Preview: BalletMet’s The American Songbook

  • Photo credit: Will Shively
By Columbus Alive
From the September 20, 2012 edition

BalletMet’s “The American Songbook,” an evening of stage performance set to American standards, isn’t just the same old song and dance. In fact, in the world premiere of choreographer Stella Kane’s “Before the Dawn,” old song meets new dance.

Kane, the director of dance at Otterbein University, chose music from the current repertoire of the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus for her piece.

“I love Cole Porter and was instantly drawn to those titles. As I listened to other songs on the list, the piece started to fall into place,” she said.

With help from CGMC director Tim Sarsany, Kane set the work in a supper club in the 1930s or ’40s, a place “that could come straight from one’s dreams,” she said. BalletMet dancers will share the stage with 13 chorus members.

“They are part of the scene,” Kane said. “I think the give-and-take of the energy between singers and dancers will be a huge positive for both the dancers, singers and the audience.”

“The American Songbook” also includes a first-in-Columbus performance of Amy Seiwert’s Patsy Cline tribute, “Dear Miss Cline” and Darrel Grand Moultrie’s 2010 Sammy Davis Jr. salute “Simply Sammy.”