Topic: College of Fine Arts

November 20, 2008

No matter what you call him, the devil has influenced countless stories for millennia.

Now the world's ultimate villain makes his way to University Theatre through the choreography and dance of the Ball State Dance Theatre.

"The Devil Made Me Dance" is a stunning collection of dances that examines the theme of evil through movement. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11-13 with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Dec. 14 in University Theatre.

Artistic directors for the performance, Lou Ann Young, assistant professor of dance, and Audra Sokol, assistant professor of dance, found inspiration for their pieces in representations of evil in history, books and other works of art. Young was motivated by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart from "Swan Lake" while Sokol based her work on "The Scarlet Letter."

Other choreographers include: L. Gregory Lund, assistant professor of dance; Michael Worcel, assistant professor of dance; Christie Zimmerman, assistant professor of dance; Susan Koper, adjunct professor of dance, and guest choreographer Jennifer Medina. 

Worcel looked to the Bible and Ezekiel's description of dry bones in the desert for inspiration as he created a tap number while Medina's piece incorporates ideas from the book "The People of the Lie," which details a theory linking Christianity and modern psychology in an attempt to define human evil.

"The Devil Made Me Dance" includes ballet, modern, ethnic, tap and contemporary dance.

Young believes that this is a show no one will want to miss. "If you don't like the first dance, you'll like the next one. There is something for everyone," she said.

Student dancers auditioned early in the semester and practiced two hours a day for several weeks in preparation for the show. The audience will experience two acts and approximately 90 minutes of dazzling choreography and skillful dance tracing the devil's journey through time.

Other upcoming productions at University Theatre include:

  • "The Importance of Being Earnest" — 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12-14, Feb. 18-21; 2:30 p.m. Feb. 15. This witty, wise and wickedly funny comedy by Oscar Wilde follows the adventures of two bachelors as they pursue two women who have their hearts set on marrying Earnest, no matter who he is.
  • "Dance Revelations" — 7:30 p.m. March 26-28; 2:30 p.m. March 29. This show explores the timeless art of dance as it is blended with emerging media and reimagined for the 21st century.

By Jenn Hillier