Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

News Release

Contact: David Booth/Michelle Gilbert, NIU School of Theatre and Dance
(815) 753.1337

November 6, 2008

School of Theatre and Dance presents ‘L’Histoire du Soldat’

DeKalb — The Northern Illinois University School of Music and School of Theatre and Dance faculty and students will collaborate for the first time in a decade and a half to produce the upcoming dance production, “L’Histoire du Soldat,” opening in the Stevens Building O’Connell Theatre on November 20.

“In my tenure of 15 years, dance performances at NIU have never been accompanied by live musicians,” said director and choreographer Paula Frasz. “With the kind cooperation, talent and enthusiasm of conductor Lucia Matos and the students and faculty of the School of Music, we afford the students the invaluable experience of dancing with and playing for each other.”

“L’Histoire du Soldat,” or “A Soldier’s Tale,” is a Russian folk tale that tells the story of a soldier on his way home from war. On his journey, he comes face to face with the devil. The devil buys his violin in exchange for all the wealth he could possibly imagine. The soldier returns home to find he has made a dire mistake. 

“As the artistic director of a professional dance company, I speak from experience when I say that having costumes, scenery and lighting of this caliber [is] a rare gift,” Frasz said. “We decided to set the piece in post-revolutionary Russia, with the devil taking on the identity of a military leader, and his lair being an interrogation room.”

“L’Histoire du Soldat” runs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, through Saturday, Nov. 22. A matinee performance will run at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23. Tickets are available at the School of Theatre and Dance box office, located in the Stevens Building or online at For further information, contact the box office at (815) 753-1600.

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