Top Seven Reasons You Should See Orchesis

Orchesis, the Wilson College dance troupe, will perform “On Edge: Dances on the Brink,” Friday, April 11 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 12 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Appenzellar-Buchanan Dance Studio in Disert Hall.

Because I know you probably need some convincing to leave your dorm (or apartment, house or underground cave) to watch your favorite students and classmates dance, I’ve assembled a list of seven noteworthy reasons why you should come see Orchesis perform the weekend of April 11 and 12.

1. Tickets cost next to nothing! For less than the cost of an insulin-spiking beverage from your favorite coffee shop, you can come broaden your cultural horizons. Wilson College student tickets cost just $3 and general admission tickets cost $10. Children under twelve years old can see Orchesis perform for free. Email Paula Kellinger at today to reserve your seat!

2. You do not want to miss Alexandre Howard’s ’14 unique and captivating choreography. Howard has choreographed an edgy, modern group piece and will blow you away with her ingenuity. Howard, who has been choreographing her own work since her first semester at Wilson, has never been afraid to push creative boundaries with her avant-garde pieces. She says she creates new work by visualizing Orchesis dancers in the space—and then envisions them move in her mind.

“It is really the dancers that choreographed the piece—in my imagination. My job has been to translate the work into physical performance,” says Howard.

3. Many Wilson students will debut solo performances or their own choreography for the first time.

Wilson dancer Christiana Bredbenner ‘16 will  perform two duets, one solo, and one group piece.  Long limbed and beautifully expressive, Bredbenner will draw you in with her dramatic movements and classical music selections.

Surprisingly, Bredbenner has no prior dance performance. In high school, she participated in the marching band and color guard. After graduating high school she missed the performance aspect of these two activities, and decided to give Orchesis a try.

Emily Ebner ’16 also never danced before joining Wilson’s Orchesis troupe. Ebner will debut her own choreography for the first time this semester.  She has received help and encouragement from Dance Professor Paula Kellinger, dance partner Danielle Boock ’16, and other Orchesis dancers.

“When I first joined Orchesis, I didn’t think I was much of a dancer and nowhere close to being a choreographer,” says Ebner.

4. You will get the opportunity to meet Paula Kellinger, Valerie Barnes (who so graciously takes all the Orchesis photographs during rehearsals and performances), and her sister Deb Barnes ‘71, who participated in Orchesis during her time at Wilson. All three of these ladies do so much for Orchesis and always help and direct student dancers and choreographers. Kellinger remains enthusiastic and passionate about her area of expertise—and Deb and Valerie  provide invaluable feedback to student dancers.

Valerie Barnes enjoys seeing student dancers develop over the course of the semester.

“One of the things I enjoy most about Orchesis is seeing Wilson students grow and benefit from being part of this warm, creative group. Students continually surprise me, taking their choreography in new directions and pushing themselves to become better dancers,” says Barnes.

If for no other reason, attend to support the people who support and mold Wilson’s dancers!

5. You will get to  support the arts and Wilson College’s dance curriculum.

“Being in dance has taught me a lot about organization and how to really work together with people. I’ve also really learned how to manage my time,” says Bredbenner.

Orchesis also allows student dancers to relieve stress and express themselves in a positive manner.

“I feel no boundaries when I dance. I push them away and test every ability, both physical and mental,” says Howard.

6. You might discover (and we hope you do) a newfound interest in dance, or even decide to join Orchesis next semester.

“The team is literally like one big family. This is a judgment-free zone, just dive in! As for choreographing, go for it! It doesn’t matter whether you’ve choreographed or danced before or not—if you have an interest, give it a try!” says Bredbenner.

Howard also encourages students to come try it out.

“It is such a lovely experience. The best part, one doesn’t need experience or background in dance!” says Howard.

“If you can raise your hand, you can be in Orchesis! No experience necessary!” says Bredbenner.

So come check it out!

7. And of course, come support all the other dancers who will be performing! Azusa Terajima ’14, Orchesis President Destiny Patterson ‘15, Neena Gurung ‘15, and all the other talented Wilson Orchesis dancers!

For more information call 717-264-4141.

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