Preview: Orchesis has a new groove

Orchesis Contemporary Dance Theatre will have a dance production titled “Sankofa” on Feb 1-2 at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Hall auditorium.

Members promised this show will be unlike any show in years past.

Orchesis was founded more than 60 years ago, making it the first dance organization at Florida A&M University. Elgie Sherrod, adviser and dance director of Orchesis, coordinated the dance production.

Sherrod has not only incorporated dance into this production but also singing and the reciting of black history.

Tiffanie Cash, 19, an Orchesis member, said the show will have a lot of new elements that have not been in their previous shows.

“The most important thing to expect from this show is diversity,” said Cash, a sophomore criminal justice student from St. Louis. “Be aware of the element of surprise.”

Robyn Thomas, 23, a psychology graduate student from Miami and Orchesis member, also said the show will be diverse.

“What differentiates ‘Sankofa’ from our other productions is the intensity,” Thomas said.

The production will include many dance styles ranging from African to Fusion, which is a combination of any two dance styles put together.

The show will have African drummers, and Sherrod will recite famous quotes.

The dancers of Orchesis have been rehearsing rigorously for the past two weeks to prepare for this event.

Christina Parsons, 23, a senior biology student from Jacksonville, said Orchesis members put a lot of work into making the show.

“It’s important for us to practice outside of scheduled rehearsals, stay focused, be accountable, work hard, but most of all enjoy what we do,” Parsons said.

Sherrod said in some of the scenes, the dancers not only have to dance but also act.

They will be portraying characters from African heritage, and she said it is important for Orchesis members to be believable as well as entertaining.

The general admission cost is $8. Discounted tickets for senior citizens and non-FAMU students are $5.

FAMU students will be admitted free with a valid Rattler ID.

Tickets can be purchased at the FAMU box office located in Gaither Gymnasium from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.