Topic: College of Fine Arts

April 19, 2016

Audience-goers will be asked to explore the ideas of beauty, gender, objectification, violence and self-esteem as part of “Dancing Towards Change,” the season finale for Ball State's Department of Theatre and Dance's Mainstage Subscription Series.

Presented by Ball State's Dance Theatre, "Dancing Towards Change" performances will be at 7:30 p.m. April 27-30 at University Theatre.

Audra Sokol, director of Ball State's dance program and associate professor of dance, said the goal of this spring’s program is to confront the link that exists between cultural beauty standards and acts of violence against the human body.

“As images of beauty bombard women and men every day, a multi-billion dollar economy builds on our insecurities about the size, shape and appearance of our bodies,” Sokol said. “Ultimately, women and men who succumb to these expectations are more likely to move towards depression, low self-esteem, and little to no self-worth due to the underlying suggestion of objectification. Objectification is dehumanization. Our culture seems to becoming more comfortable viewing the human form as merely an object.”

Sokol said her hope is that the students’ performances open people’s minds to questions as to why society behaves this way and what can be done about it. “I’d be happy if audience members found themselves speaking up in unjust situations and began seeking opportunities to create change,” she said. “But I also want this show to convey a sense of hope that we can more often put ourselves in another’s shoes and see our surroundings from a place of love and acceptance.”

Choreographers have incorporated contemporary dancing with spoken word and video throughout the piece. This show began production in the fall of 2015 as part of a Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry seminar. Sokol incorporated material from the seminar into the show.

To purchase tickets, contact University Theatre Box Office at 765-285-8749, or go online to Prices are $12 for students, $13 for those 60 and older, $14 for faculty or staff and $15 for the general public. For more information, contact the box office at 765-285-8749 or visit