Brown Bag Dance Series returns Monday

Brown Bag is back, which means SMU’s dance students will soon get to debut all of their latest moves to the student body.

Most students who attend Brown Bag simply enjoy the show and move on to their next class. Few understand the amount of hard work that goes into the show for the weeks leading up to the event.

The Brown Bag process is more complicated than most would think. The initial audition process began a few weeks ago when students were selected to perform in the dances that are choreographed by fellow students. The groups have a few weeks to choreograph and perfect their routines before they go to the next round of auditions. The next audition involves a panel of three dance professors who select the pieces that will be put into the Brown Bag show.


Brown Bag gives students a chance to try out independent choreographing, and for many, it is their first time doing so. Senior dance student Hannah Hess never thought she would choreograph until she gave it a chance this year. Hess’ piece, “Let It Go,” is her way of closing the door to her dancing career before graduation, when she begins her accounting career.

The inspiration for the dances in the show comes from a variety of places. Student choreographers find inspiration for their pieces from experiences in their own life or abstract things. From exploring new movements in the mirror to being inspired by a song, every choreographer has a unique inspiration for his or her piece.

The upcoming Brown Bag Series will mark Olivia Schmid’s second time choreographing a show. Her piece, “Impedire,” was inspired by Schmid’s recent trip to London this past summer. Schmid saw a homeless man sitting by an ATM when a man and women dressed in a shimmering dress and tux came to the machine, withdrew money, and left. Schmid was inspired by the juxtaposition of the scene.

Every piece is different. Some are meant to be funny and entertaining, like Rebecca Moore’s “We are Potatoes,” while others are dramatic and are intended to keep the audience on the edge of its seat. The styles of pieces in the show vary from modern, jazz and contemporary to pointe. There really is something for everyone.

This semester’s Brown Bag series begins Monday, Oct. 5 and ends Friday, Oct. 9. Each performance will be held in the Owen Arts Center in the Bob Hope Theater lobby. The Monday, Wednesday and Friday shows begin at 12:00 p.m., and the Tuesday and Thursday shows will start at 12:30 p.m. For more information visit the SMU Meadows calendar.

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