Ohio Wesleyan to Present ‘Orchesis 2012’ Dance Performance

23 Students to Perform 12 Dances on March 2 and March 3

Ohio Wesleyan students April Warner, left, and Kathleen Dalton rehearse for Orchesis 2012, an upcoming performance by OWU’s student dance company. The show will feature 23 performers and 12 dances. (Photo by Ellie Bartz)

DELAWARE, OHIO – Ohio Wesleyan University’s Department of Theatre & Dance will present “Orchesis 2012” at 8 p.m. March 2 and March 3 in Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Ave.

Tickets are $10 for general admission; $5 for Ohio Wesleyan employees, senior citizens, and non-OWU students; and free for OWU students. For reserve tickets, call (740) 368-3855 beginning Feb. 17.

Orchesis, Ohio Wesleyan’s student dance company, showcases the works of student choreographers along with works by faculty and guest choreographers. This year, 23 students will present 12 dances exploring a diverse range of themes.

Dancers dart through shafts of light on an empty stage in “Gray Matters” by guest choreographer Kristen Jeppsen Groves. A military wife interested in the current political unrest in the Middle East, Groves uses explosive movement and dynamic partnering to explore social media as an agent for social upheaval or mindless complacency.

Fascinated by the satellite images recently projected from the outer reaches of space, Ohio Wesleyan assistant professor Marin Leggat, artistic director of Orchesis, contributes “Genesis,” which explores themes of repetition and synergy inherent in any act of creation. Guest choreographer and part-time dance faculty Jill Becker brings movement and music together on the stage in a whimsical three-part quintet set to music by Nat King Cole and Michael Galasso.

The 23 Orchesis company members also will share the stage in “Mixed Company,” performed to Haydn’s Mercury Symphony, with costume design by Jacqueline Shelley.

Students Matthew Jamison, a sophomore from Houston, and Kathleen Dalton, a junior from Litchfield, Ohio, will present original works prior to their competing at the American College Dance Festival this spring.

In “All the Rules Have Changed Here,” Jamison draws upon personal experience as a crisis counselor to call attention to the realities of women’s experience as victims – and survivors – of sexual violence. In “Orange,” Dalton encourages audience members to overcome the daily pressures of overly scheduled lives to create and savor personal interactions with loved ones.

Other student-choreographers include Tessa Cannon of Trumansburg, N.Y.; Cassie Easter of Glenview Nas, Ill.; Yvonne Hendricks of Hartford, Conn.; Emily Hostetler of Toledo, Ohio; Brittany Robertson of Wadsworth, Ohio; Rachel Vinciguerra of Boston; and April Warner of Dublin, Ohio. Choreographers have been developing works in weekly rehearsals since mid-October. The 12-week rehearsal process also has involved peer mentoring, faculty feedback, and company showings, as students seek to develop their choreographic and performance skills.

Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 47 states and 57 countries. Ohio Wesleyan was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is 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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