Press Release

‘Orchesis 18/19’

October 22, 2018 – by Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan’s student dance company will present its annual contemporary dance concert, Orchesis 18/19, in three performances Nov. 9-10. This year’s performance will explore relationships. (Photo by Josh Martin)

Ohio Wesleyan Dancers, Choreographers Take Relationships to the Stage Nov. 9-10

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University’s student dance company, Orchesis, will present its annual contemporary dance concert Nov. 9-10 with 16 dancers exploring relationships in seven pieces created by students, faculty, and a guest choreographer.

Guest choreographer Momar Ndiaye directs “No’w’man is an Island, 7=1ω,” with seven female dancers exploring the idea of encounters, influence, identity, journey, and community. Inspired by the concept of “no man is an island,” Ndiaye’s piece asks: “What is the common denominator(s) “ω” that ambiguously highlight(s) our differences while at the same time consolidates and solidifies or resembles?”

“These concepts are looked at from both a micro and macro level since we live in a world of globalization,” said Ndiaye, a performer, choreographer, and videographer from Senegal. “Could dance be the ‘neutral’ space for the redefinition of dynamics between people from different places and backgrounds?”

The concert’s artistic director, Rashana Perks Smith, presents “The Big and Small,” which examines the duality of reaching toward something bigger in the midst of dealing with all that is small. Seniors Kimberly McCalmont, Penell Paglialunga, Rachael Sheets, and Savannah Travis “bounce between large and small volumes of movement, gradual and quick transitions, personal and public kinespheres, and the understated and the over the top,” said Smith, a member of the Ohio Wesleyan faculty since 2013.

In collaboration with the full cast of Orchesis, Smith will conclude the concert with a 16-member piece, “With and Without You | Coursing Through My Veins.” The piece represents “a recognition of singularity and multiplicity coupled with an acknowledgment of lineage; it is a love letter to mentors and a look forward,” Smith said.

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

  • Senior Kimberly McCalmont of Centerville, Ohio, presents her final Orchesis piece as a reflection of her 19 years of ballet, modern, and contemporary dance training.
  • Senior Savannah Travis of Bainbridge Island, Washington, investigates the concept of vulnerability and how it is used to connect with others.
  • Junior Kiersten Bender of Springfield, Ohio, explores the rise and fall of relationships.
  • Sophomore Taylor Frasure of Galloway, Ohio, depicts close relationships using partnered ensemble work.

The Department of Theatre & Dance will present three performances of “Orchesis 18/19” at 8 p.m. Nov. 9 and at both 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Nov.10 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. The Nov. 9 performance is free for Ohio Wesleyan faculty and staff. A reception will follow each performance. To reserve tickets, call (740) 368-3855.

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


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.