Dancing Through Time

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Corona del Mar’s Orchesis dance team pose for a photo during a recent dress rehearsal for their upcoming show. — All photos by Charles Weinberg
Corona del Mar’s Orchesis dance team pose for a photo during a recent dress rehearsal for their upcoming show. — All photos by Charles Weinberg

Instead of “springing forward,” a group of dance students will turn back the clocks next week and dance their way through history.

Corona del Mar High School’s Orchesis Dance Company will perform “Turning Back Time – Retracing the Steps of History,” April 4-6.

“It’s an experience,” said Orchesis director, Cami Marseilles. “You sit down and we take you on a ride…of traveling through time.”

The show will be a compilation of 21 dances, each representing a different time period starting with the beginning of time and the ancient world, all the way through this century.

“It focuses on the art of story telling through dance,” according to a press release from the dance group.

A variety of dance styles will be incorporated, Marseilles said, from musical theater to hip-hop to ballet.

Each dance will represent a story and will be introduced with a video.

The 25-member team has been working on the show since the beginning of the year.

“It’s all been working up to this point,” said Orchesis co-president Kristen Risser, 18, a CdM senior. “This is our big show.”

(right to left) Junior Liliana Dawidoff, 17, sophomore Rachel Wagscshal, 16, and freshman Kendall Kurzweil, 14, strike a pose from next week’s show.
(right to left) Junior Liliana Dawidoff, 17, sophomore Rachel Wagscshal, 16, and freshman Kendall Kurzweil, 14, strike a pose from next week’s show.

The girls put a lot of work into the program, Marseilles said.

“It’s hard and it’s a big time commitment,” Risser added, “but it’s all worth it.”

There are smaller dances, rallies and performances during the rest of the year, but this is the main event.

“We work really hard to get here, so when we do get here it’s super exciting and super fun,” said the other co-president, Hannah Hall, 17, also a senior. “And when we’re done it’s super sad and we can‘t believe it‘s over.”

It’s bittersweet for all the seniors, the girls agreed, both of whom have been on the team since they were freshmen.

“We’re all really close, we’re like sisters,” Hall said.

Both girls plan on majoring in dance when they go to college, Risser to University of California, Los Angeles, and Hall to either UC, Santa Barbara, or Texas Christian University.

“We all love each other and I think you can see that on stage,” Marseilles said.

As a company, they grow every year, said Marseilles, who has been at CdM for nine years.

“We always push ourselves to grow,” she said.

There is also a lot of student-produced choreography and participation, Risser said.

“They learn how to create a dance based on a story,” Marseilles said.

They also learn about costume design, lighting and production.

“They learn how to produce a show,” she added. “Every aspect of producing a show. So it’s very unique.”

It’s  also unique in the sense that the girls don’t compete, they focus on the artistic side of dance, Marseilles said.

Rachel Wagscshal, 16, a sophomore, and Kendall Kurzweil, 14, a freshman, both new to the team, agree.

Orchesis company members really focuses on the art of dance,  they said

“It’s different, but good,” noted Wagscshal, who was been on other dance troupes before Orchesis.

“It’s keeps you well rounded,” Kurzweil added.

It’s a very professional team, Risser said, and the “Turning Back Time” show will display that. People of all ages will be entertained, Hall added.

“We’re really excited,” Hall said. “It’s going to be a great show.”

 

The show will run April 4-6, from 7-10 p.m. in the Loats Theater at Newport Harbor High School.

Details and tickets are available through the school’s Associated Student Body web store at cdm.nmusd.us. Tickets will also be sold on campus in the quad area.

The girls practice a number from show.
The girls practice a number from show.
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