessing, sophomore Dan Plehal and junior Kerry Stinson.
p. “Traditionally [during the spring show], the president of Orchesis has the option of doing a solo and creates the finale danced by the whole company, which is a challenge,” Gavaler said.
p. This year’s president, senior Rachel Berryman, has elected to do both, choreographing both a solo entitled “Politiku, politicko, kde jsi doma?” meaning, “Politician, politician, where is your home?” about what happens when public and private lives overlap, and the finale, featuring all 28 members of the company. Some students choreograph in both their junior and senior years.
p. “You can see the growth in their work, which is exciting,” Gavaler said.
p. “It is nice to feel like you are a part of someone else’s maturation as a dancer and choreographer,” freshman Christie Langlois said. “Choreographing, especially for ‘Evening of Dance,’ is a huge responsibility, and the choreographers handle it very well. Working with peers as choreographers also allows the dancers to be a little more involved in the choreographic process, which makes the dance a little more personalized. It is somewhat amazing how well everything came together for this show, and I am so excited to be a part of it.”
p. “An Evening of Dance” will play Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at PBK. Tickets can be bought the night of the show for a discounted student price of $5 or any day this week at the PBK box office between 1 and 6 p.m.