Meadows Partners with Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute for Big Challenge Series

The Division of Dance and Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute will collaborate to host a weeklong dance company residency focusing on climate change engagement for DCII’s Big Challenge Series.

Meadows is partnering with DCII to host a weeklong residency with Time Lapse Dance that highlights their Big Challenge Series theme of "Climate Resilience."
Meadows is partnering with DCII to host a weeklong residency with Time Lapse Dance that highlights their Big Challenge Series theme of "Climate Resilience."

Each academic year, SMU’s Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute(DCII) selects an annual theme connected to a major challenge facing humanity for their Big Challenge Series and organizes programming throughout the year that highlights the interdisciplinary nature of potential solutions to this challenge. 


When Meadows’ Chair of Dance Christopher Dolder, who also leads a DCII Research Cluster called “The Physical Data Capture Lab,” learned about this year’s Big Challenge theme, he jumped at the opportunity to involve the Division of Dance and get his students engaged with programming outside of their main discipline.


“I am a firm believer in multi-disciplinary inquiry as the ‘old school’ siloed model of one major is not as empowering as multi-majoring,” explains Dolder, who notes that over 90% of dance students are double majors. “Any research collaboration that gets students from one building into another is supporting the SMU overall mantra of ‘World Changers Shaped Here.’”


The 2023-24 theme Big Challenge theme is “Climate Resilience” and, as the DCII is a platform for collaboration and the exchange of ideas across academic disciplines, they have partnered with Meadows’ Division of Dance to host Time Lapse Dance, a professional dance troupe that creatively advocates for climate change through choreography, for a weeklong residency as part of the series. Their work is deeply collaborative and cross-disciplinary, combining dance, environmental physics, music, visual art, lighting, and media, which makes it the perfect partnership for DCII’s Big Challenge Series.


The residency, which includes a performance, a panel with SMU faculty, and a dance workshop, will focus on climate change engagement through dance. Time Lapse Dance believes dance can be a powerful force moving society toward a more embodied, sustainable, and equitable future, and explores the relationship between dance, our bodies, and the environment around us.


“I am excited about this exchange as it takes a global concept like climate resilience and attracts students from various disciplines to exchange ideas on the future of the climate on our planet,” says Dolder of the interdisciplinary collaboration.


In addition to a performance, panel, and workshop, Time Lapse Dance will also lead three master classes for Meadows dance students in technique, dance composition, and dance production.


The Time Lapse Dance performance, Arbor and Other Dances About Nature, will take place on Thursday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Bob Hope Theatre of Owen Arts Center. For more information and to register, click here.