Dance Students’ Works
Featured in Brown Bag

September 30, 2008  

SMU dancers are featured in student produced productions during brown bag. (PHOTO BY SAMUEL TODD / THE DAILY MUSTANG)

SMU dancers are featured in student produced productions during brown bag. (PHOTO BY SAMUEL TODD / THE DAILY MUSTANG)

By Samuel Todd

SMU’s Division of Dance presents its semi-annual, student-produced Brown Bag Dance Series this week. The series features 10 pieces, all choreographed by SMU dance students. Held in the lobby of the Owen Arts Center, the weeklong event is open to all SMU students, faculty, and staff, as well as to the general public. Admission is free.

Chrysta Brown, a junior dance major who choreographed as well as danced in this year’s Brown Bag, described the series as a great experience that requires an enormous amount of work.

“It’s a chance to get your artistic voice and to try your foot in choreography,” Brown said. “It’s a lot of work, but we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love it.”

Dance majors say their major is one of the most demanding on campus, but the hours these students spend in rehearsals certainly pay off.

Katye Dunn, a senior double majoring in dance and religious studies, considers the relaxed nature of the series as one of the best parts of Brown Bag. The audience sits on the floor rather than in seats in an auditorium, and the dancers perform on a black mat installed just for the Brown Bag series. The audience is also encouraged to bring their lunch, hence the “brown bag” title.

“For one thing, it’s informal. All the other shows you have to buy tickets to, and they’re held in big auditoriums,” Dunn said. “But for this, you just walk in, sit down and watch.”

The dance series may seem like it’s held just for SMU students to see great performances on their own campus, but the series is a huge benefit to the dancers as well.

“It’s a collaboration of so many things, and you can try something new and it can be completely different from what you’re used to,” Dunn said. “We get to be involved in the creative process, and it’s great training for the real world.”

Junior dance major Kimberly Lyons choreographed one of the pieces included in this semester’s series. She said she loves being able to expose the art of dance to other SMU students, as well as being able to learn new things at the same time.

“It’s the students’ chance to be creative, and it’s a great opportunity to work on our choreography,” Lyons said.

Melissa Manuel, a junior enrolled in a ballet class for non-majors this semester, attended Monday’s Brown Bag performance.

“I like how they choreograph their own works, and I thought the last dance was amazing,” she said. “I’m just taking a dance class for elective credit, but it’s amazing to see how advanced students can become in this department.”

The Brown Bag Dance Series will be held Monday through Friday of this week, with performances from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. For more information, visit the Division of Dance website at, or look for the event page on Facebook.

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