WSU Dance Ensemble set for spring concert


FAIRBORN — Wright State University’s Dance Ensemble will showcase student dancers in a variety of stunning choreographic works during its spring concert April 20-23 in Wright State’s Festival Playhouse.

Seven dynamic pieces by WSU faculty Gina Gardner Walther and Ashley Pabst and renowned guest choreographers, Stewart/Owen and Alison Reny will be featured. Highlighting this region’s vibrant and diverse dance community, WSU will again feature its partner training companies Dayton Ballet II (DBII) and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2 (DCDC2), offering three exuberant companies on one stage.

The first guest choreographers are Gavin Stewart and Vanessa Owen, husband-and-wife founders of North Carolina-based Stewart/Owen Dance. Their tailor-made repertoire includes an exciting collection of contemporary choreography that’s as “sensual” (Washington Post) as it is “humorous, elegant, and wild” (Seattle Dances).

“Why not live blissfully in the past, in complete denial of present reality? Set in an imaginary bygone time, Memory Affair is a zany piece exploring nostalgia, escapism and inhibition,” the couple said.

The second guest is Reny, who earned her bachelor of fine arts in dance from Wright State University and a master’s degree in education from The University of Toledo. She is director of dance at The Toledo School for the Arts, and choreographer for the Limitless Dance Company. Reny fell in love with teaching and choreographing while she was a student at Wright State. Her premier work focuses on visual and rhythmic patterns, while bringing to the forefront the power and determination of its dancers.

The Spring Dance Concert 2023 is inspired by connections and artistic family. Owen also graduated from Wright State with a bachelor of fine arts in dance and she and Reny are esteemed members of the Wright State University Dance Ensemble (WSUDE) family.

“We are proud to spotlight the creativity and talent of these gifted alumni who have become mature dance artists on the national stage,” WSUDE said in a release. “Dance fills the heart with joy and expresses emotions we cannot put into words. As always, this concert features the work of our students, who receive rigorous training and highly focused individual attention, allowing them to push the boundaries of dance and discover their own artistry. Come out and enjoy every step.”

The April 20 show begins at 7 p.m. and is free (only April 20) for WSU students with a student ID. Performances on April 21 and 22 are at 8 p.m., while the April 23 show is at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for senior citizens, and $5 for students. For more information, call the box office at 937-775-2500 or visit

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