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Cougars & Mustangs 

While I didn’t get out for New Year’s, I do have my doubts that there was much funky dancing going on around town. No offense, but I just haven’t seen a whole lot of spontaneity and free flow of movement since I moved here. Maybe it’s my New Orleans pedigree. Or maybe I just don’t get out much anymore ... .

Regardless of my jaded opinion, Cal Poly and the Orchesis Dance Company will attempt to awaken the community’s collective inner Baryshnikov with their high-powered dance program Immersion.

Beginning Jan. 27, the concert will feature contemporary choreography embracing current dance trends. Performers include nationally acclaimed guest artists, Cal Poly faculty members, and selected dance students.

The program will showcase guest choreographers from around the West Coast. Holly Johnson, director of Ledges and Bones Dance Company of Los Angeles and San Francisco, noted that her dance for Orchesis “unites a terrain of moving bodies through space-time, creating a visceral experience of shifting human emotions.” And while many modern-day dance companies are mired in abstraction, the Los Angeles Times stated that Johnson is capable of “turning the body into a dangerous machine.”

Seattle choreographer Markeith Wiley will bring some break dancing and hip-hop themes to the program with an excerpt from his politically charged feature-length work “City Council.”

The finale will feature Mike Esperanza’s work “Our Plan,” which ruminates on human relationships. The piece will be accompanied by a live singer who will perform a selection of Beatles tunes.

Also on display will be works by faculty members and local artists. These will include Diana Stanton’s “Torgue,” a ballet by Michelle Walter, and Lisa Deyo’s “Plaza de la Ville.”

Orchesis is Cal Poly’s longest-running dance organization. Showcasing styles from tap, to modern, to ballet, Orchesis gives students performing and educational opportunities, and encourages the youth to hone their artistic talents.

Tickets are available at the PAC. The program will run Jan. 27 through Feb. 4.

So go on out and support the arts. You’ll also be able to impress your friends with the nifty dance moves you learn—not mention the ability to rattle on about the body’s inert ability for expression.

Intern Jason Keedy compiled this week’s Cougars and Mustangs. Send your collegiate news to

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