Contact: Christy McNeil Chand
Cal Poly Orchesis Dance Company to Present ‘Synergy’ Jan. 20-21 and 26-28
SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department will present the Orchesis Dance Company’s 47th annual concert, “Synergy,” Friday and Saturday, Jan. 20-21, and Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 26-28, 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. 21.
The concert will feature the choreography of guest artists Amanda Leise, Ryan Corriston, and Mark Haines with Rita Chenoweth. Leise, from Boulder, Colorado, currently dances with Wild Heart and Interweave Dance Theatre after having taught for EDGE Performing Arts Center, Hollywood Vibe Convention, and the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop. She created a high-energy hip hop/jazz funk piece that challenges her dancers to be both highly rhythmic and dynamically varied while portraying self-confidence and their own sense of fun and party.
In contrast, modern dancer Ryan Corriston crafted a piece that values the search for connection, momentum, and humanistic intent. Corriston danced with Doug Varone and Dancers for six seasons and is now an assistant professor of dance at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Riverside City College dance professors Haines and Chenoweth were tasked with creating the final piece in the concert that features all 30 student dancers in this year’s Orchesis Dance Company. Recruiting the smooth sounds of Ella Fitzgerald, the dancers invite the audience to take a journey through emotional changes and toe-tapping rhythms.
In the true spirit of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing charge, five students created new works that were chosen through an audition process and mentored by the Orchesis Directors. Larissa Clawson (math major), Erica Croft (architectural engineering), Sarah Dirk (kinesiology), Lindsay Eklund (architecture), and Natalie Higgins (psychology) each experienced the entire creative process from inspiration and movement innovation to performance on the stage.
Orchesis Director Christy McNeil Chand, Assistant Directors Diana Stanton and Michelle Walter, and local guest artist Lisa Deyo also will premiere works featuring the Orchesis dancers and dancers from Cal Poly’s repertory dance classes. Clint Bryson, a staff member in the Theatre and Dance Department, will serve as technical director and lighting designer.
Tickets for “Synergy” 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: theatredance.calpoly.edu/orchesis
- Theatre and Dance Department: theatredance.calpoly.edu/
- College of Liberal Arts: cla.calpoly.edu/
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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