December 18, 2015

Contact: Christy McNeil Chand

Cal Poly Orchesis Dance Company to Present ‘Transcend’ Jan. 22-23 and 28-30

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department will present the Orchesis Dance Company’s 46th annual concert, “Transcend,” Friday and Saturday, Jan. 22-23, and Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 28-30, in the Spanos Theatre on campus. Performances will begin at 8 p.m. on all days, with a matinee scheduled at 2 p.m. Jan. 23.

The concert will feature the choreography of guest artists Wade Madsen and David Dorfman. Madsen is a professor at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, where he has been teaching since 1984. He has danced and choreographed internationally, and his work has been produced by Seattle Dance Project, On the Boards, Bumbershoot, Rockhopper Dance, d9 Dance Collective, Spectrum Dance Theater, and Seattle Opera.

Dorfman has served as chair of the Connecticut College Dance Department since 2004 and as artistic director of David Dorfman Dance since 1987. He is a recipient of a 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship, four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and three fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He has also earned an American Choreographer’s Award, the first Paul Taylor Fellowship from The Yard, and a New York Dance and Performance Award.

Local guest artist Lisa Deyo has created a new piece that explores ideological connections to others. Orchesis assistant directors and faculty members Diana Stanton and Michelle Walter will contribute modern and ballet pieces, respectively, featuring dancers from Cal Poly’s repertory dance classes. Orchesis Director Christy McNeil Chand will present a new jazz piece to music featuring a kora, a harp-like African instrumen

Student-choreographed pieces chosen for presentation include two created by mathematics student Larissa Clawson and psychology major Natalie Higgins and a third by anthropology and geography student Sarah Dirk and architectural engineering major Erica Croft

The show will also include a rousing West African dance set by Mory Moussa Bangoura of Central Coast Afro Rhythm and Dance. All 26 Orchesis dancers will dance together on stage to the live accompaniment of local drummers Bruce Ogilvie, Derek LaVoie and Bob Nanninga.   Clint Bryson, a staff member in the Theatre and Dance Department, will serve as technical director and lighting designer.

Tickets for “Transcend” are $20 for the public and $12 for students, seniors and children. They can be bought at the Performing Arts Center Ticket Office between noon and 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. To order by phone, call 805-SLO-4TIX (805-756-4849).

In addition to the Theatre and Dance Department, the performance is sponsored by Cal Poly’s College of Liberal Arts, and the Instructionally Related Activities program.


— Orchesis Dance Company:
— Theatre and Dance Department:
— College of Liberal Arts:
— David Dorfman Dance:
— Wade Madsen 2015 Interview:

About the Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department

The Theatre and Dance Department provides students with programs of study that integrate practical production work with theater and dance principles, theory and historical development. The department also acts as a cultural focus for the campus and San Luis Obispo community. Each year the department presents three main-stage theater productions, the Orchesis Dance Company production, and a student-directed dance concert, all showcasing the importance of the department in the realization of the university’s mission as a comprehensive polytechnic identity.

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