SMU dance department presents the Fall Brown Bag Dance Series

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Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts showcased the talent of its BFA college dance majors in the Fall Brown Bag Dance Series. The performance, from Oct. 1 to Oct. 5, presented over 20 dancers in nine pieces.

This popular show attracted crowds to the Bob Hope Theatre Lobby, where dancers performed works in styles of ballet, contemporary, jazz and modern. The free event is advertised as a show where spectators can bring a brown bag lunch and watch the dancers in the midst of a busy school day.

“The more casual setting is more intimate and allows for us to really perform, especially to those [audience members] who don’t know dance very well,” said Lydia Krull, a senior double major in dance performance and political science.

Krull believes “Brown Bag is special because it’s such a supportive environment for student choreography.”

Each semester, the Brown Bag series is a chance for the dancers to create their own work, audition dancers and showcase their individual choreography. Krull explained the dancers take composition classes as a part of their studies to learn how to choreograph. Brown Bag allows the BFA majors to take the knowledge gained in the classroom and apply it to a real performance.

“[It’s] such a great way to grow as an artist,” said Krull.

Krull pulled inspiration from the relationship between her and her sister to create a hauntingly tender and emotional piece, titled “Close (to You).” The contemporary-modern piece featured four dancers describing different relationships that sisters can have.

“The [choreographic] process was pretty easy… I had a solid idea going into it and used personal experience to create ideas for my piece. That definitely helped,” Krull said.

Krull appreciates the fall brown bag series “because people who usually don’t come to dance shows come and get to see how talented everyone is and how hard we work.”

Nicole Chatham, a sophomore majoring in dance performance, agrees with Krull.

“Brown Bag is such a great experience to not only unify the dancers within our department, but also to connect the community with our art,” Chatham said.

Chatham choreographed a contemporary piece titled “drive.” As a first year choreographer, she realized how rewarding her experience was. She brought together five dancers in three different grade levels to showcase a funky and groovy feel-good piece. Works like Chatham’s help integrate freshmen into the department.

“Spending so many hours within the studio rehearsing together really allows all of us to bond so closely,” Chatham said.

Emily Slater, a freshman majoring in dance performance, performed in Chatham’s piece.

When asked about her experience in her first performance, she put it simply: “My favorite part… is being able to show the SMU community what we love to do.”

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