Orchesis adds new spin to dance performance
Members of the student-led dance group Orchesis practice their routine at a showcase Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in the basement of IM Circle. Their 2013 concert, “Boundless,” will be performed on Jan. 17-20 in the MSU Auditorium Arena Theatre. Katie Stiefel/ The State News
As a young girl, advertising senior Julia Wahl said she had a knack for dance performance.
“My parents took me to see ‘Swan Lake,’ and I danced in the aisles at 3-years-old,” Wahl said. “They finally decided, ‘It’s probably time we put her in classes.’”
Wahl since has joined Orchesis, a student-led dance group at MSU focused on modern dance interpretations rather than studio genres, such as ballet or tap. The group will host a concert, called “Boundless,” from Jan. 17-20 in the Auditorium.
“It’s very much performance based, very enriching,” Wahl said. “It’s about understanding the origin of the movements. It’s very process oriented … Studio dance can become a mimicking game, but (this) is more about creating something together.”
The show’s producer and communication senior Hayley Shannon said the title of the concert, which has been a work in progress since last September, reflects the dancers’ freedom to use movement concepts to bring out emotions in the audience.
“We chose the title, ‘Boundless,’ because that’s kind of what our show is about,” Shannon said. “There’s no label on the movement that’s happening. It’s totally fresh and new and promotes inner expression with core emotions. Modern dance says that anything goes.”
“Boundless” consists of seven performances, each with a different concept to engage the audience. Sherrie Barr, Orchesis adviser and an associate professor, said the freedom given to the dancers can be both a blessing and a curse.
“Each dance is an entity unto itself. There aren’t any rules, but there are tricks of the trade, so to speak,” Barr said. “The more tools you have, the more you realize that anything is possible. There are so many different ways of manipulating one movement in terms of how it can be transformed.”
Shannon said she will participate in the opening and closing dances, both dealing with the concepts of emotional experiences. Despite the topic similarity, she said the dances themselves couldn’t be any more different.
“Directors put together a show to end on a high note,” Shannon said. “(The last performance) is a fun piece, it’s loud and booming, and the first performance is very calming to watch. I know I am capable to evoke totally different emotional states in the audience from beginning to the end.”
Like any other art form, Barr said it’s important for the audience to approach the concert with an open mind, ready to let go of any preconceived notions.
“If we really want to allow the arts to entertain us as well as to educate us, we always have to go in with an open mind,” Barr said. “It’s boundless. Anything is possible.”