An Evening of Dance: Orchesis Impresses with Students’ Choreography
Written by Bailey Kirkpatrick|
March 31, 2015
Orchesis Dance Company’s spring showcase, “An Evening of Dance,” offered a diverse array of emotional and poignant performances by first time show-choreographers.
The dances portrayed an interesting mixture of subjects, ranging from immigration to environmental issues to feminism and everywhere in between.
Of the eight pieces, most messages were clearly expressed through both the title and the movements of the dance, but there were a few fairly abstract pieces that challenged the audience’s understanding. All the performances, however, were both striking and powerful, despite their lack of a clear subject.
Lizzie Fulham ’17 and Katrina McTigue ’17 choreographed a dance entitled “Undocumented” which focused on the plight and, simultaneously, the hopes and humanity of immigrants. It began completely awash in grey and bleak shadows, then shifted to a more upbeat and expressive second half. All different sections of the dance were perfectly synchronized, helping to construct the story of immigrants in the United States.
The only solo of the entire evening, “Illusions of Perfection,” was both choreographed and beautifully performed by Amanda Hinckle ’15. Its examination of feminism and the pressures of perfection were very clear in her stuttered and repeatedly fixed poses that were expertly executed.
Danielle Hall ‘15 and Libby Kerver ‘15 choreographed “Solar Exposure” and “The Light is Still Pure,” respectively. Both of these dances were striking in different ways. “Solar Exposure” was much more delicate and light, exuding an almost woodland nymph feeling. On the other hand, “The Light is Still Pure” was a much darker, faster and experimental piece. The performances, lighting, outfits and movements were arresting.
By far one of the strongest and most synchronized pieces was “‘Free’ Will,” choreographed by Rachel Sillcox ’15. The dancers clearly expressed the lack of free will with their movements. The motions, lighting and shadows were dramatic, plainly representing the imprisonment of the dancers. At times it was a little eerie and harsh, but was equally as beautiful as the other pieces performed in the event.
Choreographed by first-timer Sophia Perrotti ’16, “I am, I am, I am,” gave a subtle touch to the whole ensemble. Although it had a lot going on in the beginning, between the powerful music of Bruno Coulais and Olafur Arnalds, and the mirroring of the dancers, it ended up working well together.
The final two pieces “Homeward,” choreographed by Katie Ingebretsen ’16, and “Atom to Adam: A Reverse History of the World,” choreographed by Hinckle, provided a perfect ending to the evening. “Homeward” was one of the softest, most emotional pieces of the evening. It ended very poignantly to the sounds of The Kronos Quartet and The Piano Guys.
“Atom to Adam: A Reverse History of the World” included the entirety of Orchesis. Visually, it was the most powerful dance because it included the most dancers and more complicated movements beneath ethereal lighting. While this finale was a little more chaotic, it was by far the most dynamic dance of the evening.