By: Xander Krivacka, News Crew Member
On Friday, January 31st, and Saturday, February 1st, the dance company Orchesis I held the annual 2020 Barjche (bar-shay) dance concert. This time, it was intended to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage. And boy (or should I say girl) did it do just that.
Barjche was founded in 1946 by three students from Iowa State University: Barbara, Jean, and Charlotte. Orchesis I has carried the torch they passed and has made every effort on their behalf to bring about a fantastic performance, year after year. It has a new theme each time it’s performed, with this year’s being women’s suffrage, as I mentioned above.
The concert featured quite a few stand-out performances that really left an impression on the crowd. While all of them featured color-changing backgrounds due to the multicolored lights being projected around, one used them to carry a story. The dance itself seemed to be about people being controlled by technology, as the dancers moved around like puppets while electronic music played and, at one point, acted as if the phones they were pretending to look at were trying to smother them. It ended with them lining up on stage and pretending to run at the audience just as the lights went out, giving us a bit of a shock.
Another excellent display was given when two dancers, both dressed in whimsical looking clothes that wouldn’t be out of place in a Wes Anderson film played tiny guitars while back to back and walking in a circle. The music then changes to be a bit scarier and intense, then the background gets darker. They appear to have lost each other since they seem to be searching around. Once they find each other, the scene changes back to being a bit happier, and they jumped over each other as the other would roll on the ground. Finally, they joined hands, and the dance was done.
One of the many dances exhibited by this event was a perfect example of what the theme meant. At one point during the performance, two of the female dancers on the stage stood up and took turns reading from one of Susan B. Anthony’s (a famous women’s suffragist) papers. All of this happened while various powerful words from the speech were projected on the screen behind them, and then all around the stage.