Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
((These are from my high school's dance company concert "Orchesis",)) by SAWYeR.

I remember my first Orchesis production... in a way it's why I initially stuck with theater. (Truncated for length and PG rating in concept of me not opening the dressing room doors for the production).

Cool show, cool running pin-rail, cool as a young teen in finding something of interest and a community of friends sharing a similar love in art. Beyond that, one dance set to the "I believe it's magic" song from "Gost Busters" movie made magic with me - great dancer/great dance and lighting in many ways held me to the art of preformance. This even given it was much just spinning with a shawel under old radial Century Strand fixtures with gobos in them. Art as a concept was even made back before the S-4 and moving light.

Still the question comes to mind. What's Orchesis as a term and where does such a term come from? What's the history of such a name and concept as opposed to just school dance concert or production?
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Chaos is Born

Active Member
Orchesis is an old greek term from about 1000 B.C. meaning "to dance" or "the art of dance", which was used as the term for "the art of gesture" in ancient Greece. Orchesis is also where the word Orchestra comes from, which the greek dancers used as a term for "a dancing place". This area would later become the main location for action in greek trageties.

Also possible that it was derived from the Roman name Peri Orchéseõs who invented or played a drastic role in the development of pantomimes.
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CB Mods
Premium Member
Argh ! My wireless connection here at home keeps dropping me! I just posted a truly scintallating response to this. Here is my attempt to recapture the true genius of the moment.

Orchesis, would seem to me to be a form derrived from the word Orchestra. Now most people think of Music when they here the word Orchestra, but it was oringinally a reference to the "playing area" of a greek theatre. The word Orchestra originally meant the "threshing floor".
Does everybody know what a threshing floor is? Threshing is the process of seperating the Wheat from the Chaff. You can still see threshing floors in operation in most 3rd world countries. To thresh, you use a big fork or shovel to toss the dried wheat into the air. The wind blows away all the leaves, stems, chaff etc. while the heavier wheat kernels fall to the threshing floor. <aside done>

A threshing floor is ,necessarily, a very large flat open area. The threshing floor or Ochestra was the original place at which the festival of Dionsius was held and where large dances and fertility rites were performed.
If the greek derived word "homeostasis" means a state of being in balance, it word be my extrapolation that Orchesis would loosely translate as a " a state of being in dance" or perhaps " Dance as a state of being".

I'm not an etimologist by any means but I think this is going in the right direction.


Well-Known Member
Read your Mary Renault
"The Praise singer" and "The Mask of apollo" both brilliant fictional treatments of two different stages in the development of Greek Theatre. They are a great read too very well written.

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