Topic: College of Fine Arts

November 24, 2009

Some of Ball State's dancers are getting a kick out of performing to music by legendary American composers George Gershwin and Cole Porter. The dance faculty came up with the idea of choreographing dances to the music of the two American geniuses, resulting in "Steppin' Out with Gershwin on a Cole Winter's Night."

The dance performance will be on the Ball State University Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10-12 with a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 13.

Each dance faculty member choreographed a dance set to the music of Porter and Gershwin. Ball State students in the Department of Theatre and Dance auditioned for the show and have been practicing since the beginning of the semester for this unique performance.

Composer George Gershwin is known for his collaboration with his brother Ira on more than a dozen Broadway shows, such as "Funny Face" and "Porgy and Bess." "I Got Rhythm" and "Someone to Watch Over Me" are just a couple of Gershwin's most famous songs. Cole Porter, an Indiana native, became famous with "I've Got You Under My Skin," "I Get a Kick Out of You," and "In the Still of the Night." The likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and many more have performed both Porter and Gershwin's compositions. 

Artistic director Audra Sokol envisions a fun and energetic show for the audience. "There is a range of songs by Porter and Gershwin that are utilized and some of which are performed in nontraditional ways. There is also a wide range of dance styles, from ballet and modern to jazz and tap."

Sokol has had a lot of fun putting together this show. "It's been a great show to direct. It has provided a different feel, because we don't normally have a lot of choreography with lyrics, so it's been amazing to see the interpretation of the songs by all the choreographers.

"I hope we accomplish a wonderful concert in which we successfully captured the essence and beauty of the artistic works of Gershwin and Porter."

Tickets for the performance cost $12.50 for the general public, $11.50 for faculty and staff, $9.50 for senior citizens, and $6.50 for students. They are available from the University Theatre Box Office, open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the box office at 765-285-8749 or visit for more information.

Upcoming shows include:

  • "Macbeth" – 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11-13, 17-20 and 2:30 p.m. Feb 14. One of Shakespeare's most well-known plays is coming to the Ball State stage. It is the story of one man's decision on how deep he will descend in order to fulfill his mysterious but inevitable prophecy. 
  •  "My Fair Lady" – 7:30 p.m. March 25-27, March 30-April 3 and 2:30 p.m. March 28 and April 3. Ball State's stage will transform into the heart of England with this rendition of the classic "My Fair Lady." Eliza Doolitte and Professor Higgins will light up the stage with song and laughter in the musical Audrey Hepburn made famous.

By Samantha Irons