Dancers practice their craft

The Orchesis Dance Society is a self-sustained Registered Student Organization within WMU’s Dance Department that acts as a liaison between faculty and students providing performance opportunities.

Orchesis Dance Society President Kelly Anderson said the Orchesis Dance Concert doesn’t involve any staff in producing the annual concert.

“Every year we put on a fall concert which is entirely student produced,” Anderson said. “It gives students that opportunity to showcase their choreography and creative talents.”

This year, attendees can expect to see a lot of different types of choreographies performed in the concert according to Anderson.

“Our concert has an abundance of styles, we not only have our classic, contemporary and modern based choreography, but we even have some point choreography, some hip hop, heels choreography,” Anderson said. “It’s a variety of styles of dance.”

Anderson said one of the neat things about dance, as a whole, is that it showcases a variety of dance styles but it also shows the hard work students put in to make their acts great.

“People who come to the concert will get an exposure to how versatile our dance department is,” Anderson said.“We are a tri-focused program in ballet, modern and jazz, but our students within the department do so much more than that, and I feel that this concert is such a great showcase on what our students can do.”

Students auditioned to be in the concert the first week of school then the adjudication process began.

“Adjudications are where all the pieces that want to be in the show have to present the piece to O-Board, and O-Board, our executive board, decides which eight to 10 pieces will be in the concert,” Anderson Said.

Every winter, the dance department  puts on their annual Winter Gala where dance students also perform the hard work they’ve put into their dance routines. The difference between the Orchesis Dance Concert and the Winter Gala is that it’s the students voices that matter most.

“The biggest difference you’ll see is that Orchesis serves as the students way of getting their voice out there, getting their creativity out there and in such an accessible way that happens in the first semester,” Anderson said. “Gala, which is our biggest concert for the department can include student choreography but it is primarily faculty, guest choreographers and great works.”

For the Orchesis Concert, the students decide how their pieces work.  

“Our biggest cast is a cast of 15 people and we have a solo in the show, a self-choreographed solo, we have a duet in the show as well, so it’s just a range in size of casting and you can decide based on what you envision for your choreography how many dancers do you want in your piece,” Anderson said.

Anderson will be performing two pieces in the show. One centers around a waterfall and the other is based off of a quote about sails and wind.

“One of the pieces I'm in is based off the concept of a waterfall. I think the coolest thing about the piece is that it enters from stage right and it moves to stage left and its this cascading of water and the different flows and upsets in the water,” Anderson said. “The other piece I’m in is based off a quote: ‘We can’t control the wind but we can adjust the sails.’ It’s just a very contemporary feel-good movement type of piece.”

Along with the pieces she’s in she also choreographed another piece which sends a relaxing messge.

“The piece I choreographed is called “Soliloquy” and its very light hearted and a reminder that a lot of times we’re rushing through life and we’re so caught up in the hustle and bustle of how fast can we go and how much can we do that we forget to stop and realize to just enjoy it and be with the people around you,” Anderson said

The Orchesis Dance concert is Nov. 7 to 10 at 8 p.m., along with two matinees on Nov. 10 and one on Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. at Studio B in the Dalton Center. Admission is $5 for students and $12 for the public.

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