October 24, 2017

Orchesis celebrates Alumni through Winter Showcase

by Chris Nush, Staff Reporter

After their performance in Dance Chicago’s Future Stars concert, WHS’s Orchesis program  announced it’s annual Winter Showcase. The main theme of the Winter Showcase was to show how WHS alumni were continuing their careers in dance.

“There’s a lot of alumni out there doing pretty cool stuff and continuing careers in dance,” Diane Rawlinson, Orchesis director, said. “And so this year, I decided I wanted to celebrate  a number of things our alumni are doing.”

The showcase was dedicated to Scott Bartell,  a guest choreographer for Orchesis. He was diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away in December 2012, at the age of 26. Bartell was a close friend of the WHS Orchesis program. He came out as a guest artist three of the last four years and also taught master classes to all of the dance students.

“He was a very young, up and coming artist, choreographer and teacher  that we had a really neat relationship with here, not just at Wheeling but personally,” Ms. Rawlinson said. “You hate to see a young person pass away, and then you’ve got such a young talented dancer who was on his way to making a big difference.”

WHS also shared the stage with York High School’s dance program, directed by WHS alumni, Anna Sapozhnikov.

The following night, the WHS Orchesis held  its annual Children’s workshop where children age 3-13 were able to participate in afternoon workshops with Orchesis members. There were 13 different workshops for children to work on while two Orchesis members helped them. The children then performed at the evening Showcase concert after practicing for two and a half hours.

“The kids really like it because they get to create something really special to them,” Harlan Rosen, senior, said.

The showcase concert featured current WHS Orchesis members, the Children’s Workshop participants, WHS alumni dancers and the  students currently enrolled in dance classes.

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