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Orchesis and Eklipse: Showcasing a year of progress

Members+of+Orchesis+left+to+right%3A+Danica+Kafton+%28%E2%80%9818%29%2C+Bethany+Larson+%28%E2%80%9819%29%2C+Jacqueline+Schnier+%28%E2%80%9817%29%2C+Selena+LeGarde+%28%E2%80%9817%29%2C+Haley+Steffen+%28%E2%80%9819%29%2C+Alyssa+Wildenauer+%28%E2%80%9817%29%2C+Lindsey+Ahlers+%28%E2%80%9818%29%2C+Abby+Suhr+%28%E2%80%9818%29%2C+Grace+Larsen+%28%E2%80%9819%29%2C+and+Amanda+Nyquist+%28%E2%80%9819%29+perform+in+a+rehearsal.
Members of Orchesis left to right: Danica Kafton (‘18), Bethany Larson (‘19), Jacqueline Schnier (‘17), Selena LeGarde (‘17), Haley Steffen (‘19), Alyssa Wildenauer (‘17), Lindsey Ahlers (‘18), Abby Suhr (‘18), Grace Larsen (‘19), and Amanda Nyquist (‘19) perform in a rehearsal.

Members of Orchesis left to right: Danica Kafton (‘18), Bethany Larson (‘19), Jacqueline Schnier (‘17), Selena LeGarde (‘17), Haley Steffen (‘19), Alyssa Wildenauer (‘17), Lindsey Ahlers (‘18), Abby Suhr (‘18), Grace Larsen (‘19), and Amanda Nyquist (‘19) perform in a rehearsal.

Photo courtesy of Alyssa Wildenauer (‘17)

Photo courtesy of Alyssa Wildenauer (‘17)

Members of Orchesis left to right: Danica Kafton (‘18), Bethany Larson (‘19), Jacqueline Schnier (‘17), Selena LeGarde (‘17), Haley Steffen (‘19), Alyssa Wildenauer (‘17), Lindsey Ahlers (‘18), Abby Suhr (‘18), Grace Larsen (‘19), and Amanda Nyquist (‘19) perform in a rehearsal.

Shannon Baker, Staff Writer

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Luther dance teams Orchesis and Eklipse displayed a variety of student-choreographed spring showcases on May 6 and 7. About 100 people attended the two events.

Both Eklipse and Orchesis are dance teams that typically practice three times a week for about two hours at a time and perform at special events around campus. Though Eklipse is considered to be a student organization and Orchesis is co-curricular with the dance department, Professor of Dance Jane Hawley (‘87) advises both groups.

The Orchesis performance began with a video introducing the team members, immediately followed by a performance to the song “The Fear” by Ben Howard, choreographed by 2016-17 co-facilitators Alyssa Wildenauer (‘17) and Lindsey Ahlers (‘18).

In addition to group performances, the Orchesis showcase contained duets and solos with upbeat music like “Run Boy Run” by Woodkid as well as more somber music like “Taste” by Sleeping at Last. Wildenauer and Ahlers said they consider Orchesis a contemporary lyrical group, though many team members have a chance to bring their personal style and message into the group through their own choreography.

“Sometimes people choreograph a dance with a message in mind and convey a meaning with lyrics,” Wildenauer said. “Otherwise, they just choreograph to move, and the audience interprets it as they would like.”

In the  Eklipse showcase, members performed a mix of small group routines and solos. A variety of music characterized the show, including hip-hop numbers like “Emergency” by Icona Pop, “Touch” by Little Mix, and “I’m Blue” by Eiffel 65.

In an interview before the showcase, 2016-17 Eklipse co-captains Baylee Bowman (‘18) and Erika Finanger (‘17) said they were most excited about showing their audience what they had been working on all year.

“I’m just looking forward to performing again,” Bowman said. “There’s a lot of dances that no one has seen except us, so I am excited to get those out there. There are also special performances that I haven’t seen yet, and I am excited for those as well.”

Eklipse showcase attendee Delaney Schurer (‘18) enjoyed the opportunity to watch a student-organized dance group.

“It’s nice to see a lot of the talent on campus that we don’t regularly get to see,” Schurer said.

Halfway through the Eklipse performance, the K-Pop Dance Crew and Amatullah made guest appearances to showcase their talent. Luther DJ “DJ Stikboy” mixed the music for the entire event.

With 10 current members on the Orchesis squad and 14 on Eklipse, both teams testified to the importance of being open to everyone’s ideas.

“Eklipse started as a huge dance group and has kind of evolved into a smaller group because it’s easier to communicate with fewer people,” Finanger said. “Our hip-hop style changes with the addition of different members each semester.”

For Ahlers, Orchesis’ communicative atmosphere makes the team a worthy commitment.

“[Dance] is a medium that lets me express my thoughts through actions rather than through words,” Ahlers said. “Orchesis is a fun, welcoming environment.”

Attendee Madi Brauer (‘19) acknowledged this visible camaraderie in Orchesis, as well as wide variety of dancing styles.

“I used to dance in high school, so seeing it [here] makes me feel nostalgic. [Orchesis] has a range of songs, both happy and sad, and you can tell they really love each other.”

Orchesis tryouts take place in the fall semester, and Eklipse holds tryouts in both the fall and spring semesters.

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