From R to L: Kay Siebold, Liz Ross, Dawn Essoe, Norma Ackert, Kay Caraway, Jill Cramer, Yvonne Boudreaux
Photographs Contributed by Nancy Ackerman
From 1985 to 1992 DTG audiences were treated to a bit of Broadway on the Dhahran stage, when the 5678! productions danced and sang their way to sold out performances at every run. The enormous talent in the Aramco community was showcased in these lavish productions that brought glitter and glam to our desert outpost. Those were great times!
Originally sponsored by the (then) AEA, and later finding a home with DTG, a slim lineup of 10 dancers… 8 gals and 2 guys, started what was to take a sweep of Arammys for every show presented, including Best Production, Best Costumes, Best Lighting and Best Director. Most of the original cast stayed on for the many future shows, welcoming new performers into the fold to expand the cast, crew and sparkle, resulting in quality entertainment lasting a solid two hours. 5678! played not only for DTG, but also at the Mission Inn at the airbase, in Abqaiq and Ras Tanura, and in Jubail and other military venues during the Gulf War. Patriotism and beautiful dancers were a smashing combination.
The talented cast and crew of 5678! remain united, and gathered in Las Vegas in August of 2000 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the first production. True to form, it was a lavish occasion with, yes, a wonderful show of song and dance, a lineup of Hello Dollys with red feather boas over their jeans and shirts, and the showcasing of the next generation of 5678!ers wowing the crowd. The 100 guests had a memorable weekend, and plans are underway for the 20th anniversary gathering to be held June, 2005 in Las Vegas.
Aaron Gilliland and Josie Lopez
Since leaving Dhahran in 1992, 5678! director Nancy Ackerman has segued into another dance form, discovering the joys of Ballroom dance in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2001. About to enter a third competition, the Holiday Classic at Paris Las Vegas in December, the energy devoted to choreographing 5678! dancers is now ‘on the other foot’ and her direction comes from teacher/mentor Aaron Gilliland, who also partners her in the ProAm divisions. The discovery of ballroom dance became the inspiration for a line of black and white greeting cards, which have just been produced as the latest 5678! production. The series of five cards comes with a dance logo imprint on the envelope, gold seal with logo, and encompass five different poses: Latin Satin, Smooth Moves, Jivin’ Miss Josie, Falling for You, and Flight of Fancy. Visit the website to view the cards, and to order: www.a5678production.com
Please contact Nancy at the above website or email: RNAckerman@aol.com. And of course the cast, crew and loyal fans are urged to attend the next 5678! reunion in 2005. Just send me a note to get in touch and get on our mailing list. You’ll love being a part of it!