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Cal Poly theatre and dance to present, ‘Convergence’ Jan. 14-15 

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Kimberly Marquez performs “Concert in Motion,” choreographed by Assistant Director Michelle Walter. Photo by Brittany App.

Concert features original dances created during fall quarter

– The Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department will present the Orchesis Dance Company’s 52nd annual concert, “Convergence,” on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 14-15, and Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 20-22, in the Spanos Theatre. Performances will begin at 8 p.m. on all days, with a matinee scheduled at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15.

The Orchesis Dance Company celebrates its return to the concert stage after live performances were canceled due to the pandemic. In celebration of the theme of convergence, the point at which we come together, performances will include choreography by faculty, student, and guest choreographers in multiple genres.

The concert features original dances created during fall quarter, directed by Professor Diana Stanton and assisted by faculty member Michelle Walter. Cal Poly staff member Clint Bryson serves as both lighting designer and technical director.

Boasting an impressive career and over 180 works to his credit, guest artist Wade Madsen of Seattle has returned to create a new piece for the dance company. Madsen engaged with Orchesis dancers via Zoom in an entirely virtual collaborative process. The dance features eight Orchesis dancers and explores the idea of individuality within a group.

Theatre and dance faculty members Stanton, Walter, Horacio Heredia and Kathleen Helm each created new work based on the “Convergence” theme. Helm’s “Sideways Suite” is a modern dance in three parts set to music by 18th-century composer Jean-Joseph de Mondonville. Dancers were given simple directional tasks, “under, in between, around, through…” resulting in a study of continually evolving spatial and situational relationships. With music by Etta James, Stanton’s piece playfully explores the hunger for connection many had during the pandemic.

Local choreographer Lisa Deyo created “Just Gettin’ Started,” an impressive and upbeat concert finale featuring all 28 Orchesis dancers.

Embracing Cal Poly’s motto of Learn by Doing, five student choreographers will present choreography created in the Orchesis class. Architecture major Emily Chung thematically explores the pre- and post-pandemic self with a unique gestural movement vocabulary set to music by Philip Glass. Biomedical engineering major Audrey Johnson presents an abstracted dreamlike atmosphere, inspired by her studies of the brain’s inner workings, through sophisticated movement invention.

Tickets for “Convergence” are $20 for the public and $12 for students, seniors and children. They can be bought at the Performing Arts Center Ticket Office from noon to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. To order by phone, call 805-SLO-4TIX (805-756-4849). Tickets can also be purchased online at pacslo.org.

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.

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