Topic: College of Fine Arts

April 25, 2018

Department of Theatre and Dance cast dance on stage during rehearsal
Dancers cast in the Department of Theatre and Dance's latest production of 'Cinderella' practice on stage during rehearsal.

Ball State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance is bringing a classic fairytale to life in its University Mainstage production “Cinderella,” opening at 7:30 p.m. April 25 at University Theatre, with additional shows at 7:30 p.m. April 26-28 as well as 2:30 p.m. April 28.

“Cinderella” will be performed as a ballet and set to Sergei Prokofiev’s famous musical composition that has accompanied the ballet for decades.

“‘Cinderella’ was chosen because it is an entertaining ballet that the department felt would appeal to a broad audience and serve as a great model to introduce the Ball State community, as well as the Muncie community, to a full length ballet,” said Susan Koper, assistant professor, dance teacher, and choreographer. “While the work has classical elements, it is lighthearted and uses humor to tell the well-loved story of Cinderella.”

Koper and her collaborator and co-choreographer for the production, Jerome Stigler, instructor, ballet teacher, and choreographer, were inspired to use their own original choreography to tell the classic story after extensive research of various examples of work from other choreographers in the past.

“The overall narrative and trajectory of the ballet was certainly inspired by our research, but we adapted the choreography and progression of the tale to present our students and the work in the best possible manner.”

The cast includes a variety of majors from the department ranging from dance, musical theatre, theatre education, and acting majors. Because each student has different technical abilities, Koper and Stigler worked to keep the movement accessible and manageable for all levels.

“The choreography challenges the students technically because the movement draws from ballet technique, a demanding and exact genre of dance,” Koper said. “Because it is a full length ballet, it also challenges them physically by requiring many of the dancers to perform and be onstage for the entire ballet. While some of the non-dance majors have less experience in the ballet genre, they bring a whole host of other skills to the work.”

While the audience will see classical ballet technique, music, staging, and storyline, they won’t see dancers in tutus. The production leans more toward contemporary in both choreography and costumes.

Koper mentioned that “the movement vocabulary is in the ballet genre and Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother, and the fairies all perform the work en pointe, where dancers perform on their toes using special pointe shoes.”

Tickets for “Cinderella” are available at the University Theatre Box Office, open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or online. The cost is $18 for the general public, $15 for students, faculty, staff and senior citizens and $10 for children 12 and under. Contact the box office at 765-285-8749 or visit the Department of Theatre and Dance’s website ( for more information.