Press Release

Ohio Wesleyan Dancers, Choreographers Find Their Voices

October 18, 2016 – by Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan students will present ‘Orchesis 16/17,’ a contemporary dance concert, with three performances Nov. 11-13 on the Main Stage in the university’s Chappelear Drama Center. (Photo by Abi Care Horvat ’17)

Orchesis 16/17’ Concert Set for Three Main Stage Performances Nov. 11-13

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University’s student dance company, Orchesis, will present its annual contemporary dance concert with 22 dancers performing eight pieces created by students, faculty, and a guest choreographer.

The Department of Theatre & Dance will present “Orchesis 16/17” at 8 p.m. Nov. 11 and Nov. 12 and at 2 p.m. Nov.13 on the Main Stage of Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Ave., Delaware, on the Ohio Wesleyan campus. 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 Sarah Levitt Ramey will present “Go In Go On,” with the dancers attempting impossible tasks, such as flying or being in two places at once. Ramey is interested in what happens when dancers don’t pretend to do this, or find a way to represent these tasks, but actually attempt to soar, disappear, grow to three times their size, etc.

What happens to the mind and body when we disregard our limitations? What does it look like to live and behave differently than circumstances (environmental, relational) dictate? How does this play out as individuals among a community?

In this process, Ramey explores what drives human beings to push themselves to their edges, fail, get up and try again, and look for what is on the other side of relentlessness.

All 22 dancers will conclude the concert with “Seen and Not Heard,” choreographed by artistic director and visiting assistant professor Rashana Perks Smith in collaboration with the cast of Orchesis.

In “Seen and Not Heard,” dancers explore finding a platform to be seen and heard, advocating for others, and joining forces to enact a response.

A duet with senior dance majors, Maddie Presley-Wolff and Jeremy Griffin-Jackson, precedes the company piece as they trace their development as individuals and as a small cohort of two in the dance program. Through a series of facilitated rehearsals with Smith, the two dancers deconstruct differences and commonalities of dance training and experience.

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

  • Senior Jeremy Griffin-Jackson will present his senior project, which tackles what it is like to be black in the United States.
  • Junior Haley Jacobson will devise a work that sources movement from her dancers and presents multiple styles of dance into one unified piece.
  • Junior Emily Rupp will explore aspects of the isolating effects of being bullied and the support of community.
  • Sophomore Hayley Glessner’s piece will depict the negative effects of the societal pressures on young women to look a certain way.
  • Sophomore Kimberly McCalmont will utilize music visualization to represent inner struggle and turmoil.

The Nov. 11 performance will be free for all Ohio Wesleyan faculty and staff with a public reception following for all attendees. Learn more about Orchesis and Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Theatre & Dance at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers nearly 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 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,” 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