Orchesis displays Fall Showcase talent

To dance is not just to “bust a move.” Rather, it is an art form, and one that some UVM students are proving can be taken to new heights. 

The Orchesis Dance Company pulled out all the stops at their Fall Showcase on Nov. 23, displaying a set of routines, running the spectrum of emotions.

Junior Carolyn McCarthy, co-president of Orchesis, was proud of the full success of the show. 

“Overall, the show went smoothly between our dances and those of our many guest performers,” McCarthy said. 

“We had a great turn out and made the most money we’ve made in years.  That alone is a success!”      

One of the early highlights of the show was the arrangement that accompanied singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas’s “No Room for Doubt.” 

A simple but flowing piece, the performance set a high bar for the rest of the evening. 

This was also the first piece ever choreographed by sophomore Kendall McElroy. 

“I was so grateful to be able to create something with beautiful dancers,” McElroy said. “I think I will be more ready for the challenge next time.”

Another piece from the evening was the Company’s performance set to Kanye West’s “Yeezus” track, “Can’t Hold My Liquor.” 

Choreographed by senior Alanna Gilbert, the accompanying song contained explicit lyrics, which caused varying reactions from the audience.

“A great deal of people reacted to the language in the piece, which could have been perceived as untraditional or explicit, but the entire process was focused more on the movement,” McCarthy said. “The only reference I can remember to the harsh language was how she liked the juxtaposition of the ballet movement with Kanye’s swears.”

It was hard work to get as prepared as the Company was for the show, McCarthy said. 

They have a fairly rigorous practice schedule, rehearsing roughly 11 hours per week, meeting for three-hour blocks on weekends and voluntarily meeting for extra time in Mann Gym. 

However in the end, it is all for the art and the fun. “For me, dancing is both disciplined and liberating,” McElroy said. “There are moments – after I stop worrying about technique – when my mind feels so clear. I am lucky to be able-bodied, and dancing is my favorite way to celebrate that.”

In the show’s finale, the entire company assembled for a clever arrangement to Kimbra’s “Settle Down.” 

Playing upon the song’s tongue-in-cheek themes, the arrangement wowed the audience into a long applause at the show’s conclusion.

At their Fall Showcase, Orchesis’ routines intertwined modern music and themes with graceful and artful routines.