Orchesis kicks off fall auditions: Rehearsals continue for November 11th debut show

On stage and behind the scenes, Orchesis productions have been completely run by students since the group’s beginning. Students choreograph the routines, control the lighting, design and choose the costumes and perform.
This year’s performance runs from November 11 through 13.
“It’s going to be a very unique show [this year],” said Orchesis President Casey Fenton, ’10.
Fenton spent two years on the board as historian and corresponding secretary before becoming
Fenton says she expects a great performance, as she has seen a lot of excitement and enthusiasm from both dancers and the Meadville community.
“We are making some changes this year,” Fenton said. “There may be Orchesis items for purchase, like DVDs and shirts. I don’t know if I want to give it all away.”
Over 110 people danced in the Orchesis performance last year. Every year, dancers who are interested in playing a leadership role can submit dance and concept ideas in the spring, which are considered by the board and become part of the following year’s performance.
Sophomores, juniors and seniors choreograph and teach the dances on the first day of auditions.
Auditions took place Sept. 4, 5 and 6. On the first day, the dancers had twenty minutes to learn each dance for which they wanted to audition.
The second and third days were dedicated to auditions for each routine; the dancers auditioned four at a time by class in front of a panel of student judges.
All dancers are guaranteed a spot in at least one dance and can perform in up to four routines.
Student volunteers direct the lighting in accordance with the choreographers’ visions.
Caitlyn McNamee, ’14, has enjoyed her auditioning experience so far.
“I’m excited about finding out which dances I’ll be in, learning the whole routines, and performing,” McNamee said. “There are a lot of good dancers, and it’s a lot of fun.”
This is the consensus for many dancers involved in Orchesis.
“It’s so exciting,” said
Kristina Brink, ’14. “Everyone is so willing to help. [Orchesis] gives everyone a chance to be in a dance. It challenges me and makes me a better dancer because [the choreographers] teach me new moves and techniques.”
This year, the recital will include jazz, contemporary, tap, and hip–hop performances, as well as others.
One dancer, Tim Grabnic, ’13, got involved in Orchesis because of last year’s performance.
“It was amazing,” Grabnic said. “[So far] I’ve had a lot of fun. It is less intimidating than I thought [it would be].
Some members of the student body have different opinions on moving their body
“I like watching dance because I used to dance myself,” said Kelsey Gooding, ’12.
“I don’t appreciate dance,” said Meghan Curran, ’12. “I don’t appreciate technique like in ballet because I don’t know it. ”
Orchesis’ multiple dance styles is sure to please even the pickiest audience critics.