Brown Bag Dance Series Is Back This Week

February 28, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Christine Jonas

Meadows’ Dancers Perform at Brown Bag Dance Series from on Vimeo.

The spring Brown Bag Dance Series will kick off today, February 28 at noon in the Lobby of the Bob Hope Theatre in the Owen Arts Center.

The Brown Bag Dance Series is a student run dance performance held each semester, where the students choreograph, plan and set up each dance. There is one faculty advisor that oversees everything, but really leaves it up to the students.

“I am beyond impressed with them. It is a great opportunity for them to figure out how to audition, select dancers, schedule rehearsals and create new and exciting work,” says Professor Danny Buraczeski, the faculty advisor for the upcoming series.

The series runs daily for a week with lunchtime shows at noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. Admission is free.

There are typically 10-15 performances in each show, featuring all kinds of dance like ballet, modern and jazz.

“This time there are 10 performances and this series is really diverse. We are doing a hip-hop dance, a musical theater dance, two pointe ballet pieces and a contemporary piece,” says Brianna O’Connor, a sophomore SMU dance student who will be in the upcoming Brown Bag.

With different students choreographing new pieces every semester, this series never gets old—keeping the audience intrigued every time.

“It is really great going each semester, I never know what to expect and it really impresses me that they come up with such diversity in every Brown Bag,” says Myles Luttman, a senior SMU student. “It is fun to watch because I have friends in the show, but it is also great to see an art form that most people aren’t familiar with.”

Even the faculty is impressed when the series comes around each semester.

“Every Brown Bag is unique and different. Every one is better than another one in some way. It’s always, always dynamic and exciting. It is fantastic preparation if a student wants to have their own dance company once they graduate,” says Buraczeski.

The preparation with Brown Bag starts off with student Choreographers creating different dances. They teach the dance students a small portion of their routines and perform it in front of faculty adjudicators—which is typically made up of SMU dance professors. From there, the adjudicators help narrow down the performances that will make up the show. Then the choreographers sit down to barter and trade the dancers they want for their performance.

“We have two weeks to learn it, then it gets adjudicated, then another two weeks to rehearse before we perform, “says O’Connor.

O’Connor also pointed out how great the opportunity is for dance students, because it is a relaxed environment where they can dance barefoot or in their socks, unlike their more serious performances like the Hope Show coming later in the semester. It is also a chance for the students to take the process into their own hands.

“It is really about the choreographers, because it’s their chance to get their choreography out and test it. It’s a chance to see if they have the skills to do this. The whole process is about them,” says O’Connor. “I haven’t done it yet, but I want to—maybe next year.”

This is an opportunity for SMU students to go see something new and experience a new for of art and expression.

“Don’t be afraid or intimidated by dance. It is a non-verbal art form to be enjoyed without preconceptions,” says Buraczeski. “Every viewer will have a different experience and that’s what it’s all about. It’s a celebration.”

Video by Sydney Giesey and Fernando Valdez
Editing by Sydney Giesey