50 — Choreographer Statements


The choreographers for the Cal Poly Orchesis Dance Company 50th anniversary concert created pieces inspired by one specific program title from the past of their choosing. The following statements are written by each choreographer in response to a prompt from Orchesis Director, Christy Chand. The prompt was this: New this year, choreographers are being asked to write a brief statement that offers a peek into the creative process. Please consider what you want your audience to know about your title, inspiration, theme, process, movement, music choices, etc. Below is what each chose to offer you, the audience.

Choreographer: Lisa Deyo (Guest Artist) We honor and celebrate Moon Ja Minn Suhr, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus and founder of Orchesis as the company continues to grow and evolve.

Choreographer: Isabel Rangel & Marin Govett (Students) In looking back at the legacy of Orchesis and what others have left behind with past performances, our piece encourages us to consider the signature we will leave behind. Wherever life takes us, we have to be confident in the decisions that we make and not second guess are true passions.

Choreographer: Lindsay Eklund (Student) Continuum: a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct. Taking the concept of a continuum in an abstract form, this piece plays with differences in quality and intentionality, and weaves groups of dancers together to create a multilayered, textured piece. These patterns parallel the extremities in our own human existence, somewhat unknown, confusing, yet not alone.

Choreographer: Kathleen Helm (Guest Artist) “Move On, America" examines tradition and community while exposing individual desires to break from a structure that is directionless and seemingly unending. The work utilizes forms and patterns derived from American Square Dancing, which traditionally relies upon 8 dancers and is set to a formulated musical structure. The choreography attempts to maintain order with an uneven number of dancers and evolves as an abstraction of traditional square dance calls and motifs, while teetering between themes of cooperation, chaos, and stamina.

Choreographer: Diana Stanton (Faculty) The most potent experiences we celebrate in the dance program at Cal Poly are those when we work collaboratively with the students in rehearsal. “Transcend” features movement generated by both students and choreographer working with the idea of “going beyond.” Inspired by the concept and artwork of the Orchesis 2016 concert, “Transcend” presents an abstracted landscape of the mind where participants surpass daily existence and indulge in the pleasure and wonder of their danced encounter. The dance aims to celebrate Maurice Ravel’s iconic composition, “Bolero,” playfully performed by Pink Martini, and to honor the joy and passion of the Orchesis dancers.


Choreographer: Christy McNeil Chand (Faculty) Echoes, ripples, repetition - considering the lived experience and how we face similar moments through each of our days. The same commute, work space, family, food, etc. Distinctions are created by accents and highlights that emerge and stamp permanence within memory. “Echoes and Accents” applies these moments to 11 dancers for four minutes. The choreographic repetition (echoes) promotes the search for highlights (accents) in order to separate one phrase from the next. Ask any dancer in the cast about how mentally challenging and fatiguing this piece was and still is.

Choreographer: Michelle Walter (Faculty) The process started when the choreographer researched music from the year when Cal Poly Orchesis Company commenced, 1970, and selected a piece of music from that year. This piece utilizes classical ballet technique, en pointe with no narrative. The music jolts the memory back to the 70"s and the piece is a celebration of that time.

Choreographer: Emily Chung (Student) Inspired by the 1974 Orchesis Show, titled "Art of Dancing", this piece seeks to capture the beauty and complexity of dance in a way that also acknowledges its inherently abstract nature. This piece was driven by the choreographic process of making movement that felt freeing to do, in the hopes that that feeling would come across to the viewer.

Choreographer: Evan Ricaurté (Student) Over fifty years, the Orchesis Dance Company has had countless shows with different titles, intents, and dancers; that at times can seem disparate. However this piece, inspired by 2001's "Dance Perspectives", recognizes the sense of a "greater whole" in this company's history. By finding movement in seemingly random patterns of static and noise, the significance of every past show's contribution to Orchesis's legacy is explored. Together the dancers move through the ebbs and flows of history, finding the significance and beauty in the image that forms when looking at the whole of their movements.

Choreographer: Mike Esperanza (Guest Artist) Since this is a milestone year for Orchesis, I wanted to create something that stylistically progressed in reflection on the history of the program. I used the record player in between songs to tie in a sense of nostalgia. 


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