D214 Orchesis members perform showcase dances from selected choreographers

IMG_3783By Jane Berry
Staff Writer

The Orchesis groups of  District 214 went on tour Wednesday, March 31 to showcase a dance from each company.

“We do it to show what Orchesis can do.” Kristin Burlinski, the Orchesis director, said. The dances are chosen by the district directors to get a variety of dances on the performance day.

“We try to mix it up, doing hip-hop, jazz and contemporary” Burlinski said.  On the tour, the first dance performed was the senior dance.

The Senior Dance is performed every year during district tour and the district performance. Seniors try out for the dance and three from each school get to perform. The process of choreographing the dance has changed though. This year the position was an open call to choreographers. The various choreographers submitted videos of dances they had created, and then the orchesis directors from all the schools reviewed them and “picked the one that would set best on the students,” Burlinski said. Jon Solven was selected this year to choreograph the dance.

Next, Wheeling performed “Romance Ordelies”, a contemporary piece. Following that, Hersey performed a hip hop piece called “Just Keep It Up”. Rolling Meadows performed “Swank”, the second contemporary piece and Elk Grove performed the second hip hop piece called “Detention”.  The final two pieces were both jazz. Buffalo Grove performed “Boom Chicka-Wah-Wah” and Prospect performed “Victorious”. The Orchesis performers spend the entire day dancing, and meeting the other girls from the district groups.

“It is really fun to talk to other people,” Tricia Parenti, a choreographer and senior Orchesis member, said. “Some we already know from dance classes and other stuff outside of school.”

Orchesis performed during sixth period in the fieldhouse for the gym classes, some students from lunch, and even a few academic classes.

“It’s really hard performing in the gym because it felt like if I messed up, everyone would have noticed.” Parenti said. All six orchesis groups traveled to each of the schools that day.

“Surprisingly the crowds were really good!” Parenti noted, “I think Elk Grove was probably the best though because they cheered for everyone.”

All of the dances were also performed at the district showcase on March 15. There was an all day rehearsal for the show and then a performance at night for all the district 214 schools.

“We get to perform for all of the other schools and their families and friends,” Parenti said. “It is so fun to show our dances to them and see what all of the other schools do.” The district showcase is a combination of the senior dance and three dances from each school.

“I try to bring in other choreographers, just to try and let the kids experience other teachers and styles,” Burlinski said.

“I think we are very good about being well rounded dancers,” Parenti said. “We are all in many different style dances and can execute them well. Our show is always very fun to watch with all of the different styles.”

Prospect Orchesis has auditions on April 6 in the cafeteria at three o’clock.

“Give it your all and be confident with how you dance,” Parenti said. “It always helps to smile.”