Ohio Wesleyan Dancers, Choreographers Explore What It Means ‘To Be Human’

‘Orchesis 2013’ Concert Set for Three Main Stage Performances April 26-28
Ohio Wesleyan’s student dance company, Orchesis, will present ‘To Be Human’ in three performances April 26-28. The company includes Lauren Holler of Cleveland and Jordan Ahmed of Winchester, Mass. (Photo by Ryan Haddad ’14)

Ohio Wesleyan’s student dance company, Orchesis, will present ‘To Be Human’ in three performances April 26-28. The company includes Lauren Holler of Cleveland and Jordan Ahmed of Winchester, Mass. (Photo by Ryan Haddad ’14)

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University’s student dance company, Orchesis, will explore the theme “To Be Human,” when 19 dancers perform nine dances created by student, faculty, and guest choreographers.

The Department of Theatre & Dance will present “Orchesis 2013” at 8 p.m. April 26 and 27 and at 2 p.m. April 28 on the Main Stage in the Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Tickets are $10 for general admission; $5 for Ohio Wesleyan employees, senior citizens, and non-OWU students with a valid student ID. Tickets are free for OWU students with a valid university ID. To reserve tickets, call (740) 368-3855.

All of the dancers come together for the full company piece, “One Act.” Choreographed by artistic director Marin Leggat, assistant professor of dance, the piece entrances as the dancers collide in delicate vignettes.

“One Act explores human agency, the ability to act in order to bring about change in the world around us,” said Leggat, M.F.A., who joined the university in 2011. “Compassion and forgiveness, or resentment and revenge, One Act asks, ‘What will our lasting legacy be?’ ”

Leggat also choreographed the duet, “All Things Curious and New,” which seeks to exemplify the innocence, purity, and joy associated with new discovery. The piece premiered in February at the American College Dance Festival’s East-Central Regional Conference held in Rochester, Mich.

In addition, guest choreographer Noelle Chun, M.F.A., will present “READY,” a piece created through a collaborative and improvisational process with her dancers.

“READY is the familiar, but on the verge of change,” said Chun, a participating artist at Feverhead and a member of the improvisational trio Like You Mean It. “Before moving toward the new and unknown, we take a second for ourselves to acknowledge our gratitude for the past and our place in the present. We’ve danced together. We dance together. We are ready.”

The show’s remaining pieces, all choreographed by Ohio Wesleyan dance students, explore varied aspects of humanity.

  • Senior April Warner of Dublin, Ohio, will present a multi-part work exploring the complexities of mental illness using explosive, moving choreography and intricate scenic elements.
  • Senior Jordan Ahmed of Winchester, Mass., will explore the deconstruction of gender and societal norms.
  • Senior Tessa Cannon of Trumansburg, N.Y., will explore the concept of home and finding home outside of the traditional family.
  • Senior Kathleen Dalton of Medina, Ohio, will tell a story of the transformation of sin through gesture and emotion.
  • Junior Kathryn Sponseller of Berea, Ohio, will celebrate the complexities and wonders of the human body in a power-packed piece.
  • Sophomore Lauren Holler of Cleveland will examine the nature of competition through fast-paced, compelling choreography.

The April 26 performance will be free for Ohio Wesleyan faculty and staff with a reception following. An Orchesis alumni night reception will be held following the April 27 performance.

Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Theatre & Dance.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities. Ohio Wesleyan offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. OWU combines an internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that connect classroom theory with real-world practice. Located in Delaware, Ohio, OWU’s 1,850 students represent 41 states and 45 countries. The university is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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