Press Release

Dancing in the Dusk

October 28, 2019 – by Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan will present three performances of its ‘Orchesis 19/20’ contemporary dance concert Nov. 15-16. The show will feature eight pieces and 13 dancers exploring unified individuality and the unknown. (Photo by Kit Weber)

Ohio Wesleyan Dancers, Choreographers Explore the Unknown Nov. 15-16 at ‘Orchesis 19/20’

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University’s student dance company, Orchesis, will present its annual contemporary dance concert with 13 dancers performing eight pieces created by students, faculty, and a guest choreographer.

The Department of Theatre & Dance will present “Orchesis 19/20” at 8 p.m. Nov. 15 and at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Nov.16 on the Main Stage of 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.

Guest choreographer Megan Davis Bushway’s work, “Yellow Suite,” is an abstract landscape set to selections from Moondog’s album, “Sax Pax for a Sax.” A trio of dancers captures sonic textures from the musical score with sweeping phrase work and swift gestures. At once, they are individual voices and a unified ensemble.

Choreographed by artistic director Rashana Perks Smith, “Casting” situates itself near dusk, as day transitions to night. Three dancers dive into gray areas and pluralities as they find the dual roles of casting out to retrieve and casting out to expunge. Arvo Part’s “Fratres for Cello and Piano” provides a framework for connected vignettes that teeter between quiet introspection and charging physicality.

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

  • Senior Miah Gruber asks, “What does it feel like to step out into the unknown and trust that somehow things will be OK?”
  • Junior Taylor Frasure’s piece examines the strength it takes to follow uncharted territory.
  • Junior Maggie Welsh posits that perhaps the grass is greener where you water it.
  • Sophomore Ellie Bearss develops her writing into a movement piece about the prevalent fear of mass shootings.
  • Sophomore Tess Meddings bases a partnership of touch without physical contact.
  • Sophomore Anne Raspe’s piece centers on the fluctuation between uniformity and individuality.

The Nov. 15 performance will be free for Ohio Wesleyan faculty and staff. A reception will follow each performance.

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


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 25 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.