Orchesis, a 100-year OWU tradition in the art of dancing, returns to campus November 12-13.
The annual dance show is directed by head dance professor, Rashana Smith, and choreographed by six students and an additional guest choreographer.
After being affected by Covid-19 last year and having to do the show outside under extreme weather conditions, the dance ensemble is set to return to perform at the Chappelear Drama Center in a much more comfortable but still challenging setting as they have had to deal with the technical side of things.
The show gives students with dance experience an opportunity to excel and try new things. One of the student choreographers, Alex Dolph, is not only choreographing her own piece but also dancing and as well as doing light design. Her piece is set to revolve around a male duet, which is apparently a ‘very rare thing’ to see and inspired by the critically acclaimed show, Twin Peaks.
Another student choreographer, who is also exploring a lot of creative and daring ideas, is Kayla Rush. Unlike Alex, Kayla wants to focus her piece on movements and transitions and how they go with the music she’s adding. She also stated that while the whole show doesn’t have a “common theme”, all of the dances will be considered “modern”.
The show provides an opportunity for veteran dance majors like Anne Raspe to fulfill their senior projects. But the requirement for this is that they have to complete a 10-15-minute dance piece with a two-page reflection after the performance.
For her project, she decided to divide her piece into three distinct sections since she wants the audience to notice how each dancer’s body “seems differently with a different lighting.” The 12-minute-long-piece focuses on the top lights, a behind-the-screen silhouettes movement, and a stained-glass lighting effect that she credits lighting designer, dancer, and choreographer Alex Dolph.
The enthusiastic and excited cast wants to see the audience’s reaction to Orchesis, but they also hope that the audience and the university’s administration appreciate their work more long-term.
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