Members of the Orchesis company rehearse the final dance in this weekend’s show. Titled “Orchesis 2013: …to be human,” the annual dance performance opens Friday, April 26, at 8 p.m. in Chappelear Drama Center.
Dancers rehearse a piece for Orchesis on Chappelear Drama Center’s main stage. This year’s program features dances choreographed by Ohio Wesleyan faculty and students, as well as guest choreographer Noelle Chun.
The Chappelear main stage is lit with lights on the side and at the back of the playing space, as well as from the house above where the audience sits. Several OWU students, as well as Chad Knutson, the theatre department’s technical director, did lighting designs for the dances.
Senior Jordan Ahmed rehearses fellow senior April Warner’s Orchesis piece. Warner’s dance, conceived as her senior capstone project, aims to “abstract psychological/emotional symptoms by explaining it in more tangible, concrete terms,” she said in an email.
Warner said she conducted research and interviews about the physical health effects of mental illness to provide context for her piece. She then put together a series of workshops with dancers “to induce psychological symptoms based on physiological stimuli” as a basis for the choreography of the 15-minute dance, the longest in this year’s Orchesis show.
Ahmed and freshman Yasmin Radzi perform in Warner’s piece. Warner said thinks the performance will educate the audience about the real toll of mental illness.
“My hope is that if people regard mental illnesses as something that is real and physical (rather than mental and potentially made up or exaggerated), then it can reduce stigma,” she said in an email.
Noah Manskar is a senior double-majoring in journalism and pre-law studies with minors in women's and gender studies and English. He's the moderator of the House of Peace and Justice, historian for Sisters United, a member of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity and a member of the Owtsiders, OWU's co-ed a cappella group. He's also an avid skateboarder.