Ohio Wesleyan Dancers, Choreographers Explore Interconnectedness

‘Orchesis 15/16’ Contemporary Dance Concert Set for Three Main Stage Performances Nov. 13-15
Ohio Wesleyan students Ares Harper (left), Hilary Quinn, and Jeremy Griffin-Jackson will perform in the university’s contemporary dance concert, ‘Orchesis 15/16,’ opening Nov. 13. (Photo by Trent Williams)

Ohio Wesleyan students Ares Harper (left), Hilary Quinn, and Jeremy Griffin-Jackson will perform in the university’s contemporary dance concert, ‘Orchesis 15/16,’ opening Nov. 13. (Photo by Trent Williams)

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University’s student dance company, Orchesis, will present its annual contemporary dance concert with 24 dancers performing eight pieces created by students, faculty, and a guest choreographer.

The Department of Theatre & Dance will present “Orchesis 15/16” at 8 p.m. Nov. 13 and Nov. 14 and at 2 p.m. Nov.15 on the Main Stage of OWU’s Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for senior citizens, Ohio Wesleyan employees, and non-OWU students with valid student IDs. Tickets are free for OWU students with valid university IDs. To reserve tickets, call (740) 368-3855.

All 24 dancers will conclude the concert with “Effort of Interface,” choreographed by artistic director and visiting assistant professor of dance Rashana Smith in collaboration with the Orchesis cast. The performance will feature original music by OWU assistant professor of music Jennifer Jolley.

“This year, we’re exploring the effort that we extend to each other, specifically the connections and disconnections we find ourselves negotiating on a daily basis,” Smith said. “‘Effort of Interface’ refers largely to the proximity we as individuals have to each other and to the technology that connects us. The amount of true effort relates not only to the technological component, but also to the human component – how convenient, how easy, how much honest effort do we allow ourselves in order to be connected?”

Guest choreographer Jill Becker, in collaboration with her dancers, will present “Migrations” in response to the current refugee crisis. The piece’s soulful and lush music is from the film “Mr. Holmes” and was composed by Carter Burwell.

The show’s remaining pieces, all choreographed by Ohio Wesleyan dance students, explore a variety of themes.

  • Senior Jeunesse Jacobs of Lithonia, Georgia, poses physically challenging choreography based on the specific goals of her dancers.
  • Senior Yasmin Radzi of Spring, Texas, re-contextualizes for the Main Stage her senior dance film, which focuses on dance in the midst of confining architecture.
  • Junior Jeremy Griffin-Jackson of Redford, Michigan, explores breaking traditional dance lines of shape and formation.
  • Junior Maddie Presley-Wolff of Ashburn, Virginia, examines alienation and loss.
  • Junior Diana Muzina of Willoughby Hills, Ohio, questions the impact of societal messages on women.
  • Sophomore Alexia Minton of Wilmington, Ohio, breathes life and movement into Lorado Taft’s statue “Solitude of the Soul.”

Learn more about Orchesis and Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Theatre & Dance at http://dance.owu.edu.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers 87 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world experience. OWU’s 1,675 students represent 43 U.S. states and territories and 33 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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