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Otterbein Student Dancers are Famously Yours… Forever

Otterbein Student Dancers are Famously Yours… Forever

Otterbein student dancers take on the personas of pop icons in the annual dance concert, Dance 2015: Famously Yours… Forever. The annual dance concert runs Nov. 19-22.

Dance 2015: Famously Yours… Forever is based on Gottfried Helnwein’s painting, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” The painting, an American pop reinterpretation of Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks,” depicts five people seated in the same lonely late-night diner portrayed in Hopper’s painting, but instead of unnamed individuals, these are American pop icons Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, James Dean and Humphrey Bogart. They are trapped in the most unlikely of settings—an ordinary and minimalistic diner—unable to leave because of society’s memories.

The one-act dance theatre piece was conceived and choreographed by Stella Hiatt Kane, Otterbein’s resident faculty choreographer, during her spring 2015 sabbatical.

Kane was inspired by Helnwein’s painting when she ran across it after a discussion with her daughter. “My daughter Eryn is a doctoral candidate in history and we were talking about an interesting book she had read that commented on the popular culture icons and how they have, and continue, to influence every facet of our culture. Suddenly I was captivated to create a one act dance theatre piece based on four of America’s most popular icons gathered together for what very well could be eternity,” she explained.

Otterbein Theatre and Dance will bring Helnwein’s painting to life by creating a giant full-stage rendering of the work as well as creating the diner in 3D on stage. The pop icons—the “animals” forever behind the diner’s window—will struggle to leave the diner and the personas that society has built for them. Their thoughts and reflections will spark the dance interpretation of a 19-person student ensemble outside of the glass.

“The styles of dance will be reflective of the four icons and their impact on culture and entertainment. This will include the ’50s social dance and jazz dance, the threads of rock and roll, a modern bend to some very personal elements of the stories, ballroom dance and the splashy styles of MGM movie making,” Kane continued.

Music will include popular hits such as “Jailhouse Rock,” “Viva Las Vegas,” “Play It Again Sam,” “Born to Be Wild” and “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.”

Kane, a Westerville resident, has been a member of the Otterbein faculty since 1989 and director of dance since 1996; a member of the BalletMet Academy faculty; and the founding artistic director of JazzMet. Kane has been a member of the national companies of Sugar and Bob Fosses’ Dancin’ and a member of the national and international companies of The American Dance Machine. She has made television appearances in productions such as “Dance In America” on PBS and “The Ann Reinking Special” with Ann Reinking, Chita Rivera and Ben Vereen. Kane has taught for New York’s American Dance Machine/Harkness House and the Actors’ and Directors’ Lab. She has given master classes at The Ohio State University and New York University, and has been a master teacher in residence at the Northern Ballet Theatre in Leeds, England. Ms. Kane has also been a guest choreographer for Columbus Dance Theatre and BalletMet. 

Tickets for Dance 2015: Famously Yours… Forever are $18 and can be reserved by calling the Otterbein University box office at (614) 823-1109 or online at www.otterbein.edu/drama. The box office is open 12- 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour prior to performances. The box office is located in Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St., Westerville.


Thursday, Nov. 19*, 7:30 p.m., Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St., Westerville* Opening night; Reception following performance.

Friday, Nov. 20, 8 p.m.  Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St., Westerville

Saturday, Nov. 21, 8 p.m.  Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St., Westerville

Sunday, Nov. 22,  p.m.  Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St., Westerville