Orchesis presents ‘diverse’ dance show

Orchesis Contemporary Dance Theatre will hold its annual dance concert, “Breaking Boundaries,” on Feb. 16 in Lee Hall Auditorium.

The show will have a variety of dance selections ranging from gospel to jazz.

“We are breaking the boundaries of different combinations and different cultures – basically trying to expose diversity to FAMU’s campus,” said Lawrence Jackson, a 28-year-old FSU graduate student from Jackson, Miss.

Jackson is in charge of “Love Sweet,” one of the many selections that will be performed that evening.

“Love Sweet” is danced to a lyrical jazz foundation by artists such as Stevie Wonder and Angie Stone.

Jackson said the songs were chosen because they are significant.

“They are classical pieces, and if we dance to something classical, our dance will then be a classic,” he said.

The show is supposed to expose the campus to African culture and help people recognize its importance.

“This event shows the diversity of our company, which is always a great thing – being diverse,” said E. Gaynell Sherrod, Orchesis dance director. “People should find it important to support our purpose in celebrating the movement in dance,” he said.

Orchesis members have been heavily advertising the event.

“It was announced on the radio and at a recent concert they announced the show to the audience,” said Sparkle Malone, a 21-year-old junior natural resource student from Miami. “Hopefully people will come out and see it.”

Malone was proud of the tributes in the show.

“The tribute to James Brown will be touching, and I think people will actually appreciate that,” she said. “It’s always nice to acknowledge someone that once was important, and it will be entertaining!”

During the first semester the members of Orchesis usually have practice twice a week for two hours. But once the second semester rolls in and the performance deadline begins to commence, their practice gets intense with everyday workouts ranging from six to eight hours per day, referred to as “the concert mode.”

“It is a lot of work but we love what we do,” said JoHanna Daniels, a 22-year-old senior and elementary education student from Tallahassee.

General admission is $8. FAMU students are admitted free with valid Rattler ID. Group tickets are available at a reduced price but recommend to be purchased before Feb. 15.